The Tigers now rule Tacoma.
Hunter Wendling threw for three touchdowns and rushed for a score to lead Stadium in an upset win over Lincoln at Stadium Bowl on Friday night.
“It’s huge,” Tigers head coach Thomas Ford said of the win. “We knew that Lincoln is one of the best teams in the state and it was going to take a great effort by our guys. They bought in and we got the reward we were looking for, and now we’re city champs.”
Stadium (5-2, 6-3) is the No. 4 seed and will take on Peninsula in the first round of the 3A district playoffs.
Heading into the contest, the Lincoln Abes (6-1, 7-2) were undefeated in their conference and aiming for their third consecutive league title.
But the Tigers came up big in front of their home crowd on senior night.
Wendling shredded the Abes’ defense with pinpoint passes throughout the night, finding Javon Chambers for two touchdowns and Max Novak for a third score and a two-point conversion.
On the other side of the ball, the Tigers forced turnovers at key times to prevent any last-minute heroics by the Abes. Senior Shane Lincoln and sophomore Xavier Mason led the Tigers defense with five solo tackles each.
With 8:25 left, the Tigers forced a fumble and recovered the ball on the Abes’ 35-yard line. Wendling made a big scramble and then completed a throw to Jaden Crooks to set the Tigers up in the red zone. Wendling finished off the drive with a 1-yard quarterback keeper to put the Tigers up, 28-14, with 6:05 to go.
“We worked every day, every night just to be here,” said Chambers, who rushed for 128 yards. “At the end of the day, we came as a team and regrouped and did what we could.”
It started as a defensive battle as neither team could find the end zone through much of the first half. Lincoln broke through first with 4:26 left in the first half as Joey Sinclair found Cameron Deloney on an 18-yard pass.
But the Tigers came back quickly, scoring two touchdowns in the last few minutes of the first half as Wendling found Chambers twice for touchdowns.
Another key play came with 26 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tigers forced a fumble and recovered in their own end zone to keep the lead 21-14.
Sinclair rushed for Lincoln’s other score on a quarterback keeper with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
No. 3 Sumner 49, at Emerald Ridge 42 (OT): The Jaguars were less than a minute from upsetting the favored Spartans, and clinching a league playoff spot.
Tre Weed and company made sure to not let that happen.
Weed tied the game at 42-42 on a 3-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Spartans won it in overtime at Sparks Stadium.
Sumner scored first in the extra period on Ben Wilson’s 2-yard score. Then on defense the Spartans had two sacks, holding Emerald Ridge out of the end zone to complete an unbeaten regular season.
4A NPSL OLYMPIC
At Auburn Riverside 28, Auburn 0: Tiano Malietufa threw for a pair of touchdowns in the second half, and the Ravens handed the Trojans their first shutout loss since 2012 at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Auburn Riverside clinches the division’s No. 3 seed to the district playoffs. The Trojans are out of playoff consideration.
At Todd Beamer 49, Decatur 12: Javier Molano rumbled for 103 yards and four rushing touchdowns, and Colin McKay chipped in with an 80-yard kickoff return for a score as the Olympic champions won easily at Memorial Stadium.
Lakes 36, at Bethel 8: Melvin Miller rushed for 83 yards and two touchdown, and the Lancers also added a pair of defensive scores in wrapping up the league’s No. 3 seed to the district playoffs at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.
Xavier Banner’s 31-yard interception return with three minutes remaining in the third quarter gave the Lancers a 22-0 lead.
At Mount Tahoma 16, Wilson 0: Braxton Ballard-Swenson’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Stewart-Glowski with nine minutes remaining sealed the Thunderbirds’ shutout victory at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Wilson committed six turnovers and was held to 198 total yards.
At Gig Harbor 28, North Thurston 26: The Tides had two big defensive plays in the final 2:28 to sew up a come-from-behind victory at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
After Kellen Gregory gave Gig Harbor its first lead, 28-24, on a 4-yard touchdown run with 8:42 to go, the Tides had a goal-line stand that turned away a potential go-ahead scoring drive.
The Rams got the ball back on a safety with 26 seconds remaining, but Roman Havens ended the game with an interception.
At Eatonville 21, Washington 13: The Cruisers broke out to a 21-0 lead in the first half behind three Tristan Graf touchdown passes, and they held off the Patriots in a league crossover game at B.W. Lyon Field.
Charles Wright Academy 47, at Vashon Island 13: Henry Lundberg threw for a career-high 226 yards and five touchdowns, all in the second quarter, and the Tarriers won on the road.
Only a Cascade Christian victory over Port Townsend on Saturday would keep the Tarriers’ playoff hopes alive going into the final weekend.
2B PACIFIC MOUNTAIN
Life Christian Academy 19, at Morton-White Pass 18 (2 OT): The Timberwolves went for the victory after Matt Poquette’s 12-yard touchdown catch in the second overtime, but the Eagles knocked away a two-point conversion pass to earn a road win.
LCA took a 19-12 lead on Stephen Woomer’s 1-yard touchdown plunge.