The most significant day in Terrace football history to date was last Friday, with a possible encore set for this Saturday as the Hawks host the Central Kitsap H.S. Cougars at 1 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
“We’re not satisfied with just making playoffs,” assistant coach Russ Vincent said following Friday’s 21-12 win over Kamiak.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that it was my senior class who made history by getting to the playoffs for the first time, and being a part of a team that has so much passion and drive is an awesome experience,” senior captain Casey Ellersick said.
This team was set for history having earned the support of Terrace fans by winning five games including impressive wins over Mariner, Edmonds-Woodway, and the colossal upset of Glacier Peak.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hawks caught the first of several breaks. Jhalen Brown blocked Kamiak’s punt attempt and Julian Snow dove on it at the 10 yard line, giving the Hawks a superior field position and setting the stage for a touchdown run by Casey Ellersick. Nate Ryals’ kick gave the team a 7-0 lead with 9:06 to go in the 2nd, then held through halftime, with the Knights’ missing their first field goal attempt just before the half.
However, Kamiak put up a steady fight. The Knights marched down the field and scored a touchdown of their own, but missed the extra point kick with 8:01 to go in the 3rd. After the Hawks failed to keep up a steady offense, the Knights advanced down the field until they were halted inside the 30-yard line by the Terrace defense.
The turning point came as Brown made one of the most exciting plays of the season. The Knight’s attempted 42-yard field goal kick but it was blocked and bounced off one of the linemen. After ricocheting numerous times, the ball landed in Brown’s arms, who ran 74 yards for the touchdown. After Ryals’ kick, the Hawks led 14-6. The crowd erupted and the Terrace sideline began to fill with energy.
The Knights seemed to lose confidence and poise, but did not stop fighting. Kamiak scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but failed the two-point conversion attempt, making the score 14-12 in Terrace’s favor.
After the Hawks failed to score, Kamiak took the ball back in an effort to take the lead, but could not penetrate the strong Terrace defense. Kamiak was unable to get a first down in the four plays they had left. The Terrace offense took the ball at the 27 yard-line and easily trampled the tired and demoralized Knight defense.
Ellersick capped off the drive with a touchdown with 2:09 to go in the game. Ryals added the extra point and the scoreboard showed what would be the final score of 21-12.
Kamiak’s last flicker of hope was blown when Ellersick intercepted a pass with little time left on the clock.
After the game, students packed outside of the locker room door, waiting for the team to emerge.