West Albany scores big in 5A finale
HILLSBORO - After diving across the goal line for the tying score in the Class 5A final Saturday night, West Albany senior Jake LaCoste decided not to watch the extra point attempt - the kick that would propel him and fellow seniors into school lore.
"I didn't want to look," he said afterward, "so I just listened."
Senior Matt Wiest sent the kick through the uprights and the second-seeded Bulldogs beat top seed and defending champion Sherwood, 21-20, on a glorious fall evening.
LaCoste ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, and the team defense held Sherwood to its season-low in points on the way to the school's third title in seven years. For the seniors, though, it brought the program back to where it was prior to 2010, when the Bulldogs missed the state playoffs entirely.
Sherwood, which beat West Albany 48-0 in Week 2, lost in the final for the second time in three seasons - having lost to Mountain View of Bend 14-13 in 2011. The previous year, the Bowmen beat Marist 26-23 in overtime in the final. Sherwood beat Marist 46-20 in the final last season.
Both West Albany and Sherood finished 12-1, with the loss to the other school. Both programs will move to Class 6A next year.
Sherwood senior Keegan Lawrence ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns, and also caught a touchdown pass. But he lost a fumble inside the Bulldogs' 10 in the closing moments of the game, which then went to overtime tied at 14-all.
Sherwood scored first in overtime on a 15-yard run by Lawrence, but the extra-point attempt didn't get across the offensive line, which allowed West Albany to jump at the opportunity to end the game with a touchdown and extra point.