Cascade Christian’s Nathan Roosendaal never felt so helpless.
Last week, he was out of uniform for the Cougars’ season opener at Cashmere – a stunning 39-0 loss in Eastern Washington – with a concussion. All he could do was watch.
And hope to get back to the action Saturday night.
Boy, did the seventh-ranked Cougars miss him. The junior receiver tallied three touchdowns, including the game-winner on an 8-yard run with 41/2 minutes to go, and Cascade Christian upended No. 2 Montesano, 28-25, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
These two Class 1A powerhouses have met four times in the past five seasons – all Cascade Christian wins. The last three victories have been by a combined five points.
And it was that kind of game again Saturday as the lead changed hands five times.
Montesano’s last score was set up by a defensive pass-interference penalty on third-and-18 – on a 4-yard pass route near the left sideline. On the next play, tailback Elliot Mendenhall scampered 20 yards up the middle for a touchdown, and the Bulldogs led 25-21 with 8:02 remaining.
But the Cougars stuck with what was working, and that was the ground game. They covered 79 yards on eight consecutive run plays, led by Roosendaal.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder converted a pair of third downs on big runs, and then finished off the drive on a pitch-out play, carrying three Montesano defenders with him for the final score.
“I felt a lot of weight (of Montesano players) on me,” Roosendaal said.
The Bulldogs drove as far as the Cougars’ 22-yard line in the final half-minute, but quarterback Matthew Jensen threw three consecutive incompletions trying to connect with Ben Ohashi. The last pass was deflected by Cascade Christian’s Jackie Wood.