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Senior Tigers defeat Sedro-Woolley 46-22; advance to title game vs. Burlington | Football

Junior Tiger quarterback Jerray Napier hands off to Willy Blackman while a strong offensive line holds back the Anacortes Seahawks, Saturday. The Juniors lost 12-8, but the Seniors defeated Sedro-Woolley to advance to the NCYFL championship game.  - Contributed / Kris Brown
Junior Tiger quarterback Jerray Napier hands off to Willy Blackman while a strong offensive line holds back the Anacortes Seahawks, Saturday. The Juniors lost 12-8, but the Seniors defeated Sedro-Woolley to advance to the NCYFL championship game.
— image credit: Contributed / Kris Brown

By KRIS BROWN
Special to The Journal

In 2008, Sedro-Woolley beat Friday Harbor’s sixth- and seventh-grade junior team in the championship.

In 2009, those same Tigers — now comprising the junior and senior teams — hoped to counter the defeat in the championships again.

The Junior Tigers came up short in a valiant effort.

The No. 2-ranked Juniors faced No. 3-ranked Anacortes Seahawks first at Nugent Field in Oak Harbor, Saturday. Outnumbered 2 to 1 in players, fans and cheerleaders, the Juniors were on the same field where the Seniors came from behind to win Oct. 31.

Nothing went as usual. The Tiger defense allowed two touchdowns while their offense was intercepted twice and fumbled twice on scoring attempts.

Trailing 12-0 at the half, the Friday Harbor offensive line fought hard to finally open a hole for Willy Blackman to run in a touchdown late in the third quarter. Gabe Lawson kicked for an extra two points to bring the score to 12-8.

The Tiger defense held Anacortes scoreless in the second half but needed a touchdown to win. With less than a minute left in the game, the Tigers couldn’t convert on 4th and 1. They handed the ball over to the Seahawks, who ran out the clock for the win.

The Junior Tigers ended the 2009 season one game short of the championship with a 6-3 record under head coach Brock Hauck, defensive coach Rick Morris and assistant coaches Dan McKay, Hogan Rishel and Terry Ormond. They outscored their opponents by an impressive 176-83 in conference play.

Seniors avenge 2008 loss to Sedro-Woolley
At Memorial Stadium in Oak Harbor, the No. 5-ranked Senior Tigers met the No. 1-ranked Sedro-Woolley Cubs. Friday Harbor was outnumbered in every way: 17 Tigers faced 30 Cubs, with two-thirds fewer fans and three-quarter fewer cheerleaders.

Sedro-Woolley scored first with a run. Friday Harbor answered with a touchdown pass, a two-point kick and a touchdown run. The Cubs tied the game at 14-14 with a touchdown run and two-point kick in the second quarter.

With the overwhelming support of the just-defeated Junior Tigers, the Friday Harbor cheerleaders and fans roared in the stands the Senior Tigers scored twice before the half. Linebacker Carson Brown chased down a Cub on a 20-yard run for a key tackle, which dashed Sedro’s hopes of scoring again in first half.

The Tigers pulled together offensively in the third quarter and never looked back. Nate Steenkolk ran 55 yards for a touchdown despite losing his shoe to a Cub defender at the 20-yard line. Wide receiver Caleb Warner caught two touchdown passes. Tight end/quarterback Alex Kurtz threw a touchdown pass and caught another. Wide receiver Levi Demaris caught a touchdown pass and CJ Woods passed for a touchdown. Steenkolk helped score 40 points as he threw two touchdowns, ran in three (including an interception), kicked a point after, passed for two conversions and lost a shoe on more than one occasion.

Other defensive highlights included Nelson Wynn’s sack for a loss, Dusty West’s fumble recovery and Vinny Carter’s interception for a touchback.

“The boys did great,” was the simple wrap-up from head coach Glen Hargrove after the 46-22 win.

Next: The Senior Tigers meet No. 7-ranked Burlington Tigers this weekend. For game time and location, visit fridayharbortigers.blogware.com.

This group of Tigers has advanced three consecutive years to the NCYFL championship game. They were part of the Perfect Season of 2007. This title game will be their last as Tigers before they head to high school.

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