Panthers finished with a winning season and second consecutive postseason appearance
At the beginning of the season, Washougal expected much more than the No. 4 seed from the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League and an early exit from the playoffs.
A series of injuries slowed down the Panthers, however. And now the season has come to an end.
Tumwater topped Washougal 55-0 Saturday in a Class 2A District 4 playoff game.
Connor Clark took the opening kickoff and returned it 94 yards for a touchdowns. He also had two rushing touchdowns. In all, Tumwater rushed for more than 350 yards.
Washougal finished 6-4. The Panthers started 5-0, but by then had already lost two starters to season-ending injuries. The injury bug would hit a few more players in the second half of the season.
“The injuries kind of derailed our season,” Washougal coach Dave Hajek said. “The injuries caught up to us.”
Quarterback Ryan Stevens even played hurt in Saturday’s loss.
“For the season itself, the kids played hard. They wanted to do well. They worked every week to get better,” the coach said.
Even with a tough loss in the final game of the season, the Panthers at least can celebrate their back-to-back playoff appearance. That is the first time for the program since the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Hajek is proud of that accomplishment.
“It’s the start of something,” he said. “Try to make it three in a row next year. Hope to get back to the point where maybe we’re in position to play for a league title.”