Montesano football and volleyball’s run in the state playoffs came to an end on Friday as the Bulldogs fell to Freeman on the gridiron and Chelan and Kings on the court.
1A State Football – First Round
Freeman 28, Montesano 21
In the final game of a season where their defense surrendered just 27 points and in which they created 25 more turnovers than they committed, the Montesano Bulldogs saw both statistics reversed on them, with devastating effect.
Five turnovers, three sacks, and nearly three quarters in which they were unable to score was more than the Bulldogs could overcome, as they fell to the Freeman Scotties 28-21 in the opening round of the 1A State Playoffs.
In spite of the poor start, the Bulldogs nearly pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in team history, scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the final 14 minutes of play on the legs of Gabe Bodwell and the arm of Tyson Perry. But the hole created by Scotties quarterback Luke Whitaker and a nearly perfect first half defensive performance proved to deep for the Dogs to emerge from.
While Whitaker’s two touchdown passes and a touchdown reception on a flanker pass gave the Scotties a 21-0 lead at halftime, it was the mistakes forced by the Freeman defense in the first 24 minutes that stunned the crowd at Jack Rottle Stadium. The Scotties sacked Perry twice, forcing one fumble, and intercepted the sophomore three times – the first three interceptions he had thrown all season – as Montesano was held to 95 yards of offense through the first two quarters.
The Bulldogs appeared to be getting on track in the third quarter as first down runs by Felix Romero and Gabe Bodwell moved the Dogs into Scottie territory. But a strip of the ball on a Romero run created the fifth turnover of the game for Montesano. Freeman then embarked on the drive of the game. After losing Whitaker to a leg injury, back up quarterback Logan Schultz drove the Scotties to the Bulldog 16 yard line. Scrambling to his right, Schultz found 6’6” receiver Colton Wells in a crowd of Bulldog defenders to put the visitors up 28-0 with under five minutes to play in the third quarter.
The score would prove critical, as the remainder of the game belonged to the resurgent Bulldogs.
Held somewhat in check for the first two-and-a-half quarters, Bodwell, the Evergreen League MVP, led Montesano on a 13-play, 75 yard drive, highlighted by a 23 yard reception by Torin Crites on a fourth down from the Scottie 32 yard line. After moving to the Freeman one, Bodwell would score Montesano’s first points of the game, cutting the deficit to 28-7. After holding the Scottie offense and forcing a punt, the Bulldogs moved into Freeman territory but were unable to score, turning the ball over on downs. Freeman proceeded to run five minutes off the clock, highlighted by an 11 yard scramble by Schultz on a third-and-10, before punting the ball back to Montesano. The time lost would prove critical, as the Bulldogs scored twice in the last five minutes on Perry passes to Bode Poler and Mason Rasmussen, that last of which pulled the Dogs to within 28-21 with :30 remaining. But when Felix Romero’s onside kick was recovered by the Scotties, Freeman was able to run out the clock and advance to the quarterfinals.
In his final performance for the Bulldogs, Bodwell was a warrior, carrying the ball 33 times for 161 yards and his 23rd score of the season. Perry overcame the rough start and completed eight of final 11 passes for 119 yards and two scores, while Poler led the Bulldog receivers with seven receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Montesano finishes the season with a 10-1 record.
1A State Volleyball
Chelan 3, Montesano 0
Kings 3, Montesano 0
Montesano’s run at the state volleyball tournament started with a date with the top team in the bracket and ended with a defeat in the consolation round.
Montesano’s reward for an Evergreen League title and a third place finish at districts was to draw the #1 team in the state in the Chelan Goats. Chelan defeated Monte 3-0 (25-9, 25-12, and 25-15) in the opening round, forcing the Bulldogs into the consolation bracket. Needing a win to stay alive for a trophy, Montesano fell to Kings 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, and 27-25) to end their season.