VANCOUVER — Taj Muhammad ran wide to the left and found plenty of space.
He knew he had it.
Two yards before he reached the end zone, he raised the ball in his right hand.
Touchdown Seton Catholic — the first touchdown for Seton Catholic on its new home field.
The football program had played all of its “home” games on neutral fields in the first years of the program. Last year, the new campus opened. This school year, the field opened.
Seton Catholic’s girls soccer team played on the field earlier this week. Saturday, it was time for the football team to take the field.
Alas, when the game was over, Charles Wright Academy had recorded a 22-13 non-league victory.
Still, Seton Catholic is home.That is special to the Cougars.
“The ambience was awesome,” said lineman Aidan Kirby. “I loved the cheerleaders. I loved the people. I loved the Hawaiian shirts.”
Seton Catholic drew a large crowd that used picnic tables and lawn chairs to set up outside the football boundaries. No bleachers yet. Fixed seating will come soon enough. For now, the Seton Catholic fans just enjoyed having a place of their own.
Ed Little, the school’s principal, noted that the school had pre-sold more than 500 orders of barbecue ribs, another fundraiser for athletics. He said he expected 600 orders by the end of the day.
“Absolutely awesome,” Little said of football game No. 1 at the new field. “All week long, the excitement from the students, the staff, the community was really strong. We were able to raise funds for this. Without the Seton community, without Southwest Washington, we wouldn’t be able to have this.”
Muhammad would get a second touchdown to put Seton Catholic up 13-7 in the second quarter.
Charles Wright answered before halftime to take a one-point lead. Seton’s offense struggled in the second half, and the Cougars fell to 1-1 this season.
Still, the Cougars could celebrate a true home game.
“A lot more people come to games now because it’s right at our school,” Muhammad said. “More school spirit means a lot more fun.”