Coach Jason Silbaugh grabbed his chest. His heart had skipped plenty of times Friday night on the Bonney Lake High School football sideline.
The stress was killing him, he joked to his players.
“I told my guys I might have to get new doctors, because the current ones weren’t going to let me coach anymore because of what you are doing to me.” Silbaugh said.
Just relax, coach — the Panthers had this one covered in the end.
Trailing much of the game, Bonney Lake scored the game-winning score on Jason Day’s touchdown run with just over six minutes to go, lifting the Panthers to a 19-18 victory over host Mount Tahoma in both schools’ 3A PCL opener in Tacoma.
Day’s 26-yard scamper right up the gut capped a 70-yard drive in 85 seconds at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
And on the Thunderbirds’ final drive, Braydon Tressler and Roman Carey knocked away passes for the Panthers — with Carey’s deflection sealing up a victory.
Last week, Bonney Lake scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final seconds to trip up Timberline, 36-33.
“It was a rough one,” Silbaugh said. “But I believe in them so much.”
What is becoming clear is that this isn’t the same downtrodden Mount Tahoma squad of recent years.
Maleke Pate’s interception return for a touchdown with 43 seconds remaining before halftime gave the Thunderbirds an 18-9 lead.
“They had two scores on turnovers. They stopped us a couple times in the red zone,” Silbaugh said. “You could see they believed they could win this game.”
Tate Hamlett’s 34-yard field goal for the Panthers cut it to 18-12 with 8:21 remaining.
Gabe Faborito led the Panthers with 167 rushing yards on 28 carries. Day chipped in with another 60 yards.
Mount Tahoma was held to 70 total yards.
At No. 3 Graham-Kapowsin 52, Emerald Ridge 6: Dylan Morris threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter, including one with four seconds to go in the first half as the Eagles rolled at Art Crate Stadium in Spanaway.
Morris, a sophomore, hit Tre Mason on a 22-yard scoring strike to give the Eagles a 32-6 halftime advantage.
At No. 5 Sumner 42, Curtis 0: Another huge day for University of Washington commit Connor Wedington (273 rushing yards, five touchdowns) meant another big victory for the Spartans, this time at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Wedington had scoring runs of 41, 77 and 66 yards in the first half.
Auburn Riverside 52, at Jefferson 27: Running backs O’Darious Shaw and Sam Braboy had three rushing touchdowns apiece as the Ravens rolled up 427 yards on the ground in a victory at Federal Way’s Memorial Stadium.
Ravens quarterback Tiano Malietufa rushed for a game-high 173 yards on 16 carries. Shaw added 156 yards on 21 carries.
At Stadium 54, Spanaway Lake 20: Jamon Chambers barreled for four touchdown runs, including a 43-yarder on the opening series as the Tigers won easily at Stadium Bowl.
Hunter Wendling threw for three scores and ran for another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
At Franklin Pierce 50, Lindbergh 14: Willie Patterson has had some big-time performances in his three-plus seasons as the starting quarterback for the Cardinals.
But nothing came close to the effort he gave Friday night as the Cardinals ran by the Eagles in an 2A SPSL Mountain showdown in Parkland.
Patterson threw for 332 yards and ran for another 281 to amass 613 yards of total offense.
His second touchdown strike to Mason Starling, this time a 7-yarder with 40 seconds remaining in the first half, gave Franklin Pierce a 33-14 lead.
No. 4 River Ridge 46, at Orting 21: Trey Dorfner tallied three of his five rushing touchdowns in the third quarter as the Hawks finally pulled away at Orting Stadium for a 2A SPSL South victory.
Dorfner broke loose for a 55-yard touchdown scamper that gave River Ridge a 33-7 lead in the third quarter. He finished with 177 yards on 19 carries.
Quarterback Kelle Sanders, a Washington State University commit, threw for 174 yards and ran for another 57 for the Hawks.