Bothell players celebrate after stopping Camas on a potential game-winning 2-point conversion attempt. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Bothell players celebrate after stopping Camas on a potential game-winning 2-point conversion attempt. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Bothell stops Camas, notches 36-35 victory

Cougars are set for 4A state football playoffs.

In a football thriller, Bothell High’s defense halted Camas High’s attempt at a 2-point conversion with 26 seconds left to nail down a 36-35 victory at Pop Keeney Stadium on Saturday.

The stop by defensive lineman Gage Potter saved the game and sends Bothell (8-2) into the 4A state playoffs top-16 play.

“We just said, ‘We gotta give it all we got, we gotta do what we have to do to win.’ We lined up and I was standing over the nose, and I knew they were going to give the ball to 31 (Jacques Birdwell) because that was their best player that game — and we locked eyes for about two seconds. I just kind of went into tunnel vision and just tackled him,” said Potter, 6-foot-7, adding that it was one of his best football experiences.

“The excitement everyone had after that was crazy,” he said. “I’ll never forget that moment.”

Riley Morrison’s 8-yard run and Mason Locknane’s PAT put Bothell up 36-29 before Camas’ final drive.

Morrison also scored on a 33-yard pass from Erik Bainter, who was 18-for-24 for 239 yards on the day. Bainter added a 1-yard TD run to put the Cougars ahead, 26-23, for the first time in the third quarter. Locknane booted a 23-yard field goal to lengthen the Cougar lead to 29-23.

Bothell’s Christian Galvan had two TDs, one on a 3-yard run and the other on a 8-yard pass from Bainter. Galvan carried the ball 17 times for 157 yards, Morrison caught 11 passes for 145 yards and Bothell won the total-yardage game, 436-357.

Bothell trailed 13-0 before Galvan’s run.

Quarterback Bainter liked seeing the Cougars bounce back and fight hard after starting off the game with two turnovers in the first quarter.

“That’s what I love about our team is that we never gave up even after going down 13-0 right away. If we want to go far in the playoffs, we have to get better every day. We have the talent to do great things if we work hard and get better,” he said.

Bothell (seeded ninth) will play Chiawana (seeded eighth), also 8-2, at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

Potter said head coach Tom Bainter has preached togetherness and brotherhood this season.

“That’s what we’ve been striving towards. The best teams are the closest teams and that’s what we’ve achieved recently,” Potter said. “Every week, we get closer together as a team, and that’s our key right now is playing together every play, hustling to the ball together. No matter what, as long as we play together as a team, we’re gonna come out on top.”

Added coach Bainter: “I’m very proud of the way our kids continued to battle each and every play. We overcame double-digit deficits twice and our kids continued to believe. Hats off to Camas and coach (Jon) Eagle on a hard-fought game.”

* Mount Baker beat Cedar Park Christian, 49-10, in a 1A district game on Saturday to end the Eagles’ season at 7-2.

For Cedar Park, Ethan Thomas kicked a 37-yard field goal and Kellan Cerrillo scored on a 5-yard run. Zach Wilkins had 20 carries for 82 yards for the Eagles.

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