HILLSBORO—Summit of Bend defeated Wilsonville, 35-28, Friday night in the 2022 OSAA / OnPoint Community Credit Union 5A Football State Championship held at Hillsboro Stadium in Hillsboro. The Storm, who played 6A for the past five seasons, won the title in their first year back in 5A, seven years after winning their initial championship, also in 5A, back in 2015.
The game, played in cold but dry conditions, was highly entertaining and well played by two teams that were evenly matched. There were big plays aplenty and heroes on either sideline. At the end of the day, Summit executed when it needed to just a little bit better to defeat Wilsonville for the second time this season. Summit won at home, 33-21, in Week 4.
“If the score was reversed and we were up by seven, I wouldn’t be more proud of them than I am right now,” said Wilsonville head coach Adam Guenther, whose Wildcats lost in the championship game for the third time since 2016. These guys came out and from start to finish never gave up.”
“Adam has an amazing team,” said Summit coach Corben Hyatt. “We knew it was going to be a battle trying to beat them a second time. Our kids believed in and believed in themselves. Ultimately we made one more play than they did.”
That play came with 3:09 remaining in the game and Summit up a touchdown, 28-21. The Storm faced a fourth-and-nine from the Wilsonville 35-yard line. Punting and trying to pin Wilsonville deep in its end was the prudent play, but Summit went for it, knowing that anything less than a first down would give Wilsonville the ball with momentum and plenty of time to drive for the tying score.
“I talked to our offensive coordinator and said, ’Do you have something that you really trust?’” Hyatt recounted. “And he goes, ‘Yeah I think I do.’ I said, ‘Well, let’s roll the dice.’ I believe in our kids.”
Hyatt said his players also had a play in mind and it was the very same play.
The play called for a pass, which was unusual because Summit had thrown for very few yards in the second half, as the Summit turned to a power run game behind a veteran offensive line and junior back Sam Stephens. Hogan Carmichael, a three-year starter at quarterback, took a three-step drop and looked for senior wide receiver Ethan Carlson running a straight go-route. The throw hit Carlson in stride behind the defense for the insurance score, his third of the game.
“In the huddle, people were telling me, ‘It’s your time make a play,” said Carmichael. “I liked the matchup with Ethan. He ran a great route and I just delivered him the throw. Simple as that.”
“It was a ballsy play but that’s how you have to win ballgames sometimes,” Hyatt said.
Although Summit is known as the “Storm,” Wilsonville was the team storming to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Wildcats won the toss, deferred, and set the tone on the kickoff return with a bruising Asher Buchanan tackle that dropped Summit’s returner at its own 17-yard line. One play later, Wilsonville made another huge play, as senior linebacker Dylan Nance tracked down a Summit swing pass and stripped the ball. Sophomore Mark Wiepert recovered and, 10 seconds into the contest, Wilsonville was threatening from the Storm 26-yard line. On Wilsonville’s first scrimmage play, a 24-yard reception from Wiepert on a skinny post, expertly thrown by junior QB Kallen Gutridge, set the Wildcats up with first-and-goal at the Summit two.
Two plays later, Wilsonville faced a third-and-two from the four. Gutridge, a southpaw, rolled left and found senior receiver Cooper Hiday open enough to secure a sliding catch for the opening score.
Summit could not answer. The Storm went 3-and-out on their next possession, as Wilsonville’s defense was swarming. The Wildcats took over at their own 42-yard line, got one first down on the ground, and then hit Wiepert on two more seam routes to get within the shadow of Summit’s goalposts once again. Wilsonville needed two cracks from the two with the jumbo package before big back Jacob Ogden broke the plane. The extra point kick was blocked from the middle of the line, but with 5:54 remaining in the first, Wilsonville had a two-score lead.
Carmichael said that Summit was unfazed by the deficit.
“It was no big deal to us,’ he explained. “We just had to go out there and do what we do.”
What Summit did was go 81 yards on nine plays in 3:32 to get on the scoreboard. A key third-down conversion on a slant to Carlson for nine yards kept the Summit drive alive. Two plays later, Carmichael tossed a perfect spiral to senior Charlie Ozolin, who had gotten behind the defense for a pitch and catch that pulled the Storm within six.
Wilsonville’s next possession almost ended before it began, as the Wildcats fumbled the kickoff return. Gavin Waddell emerged with the loose ball to avert a Wilsonville disaster. Once the ball was secured, however, Wilsonville set off to score again. On the first play of the possession, Gutridge lofted a beauty down the right sideline to Wiepert for 37 yards. Wilsonville was in business at the Summit 38-yard line.
That’s where the drive stalled, however, thanks to a stout Summit defensive line, a five-yard penalty, a critical pass drop and Spencer Elliott’s QB sack on third-and-17.
Summit took over after the punt at its own 12-yard-line and moved quickly down the field as the game moved into the second quarter. Ozolin made a fantastic one-armed catch for 19 and followed up with 25-yard catch to get into Wilsonville territory. Stephens, who to this point had not had a run longer than two yards, squirted through a hole in the middle for 25 yards, putting Summit in the red zone at the 17. Wilsonville bowed its neck after that, as three Summit plays produced just eight yards. Facing fourth-and-two from the Wilsonville nine-yard line, Summit went for it all. Carmichael’s pass to Ozolin under tight coverage in the end zone was money, but the side judge ruled that Ozolin failed get a foot down. Instead of a touchdown to tie, the ball was turned over on downs.
Wilsonville, which moved the ball consistently all half, took over inside its 10 and mounted a 10-play drive, mostly using Gutridge’s left arm, to get inside the Summit 40. The highlight was Wiepert’s diving catch for 16 yards on third-and-nine deep in Wilsonville territory. After earning a first-and-10 at the Summit 39-yard-line, the drive fizzled out there, thanks to a penalty and dropped pass;, and Gutridge was able to get only six yards on a fourth-and-10 scramble before Collin Moore put him on the ground.
Taking over at its own 33-yard line, Summit embarked on a 12-play drive to take the lead late in the half. The drive included a remarkable sequence after a holding call put the Storm behind the chains. Facing second-and-24 from Wilsonville’s 44-yard line, Carmichael threw to Ozolin for eight and scrambled for eight more, but it still left eight more yards to get on fourth down. Summit converted when Carmichael found Carlson in the flat for a catch and run of 23 yards down to the five-yard line. Summit scored one play later on a pass to the pylon, but it was negated by offensive pass interference. On the next play, Carmichael lofted a nice pass down the sideline to Charlie Crowell, who fought off Hiday for the 20-yard score, which gave Summit a 14-13 lead going to the half.
The third quarter was most eventful, even though no points were scored in it for the first 10 minutes. Wilsonville gained immediate field position thanks to a long kickoff return from Nick Crowley of 41 yards to the Summit 44. It appeared that the Wildcats would squander the scoring opportunity after three plays produced a penalty, short pass completions and two incomplete passes. But Wiepert, a natural quarterback, threw a pass to Crowley for 18 yards out of punt formation to keep the drive going. Two plays later Gutridge ran around left end for what appeared to be an 18-yard score, but it was negated by holding. Behind the chains, Wilsonville could not recover and turned the ball over on downs.
Summit turned to Stephens running behind the veteran offensive line of Elliott, Carter Nelson, Hank Brundage, Braden Bailey and Zach High. Stephens, who came into the game with almost 1,300 rushing yards, was relatively quiet in the first half, rushing for 65 yards on 13 totes, but he began to find big holes in the middle of the Wilsonville defense. With Stephens carrying every play, Summit moved from its own 24 to the Wilsonville 20 with a first-and-10. Summit then tried to catch Wilsonville’s defense off guard with a pass to the end zone. But the Wildcats were ready and Kheller Larson made the interception, dragging a foot in bounds just before the end line.
The next two drives – one by each team – were uneventful and resulted in punts. So, too, was the third drive, only Hiday’s punt was scooped up by Carlson with a head of steam at the Wilsonville 48-yard-line and senior bobbed and weaved down the left sideline, barely avoiding stepping out of bounds, until he was in the Wildcat end zone. Cade Schurman’s extra point was good, making it 21-13 Summit with two minutes remaining in the third.
Summit’s surprising score jolted Wilsonville’s offense to life. The Wildcats needed five plays and less than two minutes to move 67 yards for the tying score. Gutridge used his legs to get the ball to Summit territory and Wiepert completed the scoring drive on an option pass to Hiday that covered 43 yards. Hiday, who was all alone opposite the play’s flow, eluded a defender flying towards him to both make the catch and race to the end zone. Gutridge then hit Wiepert for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21 with just 22 seconds before heading to quarter four.
The game turned for good in Summit’s favor when the Storm committed to giving the ball to Stephens behind that talented offensive line, almost to the exclusion of any other play. Stephens carried 27 times in the second half for 170 yards and the go-ahead fourth quarter score.
“I have the best O-line in the state of Oregon and it’s not even close,” Carmichael asserted. “The whole year they played really well. They’ve been doing that to everyone. They make me and Sam’s life really easy when they do what they do.”
“That O-line has set the tone for the last 7-8 weeks,” Hyatt added. “Sam is an amazing running back but it starts up front. Those kids – four returning starters – wanted to put the team on their back and finish the game like that.”
“He got into a rhythm and we couldn’t get him out of it,” Guenther lamented.
Although Stephens was the workhorse as Summit moved its way deep into Wilsonville territory on its next drive, his 18-yard touchdown was not without controversy. Jonatan Lazaro-Hampton, who did yeoman work in the trenches for Wilsonville, thought he had Stephens wrapped up for a short gain on definitive tackle. But Stephens felt like he’d rolled on top of the tackler and got up and completed the run to the end zone while Wilsonville defenders watched without further pursuit. After a conference, the referees decreed that there had been no whistle and that Stephens was not down. The touchdown stood, giving Summit a 28-21 lead.
Summit scored again, on that Carlson fourth-down catch, after regaining possession following a Gutridge desperation throw on third-and-15, which Ozolin intercepted.
Down two scores with just over three minutes remaining, Wilsonville refused to settle for the old college try. Sixteen seconds after a short kickoff gave Wilsonville good field position at midfield, the Wildcats were in the end zone, courtesy of a 50-yard bomb from Gutridge to Hiday. Hiday used his speed to get behind the defense and a stiff arm to get to pay dirt, giving Wilsonville new life, down 35-28.
The Wildcats’ subsequent on-side kick attempt was unsuccessful, as Ozolin (who else?) corralled the bouncing ball. Neither Stephens nor the clock was Wilsonville’s friend, but the Wildcats still had hope defending a fourth-and-four from their own 32. Summit had given the ball almost exclusively to Stephen, including on third-and-10 for a run of 10 two drives before; but, this time, they relied on Carmichael to throw a pass in the flat to Lucas Steffen. The senior got the first down and four yards more. With Wilsonville out of time outs, all that remained were two snaps in victory formation, followed by a storm of happy tears for Summit.
Gutridge finished with 43 yards on the ground and 227 yards passing for Wilsonville (10-3). Wiepert caught nine balls for 145 yards and completed two passes for 61 more and a score. Hiday had five catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns in his last high school game. Lineman Brennan Martin led the defensive effort.
“These kids are football players,” Guenther said. “I told them, ‘It’s going to sting for a while. If it doesn’t sting, something is wrong.’ Sometimes the biggest lessons in life are learned through tough defeats and this is a tough one. Our guys played hard. They played well.”
Wilsonville was outgained, 522 to 345, but that can be explained by Summit’s 10-minute advantage in possession time. The Wildcats competed toe-to-toe with Summit and, but for a play here or a play there, could have been the ones celebrating with tears of joy.
“You can point to a lot of little things [that might have changed the outcome],” Guenther said. “All I know is, at the end of the day, the two best teams in 5A were playing football tonight. One of these days it will work out. It doesn’t take away from what these kids have accomplished this year that’s for sure.”
Carmichael had 259 yards passing and three touchdowns for Summit. Ozolin caught eight for 131 and a touch. Carlson caught five for 84 and a touch and had that punt return as well. Stephens carried 40 times for 235 yards and that late score. Crowell’s TD catch, the O-line, six tackles for loss, two by Brundage…there were so many heroes for Summit on this night.
“Everyone asks, ‘Who are your best players?’” Hyatt queried. “I can go 15-20 deep with this team. That’s what set us apart all season is our depth. This was a collective team win instead of an individual win. I could not be more proud of these guys.”