Of all the points Sumner scored in a 58-42 win over Monroe in the first round of the 4A state football playoffs at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner on Friday, no points were bigger than the three provided by senior kicker Nick Phillips with 1 minute, 8 seconds to play.
Phillips’ 45-yard field goal gave the No. 3-ranked Spartans a nine-point lead and helped cap a rally that sends Sumner to next week’s quarterfinals, where the Spartans will play Woodinville.
“I always tell him he’s the best kicker we’ve ever had,” Sumner coach Keith Ross said. “That’s what we have him for. He’s our punter and our kicker. We’ve talked about needing him to finish games in the playoffs, and we basically kind of shut the door on them going up by nine.”
Holding a late six-point lead, there was some debate whether the Spartans would go for a first down or put it on the foot of Phillips.
When the decision was made, the senior kicker was ready.
“We got stopped on third down, and on fourth down they were wondering if we should just try to get a first down and run out the clock,” Phillips said. “They said, ‘Hey Nick, can you kick it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’s playoffs, let’s do it.’ ”
The Bearcats led 35-23 early in the second half and 42-38 late in the game, but the Spartans scored the final 20 points to pull off the comeback win.
With star running back Connor Wedington still recovering from an injury, several other skill-position players stepped up for Sumner. Junior wide receiver Tre Weed and senior wide receiver Tyson Rainwater scored three touchdowns apiece to lead the way.
Weed caught two touchdowns and ran in another. Rainwater had two TD catches and returned an interception for a touchdown with two seconds remaining in the game.
“We’ve got our kids who can score, and we get them the ball,” Ross said. “They’re dangerous.”
Ross’ son, starting quarterback Luke Ross, also had a big day, finishing 16 for 25 for 333 passing yards and three touchdowns.
“It’s great as a head coach to sit there and watch your son have these big games,” Ross said. “He had a great game.”
NO. 9 MONROE
NO. 3 SUMNER
S – Nick Phillips 33 FG
M – Isaiah Cole 85 kickoff return (Valentine Gijon kick)
S – Tre Weed 25 pass from Luke Ross (Phillips kick)
M – Cole 54 pass from Zimmerman (Gijon kick)
S – Tyson Rainwater 6 pass from Ross (kick blocked)
S – Weed 8 run (Phillips kick)
M – JJ Jerome 2 run (Gijon kick)
M – JJ Jerome 4 run (Gijon kick)
M – Cole 11 pass from Zimmerman (Gijon kick)
S – Weed 65 pass from Ross (Phillips kick)
S – Rainwater 26 pass from Ross (Skyler Sandretsky pass from Ross)
M – Jerome 3 run (Gijon kick)
S – Connor Wedington 17 run (Phillips kick)
S – Phillips 32 FG
S – Phillips 45 FG
S – Rainwater 49 interception return (Phillips kick)
Rushing – M: J. Jerome 26-130. S: C. Wedington 17-120.
Passing – M: Z. Zimmerman 14-31-2-175. S: L. Ross 16-25-2-333.
Receiving – M: I. Cole 5-96. S: T. Rainwater 8-192.
Records – Monroe 8-2. Sumner 10-0.