No. 3 Wallowa’s 2015 football season came to a shocking ending Saturday afternoon as the Cougars fell to No. 6 Perrydale 42-36 in a state quarterfinal game in Wallowa.
The Cougars led 30-8 midway through the third quarter but Perrydale found its stride and ousted the home team in dramatic fashion.
Three third-quarter incidents turned the tide the Pirates’ way: Wallowa’s Chandler Burns left the game with a knee injury shortly after a score, a penalty wiped out a long touchdown run by Noah Allen and Cole Hafer suffered a game-ending injury at the quarter’s close.
From there, the Wallowa defense lost its edge. While the Pirates found little running room up the middle, they solved the Wallowa riddle with power sweeps and a proficient passing game.
Perrydale tied the game at 30 with about three minutes left. The Cougars answered with a Gus Ramsden touchdown on a 54-yard run, but the conversion failed. Perrydale answered with 1:20 remaining and also failed on their conversion. The game looked destined for overtime, but Perrydale’s defense scored with a late interception for a touchdown, leaving Wallowa with just 44 seconds to answer.
It wasn’t to be. The clock ran out with Wallowa at midfield.
The Cougars racked up 129 yards passing with quarterback Koby Frye connecting on 5 of 14 passes. Noah Allen rushed for 90 yards on 13 carries, while Gus Ramsden rushed for 80 yards and two TDs on just three carries. Cole Hafer led Wallowa receivers with two catches for 44 yards.
Defensively, Ramsden led the Cougars with nine tackles and nine assists, followed by Noah Allen with seven tackles and three assists.
Despite the loss, Wallowa coach Matt Brockamp focused on the positive.
“The kids played hard, and I’m proud of them,” Brockamp said. “We played physical and tackled well, but you can’t lose players like Corey Hafer and Chandler (Burns) without it affecting you. Even so, we made it to the quarterfinals two years in a row and we’re league champions two years in a row.”
The team’s turnaround from its 0-8 2013 season was a point of pride for Brockamp.
“With these kids we’ve changed the culture of Wallowa football, and that’s the job we set out to do,” he said.
The Cougars ended the 2015 season with a 7-3 record and 4-0 league record. The Pirates improved to 10-0.
Quarterfinals (Nov. 14)
No. 1 Adrian 53, No. 8 Powers 8
No. 4 Crane 50, No. 5 Hosanna Christian 6
No. 6 Perrydale 42, No. 3 Wallowa 36
No. 7 Dufur 74, No. 2 Yoncalla 72
Semifinals (Nov. 21)
No. 1 Adrian vs. No. 4 Crane, 3 p.m. at Hermiston
No. 6 Perrydale vs. No. 7 Dufur, noon at Hillsboro