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- Written by Don Francis
- Last Updated on June 27, 2012
- Published on October 27, 2006
- Hits: 5001
If the Star Spangled Banner was any indication of the game to follow, you just knew it was one of those evenings that perfectly illustrated why this silly game of football is played. As the two Stealth Fighters, one piloted by Wilsonville graduate Captain Doug Neidermeyer, silently flew over the stadium during the crescendo "Land of the Free" you knew it was going to be a football game you'd remember for a long time.
The lightning that struck directly above the Sherwood locker room at halftime caught everyone off guard. Afterall, it was a clear night that had a nip in the air rather than customary cold drizzle that accompanies most late season Friday Night games. Then for us Sherwood fans, an eerie yell eminated from the bowels of the Bowman lockeroom. Doctor Lawrence Von Frankenstein shrieked "He's Alive! Alive I tell you!" Sherwood created their own monster to send out on the field for the second half.
Headlines will read it was a close fought 17-14 win for Sherwood over 'life partner' and host Wilsonville. Two top ranked teams vying for playoff berths and a conference championship. Yet it was more. It was a game that was a coming out party for the Sommer Family. New transplants from perennial Three Rivers League doormat Milwaukie, Coach Doug Sommer and "Numero Dos" Carl, who Sherwood fans were anxious to see. Doug and Carl were introduced to virgin territory where a game seethed with playoff intensity and Sherwood fans were treated to an opposing coach who seemed as familiar with the Bowmen schemes as the Sherwood staff and a player who indeed put his team on his shoulders in the late stages of the game and passed muster as a legit recruit.
Certainly some Trick or Treats were to be found in this somewhat defensive battle. As the Wildcats ran onto the field, both Sherwood and Wilsonville fans cheered the same team. Why? Between the field lighting and similar style uniforms, it was hard to quickly tell the difference between the two teams. Usually reliable Bowman quarterback Aaron Czyzewski must have felt the Freaky Friday mojo in the first half. He had more yards receiving than passing thanks to nifty opening play and Wilsonville defenders seemed to run better routes as they had more receptions than Sherwoods trio of receivers. The Wildcats were equally as freaked after spending more time inside the Sherwood one yard line than Moses spent wandering the desert and somehow still only coming away with seven points in the first half. Sherwood coaches, players and fans were ecstatic coming into the half trailing 7-3 when it should have been closer to 21-3.
I regress here. There are coaches that proudly display an offensive playbook that can look like a large metropolitan phone book. Thousands of pages that illustrate plays that spin off into an infinity of possibilities. However if you look at some of the most successful teams that ever took the field, most have a playbook that can be scribbled on a small childs hand but run with such success that a defense knows what play is coming but cannot stop it. Sherwood's Derek Kotowski embodied that. I was humming the tune "Monster Mash" for most the second half as "Double Four" ran as I never seen him. He has always been one of Woods most reliable backs who runs with authority but on this night he brought in the ghosts of Pete Pifer, Dave Schilling and Earthquake Bill Enyeart. Old Beaver fullbacks who loved to hurt you when they hit you. While Carl Sommers catch and run was a thing of beauty and highlight reel material, it was the Crimson Monster who carried the Bowman to victory with countless short five and six yard bulldozing runs.
With that win, Sherwood can sit atop the top bracket and watch the carnage unfold in the lower bracket. Wilsonville enters a bracket best described as "The Jungle" as West Albany and Crater join them for the right to advance into Autzen on December 9. Its hard not to root for this rematch which would make it two of three years that Wildcats and Bowmen have met in a state final. Still, theres a lot of football to be played and West Albany can rightfully lay rights to Top Bulldogs.
Side Note* Memo to Riley and Bellotti. Get Andre Broadous on your radar screen. While the Grant QB is a great combo runner-passer that fits the Ducks offense better, more important is this kid's NBL Factor. Natural Born Leaders are hard to find and no team ever has 'too many.' Regardless of where he ends up, he will make that team better for his 'intangibles.' Oh..and the Stealths. That was a trick!
For a more down to earth analysis, check the Tualitin Times story.