FALLS CITY — With a game punctuated by a triple overtime battle, the Falls City High School Mountaineers football team opened up conference play on Friday night by winning 44-38 against the Waldport Irish.
“You didn’t have to make it that dramatic to win a game,” joked head coach Laric Cook to the team afterward.
Things started off in the Mountaineers’ (1-2 overall, 1-0 Special District 1 North) favor; junior Cody Potts scored a touchdown with 10:48 left on the clock, only to have the Irish (2-1 overall, 0-1 SD1N) nab two of its own before the end of the first quarter.
At halftime, the Irish were up 22-8, and stayed on top while the Mountaineers trailed behind.
“We didn’t tackle well at points in the first half, and gave them a lead,” Cook said.
With eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter, senior Noah Luker managed to break away from the Irish defense for another touchdown, knotting the teams 22-22.
It was a game marked by growth, said Cook.
“I think our kids grew up in the second half. We got to overtime, our kids have never played in overtime before — but our kids persevered, they stuck with it and I’m proud of them,” he said. “We really grew up. We have a lot of getting better to do, we have to get better at every aspect, but we’ll take this and we’ll be dog-gone happy about it and move on to next week.”
Luker rushed for 87 yards in 18 attempts and scored one touchdown. Junior Jacob Labrado rushed for 49 yards in 18 attempts and added one touchdown. Junior Bobby McEwan tallied 46 yards on nine rushes and recorded two touchdowns. Potts scored a touchdown, and clinched 86 yards for nine rushes.
In overtime, the Irish nabbed a touchdown to put them ahead 30-22. The mountaineers responded with a touchdown by Labrado; he plowed through the Irish defense to lock down a 30-30 tie and another chance to win.
Now in double overtime, a touchdown from Falls City sent the crowd on the sideline cheering — followed with a groan as the Irish secured another touchdown.
Triple overtime saw an interception from the Mountaineers on an Irish pass that set the Mountaineers up for first and 10.
Junior Bobby McEwan recorded the game-winning touchdown, met with cheers and shouts from fans as they swarmed into the field to congratulate the team.
The hard work is just beginning.
“We have a big game coming up, at Mohawk,” Cook said, a team he used to coach. “It’s important. And we have to beat Siletz Valley (0-3 overall, 0-1 SD1N) and try to get a showdown at Perrydale (4-0 overall, 1-0 SD1N) for a chance at the No. 2 seed.”
The team travels to Mohawk (1-3 overall, 0-1 SP1N) on Friday with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.