Despite a valiant turnaround in the second half, a sluggish start helped doom Charles Wright in a 31-21 season-ending loss to Montesano in the first round of the 1A state playoffs tonight.
The Tarriers drove well into Bulldog territory on their first two drives, but were turned away on fourth down. Montesano, meanwhile, took a 7-0 lead on a three-yard run by Tucker Ibabao on their first drive, and made it 10-0 on a 34-yard field goal by Anthony Louthan on their second drive. After Charles Wright fumbled the resulting kickoff, Ibabao made it 17-0 on a nine-yard scamper with over nine minutes left in the second quarter.
The Tarriers finally dented the scoreboard on a 10-play, 61-yard drive that included a 35-yard scamper by Colin Reynolds and was capped by a one-yard scoring plunge from Raheem Hughey with 57 seconds left in the first half. But the quick-working Bulldog offense drove 62 yards in less than 40 seconds, and Ibabao scored his third touchdown of the half from 17 yards out. Another four-play drive to start the second half – covering 49 yards and capped by another 17-yard score from Ibabao – gave Montesano a commanding 31-7 lead early in the second half. Ibabao finished with 16 carries for 101 yards and the four scores.
But the Tarriers began to chip away, launching a 12-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Fritz Jacobson to Collin Hungate to cut it to 31-13. Hughey added his second touchdown from two yards out in the fourth to cut it to 31-21, and the Tarriers quickly got the ball back on a turnover on downs. But after driving to the Bulldogs’ 43-yard line, they were unable to convert on fourth down, and Montesano was able to run out the clock.
Reynolds led the Tarriers with 17 carries for 88 yards, while Hughey added 13 carries for 53 yards and the two scores. Charles Wright finished the season 8-1, having won its first league title since 1989.