Underdog Montesano knocks off Royal for title, 43-28 | 1A Football
A sack and a Hail Mary touchdown in the final 28 seconds of the first half changed the momentum for the Bulldogs as they claimed their first state championship since 1994.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TACOMA — Montesano came in an underdog against second-ranked Royal. But the unranked Bulldogs showed perseverance, overcoming a first-half deficit to win the Class 1A state football championship on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, 43-28.
It's the Bulldogs' first state title since 1994.
Trailing 21-16 with 28 seconds left in the first half, Montesano (12-2) changed the momentum with a fourth-down sack of Royal quarterback Alex Myrick at the Knights' 42-yard line.
Montesano quarterback Matthew Jensen had time for one play, and found Richard Smith in the end zone three seconds before halftime. It was the Bulldogs' first lead.
"We practice it every Thursday," coach Terry Jensen said of the Hail Mary pass. "I told Matthew, 'Throw it as far as you can.' "
In the fourth quarter, Montesano stopped Royal (13-1) on fourth down at the Bulldogs' 1, and they drove 99 yards for a touchdown.
"That was huge," Terry Jensen said. "To come back and go 99 yards and drive the field, that was a big turning point."
Elliot Mendenhall had 172 yards on 13 carries, with TD runs of 41 and 82 yards for Montesano. Tucker Ibabao also scored twice for the Bulldogs.
Matthew Jensen, the coach's son, had a career day, completing 15 of 20 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.
Terry Jensen said his son has outshined other star quarterbacks.
"He's played against (King's quarterback) Billy Green twice, he's played against (Myrick), and every game he's played he's been the most outstanding quarterback on the field."
Royal — Brady Dixon 14 pass from Alex Myrick (Christian Guerrero kick)
Montesano — Ben Ohashi 64 pass from Matthew Jensen (Louthan kick)
Royal — Kent Christensen 10 pass from Myrick (Guerrero kick)
Royal — Dixon 37 pass from Myrick (Guerrero kick)
Montesano — Elliot Mendenhall 41 run (pass failed)
Montesano — Richard Smith 42 pass from Jensen (pass failed)
Montesano — Tucker Ibabao 4 run (Louthan kick)
Montesano — Mendenhall 82 run (Louthan kick)
Royal — Damien Dela Rosa 2 run (Guerrero kick)
Montesano — Ibabao 43 run (Louthan kick)
|Time of Possession||27:52||20:08|
Passing — Royal, Myrick 9-15-0, 102. Montesano, Jensen 15-20-0, 88.
Receiving — Royal, Dixon 3-58, K. Christensen 3-27, Goroski 2-8, Guerrero 1-9. Montesano, Ohashi 5-83, Smith 4-105, Rogers 4-69, Mendenhall 1-16.