Sports

Wildcats stun Glacier Peak to make state football playoffs

Mount Si junior Connor Deutsch pulls down a Glacier Peak pass in front of CJ Hawley to keep the Grizzlies from a late score in regulation play Friday, Nov. 6. The interception helped Mount Si claim a 21-20 overtime road win and proceed to state.  - Photo by Calder Productions
Mount Si junior Connor Deutsch pulls down a Glacier Peak pass in front of CJ Hawley to keep the Grizzlies from a late score in regulation play Friday, Nov. 6. The interception helped Mount Si claim a 21-20 overtime road win and proceed to state.
— image credit: Photo by Calder Productions

The Mount Si Wildcat football team had gone 3-0 and outscored opponents 99-15 in their qualifying run for the state playoffs, but last Friday’s game was shaping up to be different.

Their play-in opponent, the Glacier Peak Grizzlies, was the toughest opponent yet for Mount Si in this particular playoff round.

When all was said and done, though, the Wildcats had kept their perfect play-in record intact, taking one of the greatest wins of the Charlie Kinnune coaching era.

Wildcat Taylor Mitchell ran the ball six yards for a touchdown in overtime and Cameron Van Winkle kicked the extra point to give the Mount Si Wildcats a thrilling 21-20 victory over the ranked Grizzlies in Snohomish. The win earns the Wildcats the number-one seed from the Northwest District and a home game next week against their Kingco rival Liberty Patriots, who beat Kennedy 41-6 to make it into the state playoffs.

Mount Si opened the scoring in the first quarter with a pair of Shelby Williams touchdowns. The runs, from 21 and six yards out, both came at the end of drives which started in Glacier Peak territory after the Wildcat defense stood tall and forced the Grizzlies offense to turn the ball over on downs.

Mount Si went to half leading the game 14-7 after Glacier Peak scored a touchdown on a pass completion by star quarterback Kevin Campbell. Campbell threw for over 300 yards in the game, but the Wildcat defense didn’t flinch, intercepting him three times in the second half.

Glacier Peak scored a touchdown late in the fourth to tie the game, and after stopping Mount Si’s offense on the ensuing drive, got the ball back. It looked as if they were well on their way to handing the Wildcats a heartbreaking loss that would have rivaled the 2008 first-round playoff loss to Eastside Catholic. But junior Connor Deutsch, more known for his offensive success this fall, stepped up and made the biggest defensive play by the Mount Si defense since ex-Wildcat Alex Hiebert’s “pick-six” interception return for a touchdown which sealed Mount Si’s first-ever state football playoff win in 2006, intercepting a Campbell pass and that gave the Wildcats a chance to get the game to overtime, which they did.

The Grizzlies opened with the ball and scored a touchdown of their own in the overtime session but problems with the snap cost them their extra point, giving Mount Si an opening, which they took full advantage of.

First was a 15-yard pass completion by senior quarterback Ian Ilgenfritz, then Williams ran the ball for three yards, then Mitchell’s run for the Wildcat score.

After Glacier Peak called time-out, ostensibly to freeze and put more pressure on Van Winkle, the sophomore delivered the biggest kick of his young career to send the Wildcats into the state playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years.

Mount Si has now outscored opponents in play-in games 120-35 during these four play-in victories.

The Wildcats host the Patriots 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at Mount Si stadium.

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