Rob Oxford: What A Kick!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The first Graduating Class of Shorecrest High School 1964
were in the stands to support their team

Text and photos by Rob Oxford

Friday Night the stage was set for what was certain to be an exciting football game for the Shorecrest Highlanders. Looking to rebound from a devastating shutout by their crosstown rivals in last week's Rotary Cup, Homecoming 2018 was upon them and the undefeated (in league play) Snohomish Panthers were on the prowl at Shoreline Stadium.

In attendance and recognized during the game by Stadium Announcer Wyatt Tonkin, sitting together as I'm sure they did those many years ago, the Shorecrest High School Charter Class of 1964.

Facing one of their toughest opponents, the Scots remained optimistic about their chances of bouncing back. Their defense had been altered slightly to account for the Panthers all but non-existent passing attack and instead focused on the tough running of Snohomish RB Tyler Massena.

QB Eladio Fountain looks to connect with a receiver downfield

At times throughout the first half the offensive line seemed to be providing its QB with ample opportunity to deliver the ball, but #19 Eladio Fountain seemed to be just a bit off. Some passes were overthrown while other missed opportunities seemed to be the result of miscommunication or possibly the wrong routes being run by his receivers. The second half would prove to be his redemption as he completed 19-of-35 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown.

Silencing the home team early and leading Shorecrest 21-0 with 1:59 to play in the first quarter, it seemed that the Scots would be forced to regroup at halftime. Fortunately for them, stout defense and a failed fake punt by the Panthers led to a 1 yard plunge by Fountain into the end zone and the Scots were finally on the board.

During the very next defensive series, with nothing but open space in front of him, a sure "Pick 6" was dropped by #8 Gavin MacFarlane. An opportunity to put the Scots 6 points closer was missed, but nonetheless, a glimmer of optimism began to encompass the Green and Gold.

As the world-famous Highlander Marching Band played and the Homecoming Court was being introduced, in the locker room this reporter was curious as to what was being said.

What words of wisdom was Coach Christensen sharing with his warriors that would motivate them to mount a comeback? What would make this game different than the last? Most importantly, how would the Highlanders emerge and how would they answer the call?

The Scots received the ball in the second half and quickly engineered two lengthy scoring drives to take the lead in the third quarter. RB Cyris Filteo, who averaged 2.5 yards a carry, was starting to see some daylight, but it was defensive starter Marcus Selzler in at fullback who added the Scot's 2nd touchdown of the game - another 1 yard dive across the goal line that took several would-be tacklers along for a ride.

WR Antonio Stillwell would haul in a 42 yard pass from Fountain and surefooted sophomore kicker Gavin Dalziel would put the Scots up 24 - 21 when he connected on a 22-yard field goal. At that point the momentum had definitely shifted in favor of the Scots and the home crowd erupted with excitement. 

Sophomore kicker Gavin Dalziel sends the game into OT

Snohomish RB Tyler Massena, who left early in the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury, emerged in the 4th quarter and led a nine-play, 64-yard scoring drive with six carries that put Snohomish back in front 27-24 with :49 secs. to play.

After 2 back-to-back timeouts by the visitors, meant to "ice" the Sophomore Kicker, Dalziel sent the game into overtime with a clutch 40-yard field goal at the end of regulation.

Eventually Snohomish relied on what could be considered their only offensive weapon of the night to dot the "i" in win when Massena scored his fifth rushing touchdown giving Snohomish a thrilling 33-27 WesCo 3A South victory.

Call it intestinal fortitude, call it bravery, call it courage. Whatever you want to call it, the Shorecrest Scots played one of their best games in a very long time. Down at the half they mounted a comeback like none seen in quite some time. A game that came down to the wire and really could have gone either way.

Be proud Highlanders. Be Highlander Proud!


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