Cascade Christian’s Nathan Roosendaal never felt so helpless.
Last week, he was out of uniform for the Cougars’ season opener at Cashmere – a stunning 39-0 loss in Central Washington – with a concussion. All he could do was watch.
And hope to get back into the fray Saturday night.
Boy, did the seventh-ranked Cougars miss him. The junior H-back tallied three touchdowns, including the game winner on an 8-yard run with 41/2 minutes to go, and Cascade Christian upended No. 2 Montesano, 28-25, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
The two Class 1A powerhouses have met four times in the past five seasons – all Cascade Christian wins. The last three victories have been by a combined five points.
And it was that kind of game again Saturday as the lead changed hands five times.
Montesano’s last score was set up by a defensive pass-interference penalty on third-and-18 on a 4-yard pass route near the left sideline. On the next play, tailback Elliot Mendenhall scampered 20 yards up the middle for a touchdown, and the Bulldogs led 25-21 with 8:02 remaining.
But the Cougars stuck with what was working, and that was the ground game. They covered 79 yards on eight consecutive run plays, led by Roosendaal.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder converted a pair of third downs on big runs, and then finished off the drive on a pitch-out play, carrying three Montesano defenders with him for the final score.
“I felt a lot of weight (of Montesano players) on me,” Roosendaal said.
The Bulldogs drove as far as the Cougars’ 22-yard line in the final half-minute, but quarterback Matthew Jensen threw three consecutive incompletions trying to connect with Ben Ohashi. The last pass was deflected by Cascade Christian’s Jackie Wood.
In the postgame huddle, Roosendaal was greeted with an ovation from teammates. Offensive coordinator Brian Flattum yelled, “Welcome back!”
“You could tell we needed him,” Cascade Christian coach Randy Davis email@example.com 253-597-8442 blog.thenewstribune.com/preps @ManyHatsMilles