By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — In a heart-breaking outcome for the Glacier Peak football team and its fans, the Grizzlies battled back from a early 14-0 deficit to force overtime, but then had a low center snap that led to a failed extra point conversion in the extra period.
Mount Si scored a touchdown on its OT possession and place kicker Cameron Van Winkle booted the winning point for a 21-20 state qualifying victory at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“It’s not the way you want to do it,” said a disappointed Rory Rosenbach, Glacier Peak’s head coach, after the game. “I’d rather get beat by 50 than (lose) like this.”
The defeat ended Glacier Peak’s season with an 8-2 record. The Grizzlies had rolled through their regular-season schedule losing only to Lake City, Idaho, 44-37, back on Sept. 24. Glacier Peak won all but one of its other eight regular-season games by 17 points or more.
Against Mount Si, the Grizzlies put themselves in position to win despite falling into a two-touchdown hole less than 10 minutes into the game.
Head coach Rory Rosenbach rolled the dice twice on fourth down at the Glacier Peak end of the field, trying for 1 yard once and 2 yards the second time, but both times passes were knocked down near the line of scrimmage.
The errant fourth down plays gave Mount Si a short field and the Wildcats cashed in both times, going 35 yards in three plays for their first touchdown and 48 yards on 10 plays for the second.
“Here’s the way I look at it,” Rosenbach said. “If they’re going to score, they’re going to score. I’d rather it not take eight minutes for them to drive 80 yards and score. I’d rather it take four minutes.
“To me,” he added, “getting 20 yards of field position from a punt, what’s the point? I trust my guys. And I’d do it again.”
In addition to the fourth-down failures, the Grizzlies had to overcome four turnovers the rest of the way — three interceptions and a fumble.
But battle back they did. Quarterback Kevin Campbell passed for two touchdowns in regulation and one in overtime, the latter putting the Grizzlies on top for the first time in the game. Campbell would finish the game completing 28 of 47 pass attempts for 333 yards and three TDs, but with three interceptions.
In overtime, though, the low center snap resulted in a desperation scramble by holder Marcus Heard and he was knocked down short of the end zone.
Mount Si, which had been kept in check by the Glacier Peak defense through the final three quarters of regulation, gained 14 yards on a pass on the first play of OT. A running play gained 4 yards, and running back Taylor Mitchell squirted through a hole on an inside counter and went into the end zone standing for the tying TD.
Van Winkle’s extra point was high and true, and the Wildcats spilled onto the field in celebration as the Grizzlies headed for the sideline in grieving disbelief.
“The kids played hard,” Rosenbach said. “I’m so proud of them. They battled back from every adversity put before them. Somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose, but they battled and they fought.”
Glacier Peak reached the state Class 3A quarterfinals a year ago, but lost a bevy of top seniors from that squad. This season, Rosenbach said, “I don’t think anybody thought this group (would excel). I think they thought, ‘Oh, we’ll be OK.’ But don’t underestimate kids and what they can accomplish when they put their mind to something.”
“It was a great season,” Southard said. “We’re a third-year school. Last year we went to the (state quarterfinals) and this year we went undefeated in league and made it to the playoffs. Then we took a team from the KingCo, an incredible league, to overtime. So that’s pretty damn good football.”
Mount Si advances to play the winner of Friday’s Liberty-Kennedy game next week in a first-round playoff game.
At Snohomish Veterans Memorial Stadium
Mount Si 14 0 0 0 7— 21
Glacier Peak 0 7 0 76 — 20
Mount Si—Williams 21 run (Van Winkle kick)
Mount Si—Williams 6 run (Van Winkle kick)
Glacier Peak—Bonner 10 pass from Campbell (Linney kick)
Glacier Peak—Southard 24 pass from Campbell (Linney kick)
Glacier Peak—Southard 12 pass from Campbell (run failed)
Mount Si—Mitchell 7 run (Van Winkle kick)
Records—Mount Si is 6-4. Glacier Peak is 8-2.