Tell yourself again: Nathan Hale was the favorite. Had home-field advantage. Was the Metro Sound champ. Nathan Hale was the favorite.
Keep telling yourself that. I’ve tried. But when a team that hasn’t been to the round of 16 since 1980 beats a team that hasn’t not been there since 1991, that qualifies as a significant upset to me.
And, apparently, to Nathan Hale coach Hoover Hopkins, who continued the tremendous job he has done this season with last night’s 21-14 victory against Kennedy.
Hopkins used the words “speechless” and “shocked” right now to describe the Raiders after they stunned Kennedy.
And how about the way they did it. A 55-yard touchdown pass to Nissim Shulman, who had caught only one other pass all season. And the pass wasn’t even intended for him. But he tipped it up, caught it and ran it in with 54 seconds left.
This postseason already has a memorable moment. But that wasn’t even the only fourth-quarter comeback of the playoffs’ first night. Mariner’s Tyler Tuiasosopo led Mariner back from a 10-point deficit beat Kentridge 21-17. Snohomish’s Miles Semanskee scored with about 6:30 left to complete a comeback against Kentwood in a 13-12 victory. Newport trailed 3-0 in the fourth quarter, and then the Knights scored 19 consecutive points to win at Columbia River.
Some matchups in the round of 16 have already been decided. Bellevue will play conference rival Newport (Bellevue won 19-3 two weeks ago). Nathan Hale will play Franklin Pierce. And Snohomish will head to Edmonds-Woodway in a battle of WesCo teams that didn’t meet in the regular season.
Here are the updated brackets:
For information on other brackets:
1. Andie Taylor, Skyline, girls swimming. Broke an 18-year-old state record in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.50. And oh yeah, she’s only a sophomore.
2. Marcel Smith, Graham-Kapowsin, football. Scored three times and ran his season rushing total to 2,231 yards in leading Graham-Kapowsin to an upset of Evergreen of Vancouver.
3. Nuve Kongaiaka, Evergreen, football. Scored four times as Evergreen seemed to have little trouble with West Seattle in a 42-21 victory.
4. Ryan Robertson, Eastlake, football. Threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns in 28-25 win against Bethel. He got some help from WR Cory Mackay, who had 179 yards receiving and two of those scores.
5. Erich Armstrong, Franklin Pierce, football. Scored twice and had three interceptions in Franklin Pierce’s opening victory against Eastside Catholic.
Today’s top games
1. State championships, boys and girls cross-country, 10:30 a.m. Our first state champions of the fall season will be decided today.
2. Holy Names at Skyline, girls soccer, 1 p.m. The winner gets the final state playoff spot from the Sea-King district (Lakeside, Seattle Prep and Issaquah are already in).
3. Shorecrest vs. Mt. Vernon, volleyball, 1 p.m. at Jackson. The Northwest 3A tournament championship.