ABERDEEN — Once again, King’s season ended in the 1A state football quarterfinals at the hands of the Montesano Bulldogs. After losing last year, 35-13, the Knights could only muster one touchdown in a 17-7 loss on a rainy Saturday night at Stewart Field.
“Before the game I said the defense is going to win the game tonight,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said. “I just thought that we would put up more points on the board.”
The King’s offense and quarterback Billy Green couldn’t get much going. Green led the team in rushing with 79 yards on 15 carries and one score, but finished 9-for-31 passing with 128 yards and two interceptions. After the game, Shapiro revealed that Green hurt his throwing hand on King’s second offensive play, hitting it on a helmet while running the ball. But Shapiro said he didn’t believe that was the sole cause of the Knights’ offensive struggles.
“(Green) had a hard time gripping the ball, but he was able to play and able to throw,” said Shapiro. “We had no rhythm, either running or passing.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Montesano broke through in the second with quarterback Matthew Jensen’s 3-yard TD run to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
The Knights had an opportunity to answer, but a drive ended on downs on the Montesano 12 yard-line with five seconds left in the first half. It was just the second time all season that King’s was held scoreless in the first half. Shapiro noted that there was a common thread between Montesano and Cascade Christian, the other team that managed to blank the Knights over the first two quarters.
“(Montesano) was running a zone blitz, similar to Hoquiam and Cascade Christian. They were dropping the right guys into the right zones.”
Matthew Louthan opened the fourth quarter with a 32-yard field goal to extend Bulldogs’ lead to 10-0. The Knights responded with their only scoring drive on two plays. Green hit Alex Brouwer on a long pass play and then scored on a 7-yard run to bring King’s to within three.
But Montesano answered the King’s scoring drive with one of its own. Tucker Ibabao broke loose for a 37-yard touchdown run with 9:28 in the fourth quarter that reestablished a two score lead for the Bulldogs.
At Stewart Field
M—Matthew Jensen 3 run (Anthony Louthan kick)
M—Louthan 32 FG
K—Billy Green 7 run (Ryan Fransen kick)
M—Tucker Ibabao 37 run (Louthan kick)
Records—King’s 11-1 overall. Aberdeen 10-2.