With the constant rain beating down upon historic Stadium Bowl, the Lincoln fans were screaming for a punt.
Some were absolutely beside themselves.
Facing fourth and 15 from the Wilson 45-yard line, the Lincoln Abes inexplicably, rolled the dice, with possibly an undefeated season and 3A Narrows crown on the line.
Up 6-3 with 1:44 remaining in the game, the Abes could have punted the ball. They could have turned it over to the defense. Both defenses had been fantastic and smothering all night.
Instead, it was time for a Jordan Kitna deep ball down the right sideline to a double-covered Jayson Williams. The senior wide receiver went up and over both Ram defenders and came down with the ball at the one yard line.
The Lincoln crowd went nuts in a sort-of "we can't believe you put us through this" kind of way. If it hadn't been so soaking wet out, it might have been hair-raising.
Senior running back Marcus Johnson punched it up the middle on the next play to seal the 12-6 victory. The water-logged crowd on both sides of Stadium Bowl couldn't believe what had just transpired in the final 3:43 of this bruiser of a football game.
Down by just three points, Wilson took over on their own 26-yard line with a chance to tie or win the game with 3:43 left on the clock. Senior Ram quarterback Julius Yates-Brown went for the big one on the first play launching a deep ball toward the right-center of the field.
Lincoln had the solid coverage and Abes sophomore Joey Sinclair nabbed his second interception of the night at the Lincoln 45-yard line.
On the next play, freshman running back Tristian Kwon took a hand-off from Kitna and busted it outside for a 15-yard run. It looked like Lincoln might finally have the game under its own control.
With 3:00 remaining in the game, and first and ten from the Wilson 40 yard line, Lincoln decided to pass instead of keeping it on the ground and running out the clock. Two Kitna incompletions on first and second down were followed by a five yard penalty. On third and 15, Kitna hit Williams on a dump pass and the Ram defense swarmed over him at the line of scrimmage.
Instead of punting, the Abes went for it all, and cashed in with the 12-6 win in a game they could have easily lost, during the drenched, injury-filled night at Stadium Bowl.
In the first quarter, Wilson drove to the Lincoln nine-yard line and faced first and goal. The Abes defense would not let them pass the four-yard line and Rams sophomore kicker Alek Greenleaf knocked through a 21-yard field goal for a Wilson 3-0 lead with 6:52 left in the quarter.
Lincoln answered with 47.2 seconds left in the first quarter facing third and goal from the nine-yard line. Kitna scrambled left and hit junior receiver Tony Archie flashing toward the end zone sideline. Archie got one toe down and following an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Abes led 6-3.
Twice, the Rams were turned away from the scoreboard in the second and third quarter. In the second quarter Greenleaf came up short on a 45-yard field goal attempt. Facing fourth and goal from the Lincoln two yard line, Wilson went for the tie and brought out Greenleaf. The kicker's 17-yard attempt was blocked and the 6-3 lead was preserved.
The undefeated, fifth-ranked Lincoln Abes (6-0, 8-0) secured at least a share of the 3A Narrows title, but more importantly earned the #1 seed from the Narrows. The Abes will host a team from the Metro League. Possibly Bishop Blanchett or Rainier Beach on Nov. 7 or 8.
The Wilson Rams (4-2, 6-2) have secured the fourth-seed into the playoffs, and can win the third-seed with a victory over Central Kitsap on Thursday night. At the moment, a win could mean a road game against Garfield, a Loss and the 4th seed may equal a road trip to Roosevelt, or O'Dea... Nov. 7 or 8.
TACOMA AREA SCORES FOR FRIDAY, OCT. 24
4A NARROWS LEAGUE
OLYMPIA - 21, BELLARMINE - 14
SOUTH KITSAP - 20, STADIUM - 0
3A NARROWS LEAGUE
LINCOLN - 12, WILSON - 3
CENTRAL KITSAP - 27, FOSS - 0
SHELTON - 34, MT. TAHOMA - 7
3A SOUTH PUGET SOUND LEAGUE
ENUMCLAW - 14, LAKES - 7
2A SOUTH PUGET SOUND LEAGUE
FRANKLIN PIERCE - 47, CLOVER PARK - 6
RIVER RIDGE - 38, FIFE - 21
ORTING - 36, WASHINGTON - 27
STEILACOOM - 42, WHITE RIVER - 20
1A NISQUALLY LEAGUE
CHARLES WRIGHT - 32, BELLEVUE CHRISTIAN - 7
2B PACIFIC LEAGUE
NORTH BEACH - 38, LIFE CHRISTIAN - 6