“That was a heck of a ball game,” said West Washington coach Phillip Bowsman. “That’s what a championship game should be like.”
Eastern Greene (10-2) won its first ever sectional championship, and the Senators (11-1) finished its second straight 11-win season.
“This senior class set a new level for us — a new bar,” Bowsman said.
The Senators got off on the right track as Landon McPheeters ran the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Then West Washington struggled to move the ball for the rest of the first quarter and Eastern dominated.
In the first quarter, the Senators didn’t have a single yard from scrimmage.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds scored a six-yard pass from Jeff Graham to Caleb Hamilton, who again scored on a six-yard run with 11:15 left in the half.
Then the Senators shored up their defense and took advantage of a couple of turnovers and a hand full of penalties by the Thunderbirds.
West Washington quarterback started to throw the ball down the field and connected on three TD passes in the second quarter.
Hunter Sanford caught a 42-yarder with 10:21 left in the half to tie the game at 14.
Then Seth Goode caught a 40-yard with 2:53 left and then — after a penalty as tiime expired — Sizemore tossed a lob to the left corner of the end zone on an untimed play.
Sanford, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver, jumped over the smaller Thunderbirds and taught the TD pass.
“Michael (Sizemore) threw it up there and Hunter (Sanford) made a tremendous catch,” Bowsman. “He went up like he was dunking the ball.”
The Thunderbirds kept the ball on the ground in the second half, starting with a 61-yard drive capped with a three-yard run by Hamilton.
Hamilton, who finished with 143 yards, added two more scores on runs of 11 and 8 yards.
Graham, Eastern’s quarterback, added 136 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, the Senators picked themselves off the ground.
Sizemore threw a 35-yard pass to Goode, and then McPheeters went in from the 2.
On the two-point conversion, McPheeters ran up the middle but was stopped short of the goal line.
WW- Landon McPheeters 85 kickoff return (Seth Goode pass from Michael Sizemore), 11:47
EG- Caleb Hamilton 6 pass from Jeff Graham (run failed), 5:27
EG- Hamilton 6 run (Graham run), 11:15
WW- Hunter Sanford 42 pass from Sizemore (pass failed), 10:21
WW- Goode 40 pass from Sizemore (run failed), 2:53
WW- Sanford 21 pass from Sizemore (run failed), 0:00
EG- Hamilton 3 run (Andy Drummond kick), 8:20
EG- Hamilton 11 run (pass failed), 11:53
EG- Hamilton 8 run (Drummond kick), 2:58
WW- McPheeters 2 run (run failed), 1:15