Cedar Park Christian football coach Bill Marsh hugs senior Josiah Sergeant following the Eagles’ 28-25 victory over Cedarcrest on Friday at Juanita High School. Sergeant rushed for 265 yards and four touchdowns. JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD/Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

Cedar Park Christian wins a thriller for Coach Marsh: ‘We owe him that one.’

KIRKLAND — It took Bill Marsh 10 full minutes to wriggle free of the postgame throng at midfield on Friday evening.

KIRKLAND — It took Bill Marsh 10 full minutes to wriggle free of the postgame throng at midfield on Friday evening.

The Cedar Park Christian football coach greeted player after player following a thrilling 28-25 win over Cedarcrest at Juanita High School. Lastly, he wrapped up senior Josiah Sergeant, shared a few quiet words and began a slow walk to the parking lot with tears in his eyes.

Marsh suffers from Ball’s palsy. The left side of his face is paralyzed and droops slightly, and several months ago, his nerves began to act up so badly his coaching duties were forced to take a back seat.

He’s had to miss three games this season — simply too exhausted to attend and watch from the sideline.

Friday’s win was for Coach Marsh.

“For us, he’s never in-and-out,” said interim head coach Adam Olsen. “Physically he’s in-and-out, but this is certainly his team. I’m an extension of coach Marsh. He was here tonight and probably needed a shot of life like this.”

Marsh grew up in Duvall, and has seen his Eagles lose to the Red Wolves each of the last two years.

Midway through the second half, it appeared Cedarcrest would again get the better of Cedar Park, leading 19-6 with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter.

Sergeant answered with his second and third touchdowns of the evening, the latter a 90-yard touchdown run, to give Cedar Park the lead. Another touchdown, this time 42 yards, proved the go-ahead score with 7:28 left to play.

The Red Wolves blocked a punt and recovered on the Eagles’ 15-yard line with less than two minutes to go, down three points. Cedar Park held on fourth-and-one at the 6-yard line to win the game.

Sergeant rushed 30 times for 265 yards on Friday. After the game, he held Marsh in an embrace for longer than anyone else on the field.

“That was a special moment,” Sergeant said. “I won’t forget that. He just said, ‘I love you.’ I got him that one. He gave me so many second chances over the years when I screwed up on stuff that I owed him that one.”

“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to beat [Cedarcrest,] and we did it,” Cedar Park quarterback Jack Flynn said. “We played for Coach Marsh and it’s the best feeling in the world to beat that one team, even though our record isn’t the best.”

The Eagles (1-4 Cascade, 3-5) will miss the postseason, and are scheduled to play their final game on Friday, Oct. 28 at South Whidbey Island High School in Langley — but none of that mattered. It was senior night.

“I had to come out and be a part of senior night,” Marsh said.

“To have it finish like that — I’m so happy for my coaching staff, who has been putting in the extra time filling in the gaps of what I haven’t been able to do,” he said. “For those players to listen to the coaches and for it all to come together for them, I couldn’t be more excited.”

It was Marsh who gave the final words to the players ahead of the fourth-down stand, and — fittingly — it was Marsh at the center of the post-game celebratory huddle.

“When you win close ones like that, it comes down to who wants it more in the end,” Marsh said. “That’s basically what I told them: ‘You have a chance to have a moment like you’ve never had in your life, but you have to decide right now if you want this to be that moment.’ That’s all I said in that final time out, and then they went out and did it.”

SUMMARY

at Bergh Field, Kirkland

Cedar Park Christian 28, Cedarcrest 25

CDR 13 0 6 6 — 25

CPC 6 0 7 15 — 28

SCORING

First quarter

CPC — Josiah Sergeant 43 run (kick blocked), 7:46

CDR — Tyler Gray 38 pass from Aaron Davenport (Justin White kick), 6:24

CDR — Zach Hetherington 43 interception return (kick blocked), 1:09

Second quarter

No score

Third quarter

CDR — Gray 7 run (White kick), 3:11

CPC — Sergeant 42 run (Bradley Cumley kick), 2:04

Fourth quarter

CPC — Sergeant 90 run (Cumley kick), 11:01

CDR — Jake Kirschenmann 41 pass from Davenport (Run failed), 10:37

CPC — Sergeant 42 run (Tyler Shimmin from Jack Flynn), 7:28

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSH: CDR—Gray 7-58, Jake Fowler 16-48, Alex Parnell 2-(minus 4), Davenport 8-(minus 27); CPC—Sergeant 30-265, Flynn 5-19, Brenden Boyle 5-3.

PASS: CDR—Davenport 8-21-1-170; CPC—Flynn 4-8-1-29.

RECEIVING: CDR—Kirschenmann 3-69, Davis Burpee 2-44, Gray 1-38, Heatherington 1-9; CPC: Zach Fisk 1-15, Carson Pettett 1-10, Sergeant 2-4.

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