By Daily World Staff
ABERDEEN — Peering at the possibility of a second-half collapse and defeat, Montesano picked itself up off the turf to defeat Rochester last Thursday night.
The Bulldogs led 24-7 midway through the third quarter and then shot themselves in the foot with turnovers to give Rochester the opening to take the lead.
On its last significant drive of the game, Montesano shut the door on the Warriors for a potentially season-defining 32-31 victory at Stewart Field in Aberdeen.
Senior running back Jacob Sampair scored four touchdowns and produced the game-winning 2-point conversion run with 4:01 left in the contest. The Bulldogs withstood two final Warrior drives, with one ending on downs and another on a Kylar Prante interception.
The Warriors (3-1, 4-2) walked onto the FieldTurf as the league leaders, undefeated in three league games. The Bulldogs (2-1, 3-3), the reigning state 1A champions, were shaking off a rare road loss to Forks.
“We battled; it is a great win for us,” Montesano head coach Terry Jensen told The Daily World. “I’ve never seen our league this wide open — no one is really dominating it. There isn’t a state-ranked team. We are all battling. We’re all about equal, trying to find out who we are and what we’re all about. Tonight, we found out a lot about ourselves. (Rochester)’s effort was tremendous. They were down 17-0 at one point and to watch those kids battle back, it was impressive. They didn’t quit, didn’t give up. Fortunately for us, they ran out of time at the end.”
On Oct. 18, Montesano will host Homecoming at Stewart Field against Tenino.