Hoquiam scored with 5 seconds remaining last Friday to deal Columbia High its second consecutive defeat by a 1A Ever-green League team.
The Grizzlies' Payton Quintanilla hooked up with his tight end, Justin Larsen, on a delayed crossing route for a touchdown that broke a 20-20 tie, on the final play of a 35-yard drive. The ensuing run for the 2-point conversion gave Hoquiam (4-0) a hard-earned 28-20 victory over the Bruins, who lost 24-12 at Montesano on Sept. 14.
Columbia (2-2) led 7-0 after one quarter and 13-7 at halftime. The score stood at 20-20 after three quarters.
“It was an exciting, tough game that we were just a few seconds away in from getting an OT opportunity,” said Bruins Coach Dan Smith. “I feel like we have played very well against two really good teams in the last couple of weeks. This should give us good momentum going into league play.”
The Bruins established momentum in the first half against the Grizzlies, who traveled more than 4 hours from the coast for the game.
Trenton Howard found the end zone first on a 3-yard run with 7:31 left in the first quarter. Cesar Isordia kicked the point-after to make it 7-0.
Columbia put together another productive drive in the second quarter, which culminated at 9:17 with Austin Charters’ 4-yard run for a touchdown. A missed PAT left CHS ahead, 13-0.
Hoquiam got one score back when Quintanilla fell into the end zone from the 1-yard line, then booted the PAT to pull his team within 13-7.
At the end of the first half, the visitors dropped a would-be TD pass in the end zone.
The Grizzlies made amends early in the third quarter when Quintanilla connected with Jonah Doll on a 72-yard scoring strike. Quintanilla’s second PAT gave his team a 20-13 lead.
“We had a broken coverage and numerous missed tackles on their third touchdown,” Smith noted.
CHS countered with its own scoring drive, which quarterback Austin Charters capped with a 4-yard run. Isordia’s PAT made it 20-20.
Late in the fourth quarter, Hoquiam pin-ned Columbia deep in its own territory. The Bruins contributed to their own poor field position on the key possession.
Said Smith, “Inopportune penalties for us, most of which occurred on broken plays, really backed us up after getting a drive going.”
Unable to move the ball, the Bruins elected to punt from their end zone. The Grizzlies’ Rayyon Dayton returned a good punt by Isordia to the CHS 35, where Hoquiam took over with about 2 minutes remaining.
After a third-down conversion took the ball to the CHS 12, Quintanilla found Larsen crossing underneath as a trailer and delivered the ball in stride.
“We knew going into the game that getting pressure on their quarterback and containing him would be a big key,” Smith said. Unfortunately for CHS, “he was able to keep the chains moving a few times and extend drives.”
Coming up: The Bruins travel to Castle Rock tomorrow night to play their Trico League opener. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
The Rockets are 1-3 and coming off a 47-21 loss to Elma. Castle Rock lost its season- opener to Hoquiam, 27-7, on Sept. 7.