The Jacks say goodbye to its 2017 season and potentially the Redwood Bowl after a tough loss of 42-28 against No. 7 Central Washington (10-0). The game was aired on ESPN3 and will go down in the books as a game day to remember for both its ups and its downs.
“That’s a good football team,” Coach Smith said. “They are going to represent our conference very well in the playoffs.”
Central Washington’s 21-0 lead within the first 10 minutes of the game made it difficult for the Jacks to run through the rest of the game.
At the start of the second half sophomore Davaeon Johnson attempted to turn the game around with a returned 77-yard touchdown picked off of Central Washington QB Reilly Hennessey.
On the Jack’s next possession of the ball, a trick play featured a backward pass to senior Chase Krivashei which was then thrown to Jamere Austin in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown pass, putting the Jack’s back on the board with a score of 35-21.
“It was a good momentum boost,” Johnson said, “we scored 14 points unanswered, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Jacks needed the victory to have a chance in the Division II playoffs. Central Washington will represent the conference with their likely earned No. 1 seed.
“Even in this game we were behind,” Senior Alex Cappa said, “but we continued to fight, just like the whole year, and I think that really exemplifies what our team is about.”
The No. 16 Jacks finished the season with an 8-2 overall record and a 6-2 record in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Despite the road blocks, the Jacks pulled through and had what many would consider a very accomplishing season.
Unfortunately, The Jack’s football program is looking at a possible cut for reasons several supporters have yet to understand.
“I don’t think anyone fully understands how difficult it has been to function daily with this cloud hanging over our heads,” Coach Rob Smith said. “There is a decision looming, and some people could possibly be very hurt by it.”
President Lisa Rossbacher spoke to public on Monday, about the facts and prolonged decision of the Jack’s program. She pushed the decision for HSU Football and it’s destiny to December 1. Hurting potential recruiting efforts for the Jacks if the team were able to continue next fall.
The possible cut made senior night even more bittersweet for the 24 seniors that may never get to return to the Redwood Bowl with the same football spirits.
“We just tried to stay focused,” Senior Robert Webber said, “there is not much we can do about the outside noise. We try to keep it within the locker room and play for each other.”
Head Coach Rob Smith continues to feel kindly about the hard work and dedication these boys have put in since January.
“There is always an end to what you do,” Coach Smith said. “You don’t put in the work that we do unless you truly love what it is that you are doing.”