All was going well for Wilson on Sept. 14 in Shelton for a little over two quarters. But leading 18-7 early in the third, Rams quarterback Moses Lewis lost a pitch deep in Wilson territory, and the High Climbers would recover and go on to score 21 consecutive points en route to a 35-25 win in the Narrows 3A openers for both teams.
“The fumble dramatically changed our momentum and cost us in the end,” said veteran Rams head coach Don Clegg, who watched his team fall to 2-1 overall.
While the Rams were in high gear offensively for most of the night, two factors kept them on the short end of the scoreboard for most of the second half – running backs Ralph Kinne and Deshon Bell. Kinne rumbled for 359 yards and a touchdown on the night and Bell accounted for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
“Kinne just tore us up all night, he's a tremendous back,” said Clegg.
Shelton struck first when quarterback Jared Welander found Thomas Gettle wide open in the flat and he would coast in from 11 yards out to put the Climbers up 7-0 late in the opening period. Wilson would waste little time in responding when Jake Ferris found the end zone with 51 seconds left in the opening stanza.
The Rams took the lead for the first time when Lewis found Connor Patterson from seven yards out and when Wilson stopped Shelton on downs on the ensuing drive, Lewis hit Ben Matz with a 19-yard touchdown pass to cap to take an 18-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We lost our edge after the last touchdown and it hurt us in a big way,” said Clegg.
Kinne would score from four yards out after Lewis’ fumble in the third quarter to cut the Wilson lead to 18-14, and from there the dam would burst, as Bell scored on two consecutive possessions from 13 and 59 yards out to give Shelton a 29-18 lead heading into the fourth. The Rams would fight back on their second possession of the fourth quarter, with Lewis hitting Matz from 24 yards out to cut the deficit to 29-25.
But Shelton would close out the scoring with a 40-yard Bell touchdown romp with four minutes left to seal the win.
“We just made too many mistakes as a team on the night, and you can't do that against a solid team like Shelton,” said Clegg.
Looking ahead, it doesn't get any easier for Wilson in the tough Narrows 3A.
“We'll need to play real well against a tough Timberline team (on Sept. 21) along with a win the following weekend to have a shot at the playoffs,” said Clegg. “That's the nature of the beast in this very tough league.”