Mount Si football team survives epic battle full of controversy to advance in state playoffs thanks to dramatic comeback

Last night was a night many local football fans in the Valley will remember for a long time. A game that was full of heated emotions, a game that was full of tremendous plays from both teams, and a game that proved to be epic.

Mount Si High School’s football team hosted Mount Vernon in the first round of the WIAA state high school football playoffs, and the Wildcats were looking to start on the road to a state title. Mount Vernon, in turn, was looking to do the same, and in doing so, dash those Mount Si hopes. And it appeared like that was going to happen. But after everything that had happened prior to the last 5:13 of the game, this Wildcat senior class wasn’t going to allow this dream to die for themselves, their school or their community, and they delivered their own version of Texas justice on a bunch of fellas from the Skagit Valley intent on leaving their mark on this Snoqualmie Valley.

Cale Millen tossed a 15-yard strike to Jonny Barrett with a minute left, completing a comeback from down two touchdowns to help lift Mount Si to a wild 39-38 win that was not without controversy and fears of potential trouble postgame.

The game started out well enough, 47 seconds in in fact, with the first hookup between the senior QB and receiver duo for six, a big play score from around 50 yards out that sent the message early to the Bulldogs that the Wildcats meant business. But Mount Vernon came right back, and did so with the help of their star senior running back.

Seth Tercero proved to be a beast all night as expected, and he scored the first touchdown of the game for the Bulldogs to tie things late in the frame. Mount Vernon then took the lead for the first time on a touchdown hookup from their QB, Reilly Olmsted, to receiver Carlos Garcia, in the second quarter. Later in that frame, Millen and Barrett hooked up again for six to tie things back up at 14 apiece.

Reed Paradissis then kicked a field goal to put Mount Si up 17-14, but the senior kicker became part of what turned out to be the controversial flashpoint of the game at halftime. First, though, Olmsted hooked up with Garcia one more time for a TD to give Mount Vernon the lead headed to halftime.

On the ensuing possession, the Wildcats made it down into Paradissis range and after a false start call, he hit a field goal and the teams were going to go into halftime with a 21-20 MV lead. But officials stopped the play and after a lengthy discussion which ended up involving both coaching staffs and administrators on site from both schools, including Mount Si athletic director Darren Brown, officials ordered a re-try of the kick on the grounds they had improperly signaled the previous attempt.

This came after both teams had gone to the locker room, so both teams came back out for the untimed play. This time, though, Mount Vernon blocked the kick and that sent their bench and coaching staff into intense celebration. Some of that from the Bulldog coaches appeared to be directed toward an already furious Mount Si sideline, furious from the officials’ ordering the re-try, and that caused a number of Wildcat folks to get even angrier. At least one assistant coach had to be restrained and several other Mount Si coaches showed tremendous displeasure with the chain of events.

Following that, there was reportedly some kind of altercation involving representatives from both teams which took place near the stadium entrance that only made matters worse and ultimately caused the school to ask for extra police to provide security to the game.

So with that as a backdrop for the rest of the game, the second half started, and Mount Vernon opened the scoring with a field goal of their own from kicker Alastar Stewart. Mount Si responded just before the end of the quarter with another Millen-Botten TD connection and that tied the game at 24-24, helping to perhaps calm the waters a bit. But then, things heated up again with a pair of Bulldog scores, TD connections both, from Olmsted to Garcia and receiver Landon Edwards. So with that 5:13 left and the score being 38-24 and Mount Vernon well on their way to taking this one and perhaps having to fight a mob of angry Mount Si people all the way out of town, that’s when Millen and crew took matters, and their brand of football law, into their own hands.

The first salvo was fired with around three minutes left, a Millen short hookup to Barrett for paydirt that came with it a two-point conversion which proved huge in the end. Then after Mount Si’s defense did their job and stopped the Bulldogs ensuing drive, the Wildcats returned to the field for salvo two. And it almost didn’t occur. It got down to fourth down and eight at the Mount Vernon 15 with a minute left. One play to decide whether justice would be served or whether the Bulldogs would escape and cause half this Snoqualmie Valley to never ever want to go see tulips ever again in the Skagit Valley.

Millen tossed the ball to the end zone, and in the far corner was Barrett and he made a big catch and brought it in for six. Paradissis kicked the extra point, and Mount Si was up. But the defense again needed to make a stand. They did just that and sealed the thing shut. The Wildcats survived, albeit beaten up and shaken a bit, but they survived and celebrated with their many supportive fans, while also providing consolation to the many Mount Vernon players and fans who were understandably devastated that their upstart bid to throw a monkey wrench into the state playoffs fell just short.

So with that all said, it’s onto next week and another home game. Eastmont from East Wenatchee or Puyallup will be the potential opponent. More on that in the coming days here.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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