Details: West Seattle Wildcats’ homecoming win

That video shows the West Seattle High School Wildcats busting through a banner to take the field at the start of the second half of Friday night’s homecoming game against Rainier Beach at Southwest Athletic Complex. WSB co-publisher Patrick has sports-reporting experience in his arsenal and was down at SWAC live-tweeting the big game; now that it’s in the books, he’s written up a full report (including a video interview with WSHS’s coach), which you’ll find just ahead:

By Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publisher

For a good portion of the second half the West Seattle High School Wildcats were caught up in a perfect storm of penalties, bad snaps, and a thick autumn mist that just about washed away their perfect season. It all came down to the last three minutes of the game which made Friday night’s 20- 16 outcome over Rainier Beach something of a come-from-behind victory. After the game, West Seattle High coach Davis Lura talked with WSB about how his team fared against the fast, athletic, and often risk-taking Rainier Beach offense:

Earlier in the week, Coach Lura told WSB that the Vikings matched his team’s speed. And speed was on display for most of Rainier Beach’s first 30 minutes. WSHS running backs found themselves moving east to west as the Viking defense plugged holes as fast as the Wildcats could make them. On the other side of the ball, the Viking offense took to the air early and often. Quarterback Marcus Allen Welles put his entire receiving corps to work for most of the first half. But in that matchup of speed the Wildcat defense was able to make effective use of their secondary coverage which lead to only seven Viking points by halftime.

But it was the more conservative Rainier Beach offense in the second half which ate up the clock and put WSHS behind. An almost pass-free Rainier Beach drive that resulted in a turnover on downs and no points ate up most of the third quarter. A quick exchange shortly thereafter led to a WSHS punt that took a very generous west-side bounce that forced the Viking to work from their own four yard line. Two penalties later, they were working out of their own end zone. The peril was short-lived as the Wildcats racked up three successive penalties that helped move Rainier Beach over 30 yards down the field and set up a 99-yard drive that lead to their second touchdown.

Taking the ball back after that touchdown the Wildcats went into the shotgun, which had worked effectively for them in the first half. But this time, that formation lead to not one but two blown snaps that turned into a safety and put Rainier Beach up 16-13 with only 3:30 to go.

WSHS’s big break came when their kick after the safety bounced off two Rainier Beach players. The loose ball was recovered by the Wildcats, and on their first play from scrimmage, running back T.J. Lee went on a long ramble, breaking multiple tackles. That put the ball all the way to the four, where the team scored on the next play and made the score 20 to 16.

Rainier Beach got the ball back with about two minutes to go. But by the end, the thick mist had been so persistent, it made all the jerseys visibly soaked and the ball almost impossible to catch. Two successive sacks of the Viking quarterback sealed the game with less than a minute to go.

As homecomings go – this one fell into the nail-biter category.

STAR OF THE GAME: The Wildcats’ T.J. Lee, who ran for a touchdown in the first half and whose second half run set up the winning score.

Next Friday night, it’s WSHS vs. Chief Sealth – the Huling Bowl – and once again we’ll be covering it live.

8 Replies to "Details: West Seattle Wildcats' homecoming win"

  • bill kemp October 18, 2008 (8:59 am)

    Great win Coach! Go Wildcats!

  • Debbie Tamura October 18, 2008 (9:12 am)

    what a 4th quarter! nailbiter indeed. I was sitting next to Patrick, he was typing away in the last 3 minutes. Go Westside

  • star55 October 18, 2008 (11:01 am)

    Way to go West Side. Thanks to whoever wrote this up, I am out of town, missed homecoming but able to celebrate!

  • JH October 18, 2008 (5:23 pm)

    This game was the best high school football game I’ve ever seen! It was amazing! Be sure to check their schedule because supposedly the first playoff is Halloween night against Eastside Catholic. At least that’s what I heard at Rocksport last night at the alum party!

  • Brandon October 18, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    I miss the West Seattle INDIANS!

  • JH October 19, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    Me too, Brandon…I wanted to get everyone chanting “Go Indians” at the game but they were all too chicken.

  • WSB October 19, 2008 (12:47 pm)

    Did you guys see the new banner we showed in the pre-game report? With Indians and Wildcats.

  • JH October 20, 2008 (5:03 pm)

    Yes, saw it at the alum pep rally in the gym!

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