With all of the history-making angles Friday at Edmonds Stadium in Mountlake Terrace’s playoff-clinching 21-12 win over Kamiak, I didn’t get a chance in my game story to give a detailed recap of a fourth quarter that landed the Hawks their first-ever post-season appearance. Here are the highlights, followed by an examination of just how untimely Kamiak’s miscues were.
After the Knights cut the deficit to 14-12 two plays into the fourth on a 5-yard touchdown run by sophomore Mylz Dixon (64 yards) – Jake Sortor’s run for the two-point conversion came up short, they were stymied the rest of the way.
Mountlake Terrace took six minutes off the clock with an 11-play drive featuring eight runs by workhorse ball carrier Casey Ellersick before Nate Ryals missed on a 41-yard field goal attempt with a little more than five minutes to go.
Four plays later, Kamiak turned the ball over on downs at the Hawks’ 25-yard line. Ellersick tallied 21 more yards on three runs, capped by his 3-yard touchdown with 2:09 remaining to seal it at 21-12.
This Wesco South game, however, was hardly lost in the fourth. Kamiak’s mistakes were mind-boggling.
Despite outgaining the Hawks by a 3:1 ratio in the first half, the Knights’ possessions prior to halftime went like this:
- 14-play drive ended on Kyle Watts’ missed 28-yard field goal.
- Three-and-out in which Jhalen Brown blocked Thomas Fossedal’s punt and Julian Snow recovered it at the Mountlake Terrace 10-yard line. (Ellersick had the game’s first points on the next play.)
- Seven-play drive ended on Ellersick’s interception on a pass that bounced off tight end Brandon Hall in the end zone.
- 14-play drive ended on sophomore Chris Menghini’s missed 35-yard field goal as time expired in the first half with the Hawks still up 7-0.
“The hidden yardage in the special teams was very key,” said Mountlake Terrace coach Tony Umayam, whose team was outgained on the night by more than 2:1. “…. They had a nice defensive game plan against us and they were able to slow down our running game.”
After starting the second half with another three-and-out, Kamiak’s second possession opened with quarterback Jake Sortor and Nate Regan hooking up for a 73-yard pass play. Nic Cooper (53 yards) scored on 1-yard run on the next play, but Watts missed the extra point.
It took the Knights nine plays to move 29 yards on their next possession, and they were faced with a fourth-and-16.
Menghini’s 45-yard field goal attempt was low and it richocheted off multiple players at the line of scrimmage. Brown was there to scoop it up and race 74 yards to the end zone, making it 14-6 – and essentially providing the game-winning score in the program’s signature win.
“This was a big reason why I came back to my alma mater to coach – to hopefully someday get them to this point,” said Umayam, in his sixth season.