WILSONVILLE — For the first half, underdog Bend High went face mask to face mask with the No. 2 team in Class 5A.
But after that, the night belonged to Wilsonville.
The Wildcats scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, turning a close game into a runaway that finished with a 41-21 Wilsonville win over the No. 15 Lava Bears in Friday’s first round of the Class 5A football state playoffs.
“We played a pretty dang good first half,” said Bend coach Matt Craven. “Then I think there in the third quarter it got away from us. Their speed took over a little bit.”
Kyle Reed took a fullback draw 73 yards for a touchdown to bring the Lava Bears (5-5) within 14-7 with 3:38 left in the second quarter.
“It’s one of those plays that either goes, or everyone in the stands asks what the heck are you doing,” said Craven of Reed’s TD dash. “He did a good job getting to the second level (of the defense), then he split between two guys … that helped keep us in the game.”
But the Bears did not have the momentum for long. A long return of the ensuing kickoff put the Wildcats (9-1) in good field position, which they converted into a 30-yard Austin Kness field goal just before halftime for a 17-7 lead.
Within the first minute of the second half, Wilsonville struck again — a 51-yard touchdown run by quarterback Nathan Overholt that got the 2016 5A state runner-up on its way.
The Wildcats led 38-7 after three quarters, and it was 41-7 before Bend put up two fourth-quarter touchdowns — by Tysen Scott on a 13-yard pass from Cooper Simmonds, and by Nate Kelly on a 3-yard run in the closing seconds — to make the final score respectable.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Lava Bears.
For Wilsonville, the victory was its ninth in a row, all in blowout fashion. The Wildcats advance to play No. 10 Lebanon in the quarterfinal round next week.
Reed led the Lava Bears in rushing with 97 yards on just three carries; Kelly added 56 yards on six attempts. Also for Bend, Simmonds completed 11 of 17 passes for 74 yards. Lucas Musgrave had four receptions for 22 yards, and Scott, Payton Davis and Marshall Davis had two catches apiece.
“This game was kind of a microcosm of our season as a whole,” Craven reflected. “It was not necessarily one guy or one thing that carried us. … It was definitely a collective effort.”