On the Sidelines

Panthers go down fighting

Those Panthers sure are fighters.

Washougal gave Columbia River, the 3A GSHL champion, an eye opener to what life is like down in the 2A classification Friday, at Columbia River High School.

The Panthers jumped out to a 14-3 advantage in the second quarter, before two turnovers into touchdowns helped the Chieftains win 35-21.

Marcos Martinez and Jake Klackner scored touchdowns for the Panthers in the first and second quarters. Washougal stuffed Columbia River in front of the goal line on its first try, and held the Chieftains to a field goal on the next one.

The Panthers continued to make tackles, but couldn’t stop River on those critical third downs. This allowed the Chieftains to pick up some steam and score touchdowns before halftime and the end of the third quarter to take a six-point lead.

The biggest turnaround for Columbia River came in the first half of the fourth quarter, when a defensive back picked up a live ball off a backwards lateral that hit the ground and returned it for an 80-yard touchdown. Washougal countered right away, with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Stevens to Luke Langland to rally back within seven.

Washougal regained possession with two minutes left in the game. Columbia River intercepted the ball and then scored a touchdown. Another interception helped the Chiefs secure the victory.

The Panthers continue to scratch and claw for that first win of the season. After two tough road games, Washougal returns home to host Mark Morris, Sept. 23, and Ridgefield, Sept. 30. Both games begin at 7 p.m., at Fishback Stadium.

Read more in Thursday’s print edition of the Post-Record.

See you on the sidelines.