AHS makes Quarter Finals at Football Playoffs

-By Noelle L.-

The 2010 football season started off strong as Astoria quickly accumulated four consecutive league wins during the regular season. Besides one loss to a team from West Valley, California, the Fishermen were unstoppable until they faced Banks in the Cowapa League Championship. After coming off that devastating loss, Astoria hosted the La Salle Falcons hoping to bounce back in the first round of Playoffs on Friday November 5, 2010.

Back in ’06 when Astoria faced La Salle in a playoff game, the Falcons came back to win after being down by 16 at the half. The win left a bad taste in their mouths and Astoria approached the game even hungrier for a win. The Fishermen went into half time with a very comfortable lead of 27-7, but the Falcons rallied back and cut the lead to one touchdown with only six minutes left in the game. Even though Astoria helped them out with 11 penalties for 100 yards, there was no fairytale ending for the Falcons with the final score being 27-19 with Astoria pulling out the victory. Jake Davis finished the game with 257 yards rushing with 34 carries while Marc Gallegos returned a 56 yard punt return for a touchdown. In the Round of Sixteen the Fishermen will face off with the Central Panthers for a spot in quarterfinals.

On a cool Friday evening, the boys came out of the locker room with high hopes. Despite a weak first half and being down by 8, the team didn’t give up and started the second half strong scoring 22 unanswered points. But the Panthers didn’t just roll over. As Central was looking to tie the game in the fourth quarter, Davis quickly crushed those dreams with an interception that he ran back for 65 yards and set up a touchdown. With the final score of 36-22, Astoria had secured their spot in the quarterfinals with their next opponent being the Douglas Trojans, the second place team out of the Far West League.

After a rough six hour drive, Astoria took the field with wishes to keep their season alive. With the same record of 9-2, Coach Howard Rub said “It’s going to be quite a challenge.” After both teams scored touchdowns in the first quarter, the game essentially came down to who could be the best defensively. Conor Harber returned a 45 yard interception for a quick 6 points, but Douglas answered with a touchdown of their own and a 2-point conversion to make the score 8-6. The score stayed the same until the third quarter when Astoria turned more Douglas turnovers into points. After recovering a fumble, Jake Davis threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Trygve Olsen to give Astoria the lead. Unfortunately, Douglas came up big with a long drive that scored and won the game. 24-12 was the outcome of it all and Astoria’s hopes of winning a state title ended.

Although the loss to Douglas ended the season and left a feeling of disappointment, you can’t call the season a failure. Astoria had a winning record and at one point was ranked #1 in the state. They finished as one of the top 8 teams and made it to the quarter finals for the 3rd straight season. Even though they are graduating 11 seniors that will definitely be missed, there will still be players with plenty play-off experience for next season returning to the roster. One of the graduating seniors, Marc Gallegos, stated, “I couldn't imagine finishing my senior year of football with any better teammates and friends. This whole year was a lot of fun and I’ll never forget it.” Good luck next year, boys!