SULTAN — Former Sultan football head coach Ed Alsman, who guided the 1972 football team to an unbeaten record, had a message for the Turks football team before Friday night’s game.
“He came into the locker room and said ‘Every Saturday morning you’d look in paper and there was always an upset,’ ” said Sultan athletic director Scott Sifferman. “Then he added, ‘Why can’t it be us.’ “
Then this incarnation of Sultan football went out and made Alsman look like a soothsayer.
Sultan scored twice in the final 1:30 of the game — the game-winner with 5 seconds remaining – for a 19-14 win against Cedarcrest in a Cascade Conference game.
Sultan’s comeback started late in the fourth quarter when Antonio Rivas threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Deon Bonilla. Cedarcrest kept its 14-12 lead after a failed run by Jay Leverett on the two-point conversion.
On the ensuing kickoff Sultan’s Adrian Cayetano kicked an onside kick that was recovered by Rivas.
Cayetano had missed a shot wide-left against North Mason in the season-opener, a potential game-winner with 6 seconds left in the game.
This kick was almost perfect.
“He has a heck of a leg, he made the ball bounce at least 11 to 12 feet in the air, and Antonio (Rivas) came down with it,” said Sultan head coach Ben Murphy.
Sultan recovered the ball at its own 45 before scoring the game-winner on a third down.
“I told him go to the end zone, and if its not there, throw it out of bounds,” said Murphy of his conversation with Rivas before the play.
The junior quarterback completed a 22-yard pass to Steven Branham, completing the Turks’ improbable comeback.
This game was about more than just big plays, though.
“For us to come back, there are so many different plays. We responded in that last minute and a half,” Murphy said.
“It was really cool to see a lot of those guys and coach Alsman … We talked about how special high school football is.
“What a great group of guys, it’s really great to get those guys back to our program and show our kids, ‘This is what we can do.’”
At Sultan H.S.
S—Bryce MacDicken 47 run (kick failed)
C— Isaiah Ryder 6 pass from Adam Davenport (Brandon Mowry kick)
C— Ryder 8 pass from Davenport (Mowry kick)
S— Deon Bonilla 40 pass from Rivas (run failed)
S— Steven Branham 22 pass from Rivas (Adrian Cayetano)
Records—Cedarcrest 1-2 overall. Sultan 1-2.