Cole Schwartz, No. 32, scampered across the line for Chelan's third touchdown against
the Royal Knights in last Saturday's playoff game.
Chelan Goats continue playoffs against Omak
by Richard Uhlhorn
The Chelan Goats proved to everyone this past Saturday afternoon that they are the real deal. After defeating the defending State Champions Bulldogs on November 6, the Goats took on one of this state's top football teams on Saturday afternoon, November 14, under sunny skies and in front of the largest crowd of football fans ever assembled at Sargent Field.
The Chelan Goats did not fail its fans, parents, students in this test. It handed the Royal City Knights its 27th loss in the past 20 years and did it with determined tenacity, walking away with a 40-25 victory.
This marks the second year in a row that Coach Darren Talley's program has reached the playoffs, and only the third time in the school's history. Next Saturday, November 21, the Chelan Goats will take on the Omak Pioneers in the State Quarterfinals at the Wenatchee Apple Bowl beginning at
"Being one of eight football teams left in the State 1A is just awesome for our players and fans," says Coach Darren Talley. "All the Chelan Goats on the field would like to say thank you for making history with us, and please come and support us next week."
Chelan shocked the Knights with its offensive work in the first and second quarter. Quaterback Michael Amsel Jr. connected with Aaron McQuaid on a 17 yard pass for Chelan's first touchdown with remaining. Then in the second quarter of play Amsel hit Robin Weathersby on a 23 yard pass to take Chelan out to a 14-0 lead. Both Jose Ramirez point after kicks were good.
Cole Schwartz scampered into the end zone on a 3-yard run to take Chelan out to a 20-0 lead, but with remaining to play, Royal used three Chelan fumbles near the end zone to threaten Chelan's dominance of the game with three touchdowns in those last few minutes of the first half. Fortunately, none of Royal's two point conversions were successful and Chelan went to the locker room with a narrow 20-18 lead.
"I was not happy at halftime," said Talley. "My motivational talk was short and to the point. Let's just say the second half was a much better effort on our part."
Royal received the kickoff and marched down the field, scoring on a 4-yard pass from Marc Albertson to Will Christensen which put Royal in the lead for the first time in the game 24-0. The after point extended that lead to 25-0.
However, Chelan had its pass game working very well during this game and 35 seconds after the kickoff was received, Amsel connected with Aaron McQuaid on a 45-yard pass. Amsel went back to the air on the next play and hit Tyler James for a 34-yard touchdown to put the Goats back in the lead 26-25. A two point conversion by the Goats failed.
At the end of the third quarter, Robin Weathersby pulled in his second touchdown pass from Amsel, a beautiful 37-yarder into the corner of the end zone. Ramirez kicked the after point and Chelan was up 33-25.
Both teams battled throughout the fourth quarter until Amsel connected with Weathersby once more on a 11-yard pass to put Chelan into the lead 40-25. The Goats were able to hold off Royals continued offense and came away with a well deserved victory.
Defensively, Chelan was impressive throughout the game. Amsel led the effort with 11 tackles and Adam Hendricks, McQuaid and Matt Peterson all had 9 tackles each. Both Amsel and Peterson added an interception and Peterson and McQuaid both forced fumbles. Cole Schwartz added 8 tackles and knocked one pass down. Matt Pittsinger had 7 tackles and Robin Weathersby added 6. He also had 2 interceptions to go along with his three touchdowns.
"The interceptions by Chelan players at crucial times in the game proved to be the difference," said Talley.
Talley was also happy with the special teams work on Saturday. "Our team's kicking was outstanding," said Talley. "Our coverage downfield was not quite as sharp as the Cashmere playoff qualifier game, but there were no long breakdowns and we were happy about the effort."
"Royal gave such a gallant effort to the finish, and their kids and coaches like the Cashmere team from the week before wished our team continued success," said Coach Talley. "Cashmere and Royal are the last two teams to win the State Championship in 1A football and they act like champions win or lose."
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