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The Braves take a nine point lead with five minutes to play, but allow two quick scores including a last second field goal in devastating loss to Indians

COURTESY PHOTO: STEWART MONROE - Banks' Blake Gobel goes up for a catch late in the game against Scappoose Oct. 6 at Banks High School. Gobel had three touchdown catches in the game.Banks football lost to Scappoose 51-49 last Friday night, Oct. 6, at home, and it's safe to say that the Braves are going to feel the sting of that defeat a bit longer than usual.

"That was a tough one," said Banks head coach Cole Linehan. "I've never been in a game like that, where a couple plays here or there determined the entire outcome."

The Indians overcame a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes and got a 34-yard field goal — the first of his career — from senior Benji Davidson as time expired to beat the previously No. 2-ranked Braves and put Scappoose firmly in the driver's seat for the Cowapa League championship.

Banks' Hayden Vandehey continued to shine, completing 23 of his 32 pass attempts for 382 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 87 yards on 17 carries, including a three-yard TD run near the end of the first quarter.

"Hayden had quite the game," said Linehan.

The Braves struck first when junior Bret Cameron scored on a 33-yard pass from Vandehey just more than two minutes into the contest, and following a Zach Streblow extra point, Banks led 7-0.

But Scappoose — and senior quarterback Jerad Toman — responded, tying the game on a 59-yard Toman run, then taking the lead three minutes later when a long Banks drive ended in a Toman interception, which the two-way star returned 95 yards for the go-ahead score.

Banks pulled within one on Vandehey's three-yard plunge, followed by a missed Streblow PAT at the end of the first quarter. But two subsequent Indian scores — the first a Tevin Jeannis 64-yard pass from Toman and the second a one-yard Jack Eggers run — gave visiting Scappoose a 28-13 lead with 3:41 left in the half.

However, as a sign of things to come, the Braves responded with two quick scores — a 44-yard pass from Vandehey to Partain and a five-yard Blake Gobel touchdown reception with 26 seconds until halftime — to get within two, 28-26.

COURTESY PHOTO: STEWART MONROE - Banks' Hayden Vandehey runs away from Scappoose defenders during a game at Banks High School Oct. 6. Vandehey had five touchdown passes in the game."It was big to cut into the lead like that before the half," said Linehan. "It gave the team confidence going into the locker room."

After a relatively slow start to the third quarter, the home Braves regained the lead with 1:58 left when Vandehey found 6-foot-8 receiver Blake Gobel for an 11-yard touchdown pass, and following a Streblow PAT edged ahead 33-28. But consistent with the Indian theme of the night, Scappoose struck almost immediately with another huge play, scoring on a Toman to Gavin Larson 75-yard touchdown pass to retake the lead 35-33.

"They didn't have a single sustained drive," said an exasperated Linehan. "It was just a weird game of huge plays by them. It'd be three-and-out, three-and-out, then they'd pop us for a big one."

Banks responded, scoring on a Vandehey run less than two minutes later. When Streblow added a 21-yard field goal with 5:30 left to give the Braves a 43-34 lead, it appeared the game might finally be in hand.

Still, it wasn't over.

Toman scored on a 54-yard run 29 seconds later, and after getting the ball back, Scappoose took a 48-43 lead on a Jack Eggers 26-yard run with 2:16 left.

The Braves drove right down the field and when Gobel caught his third TD pass of the night from 11 yards out with just 40 seconds on the clock, the game appeared over. But after a failed two-point conversion attempt gave Banks a 49-48 lead, a long Indian kickoff return set up the winning Davidson field goal.

"It's just tough," Linehan said. "There was a lot on the line and when you're up nine with five minutes to go, you'd like to get that win. We just gave up too many big plays. But the kids played their rears off."

Now trailing undefeated Scappoose by a game and losing the tiebreaker, the Braves have likely ended realistic hopes of a Cowapa League title. But with games versus Seaside and Astoria remaining, Banks can still secure a high seed and try to make hay in the upcoming state playoffs.

"We've still got a lot of work to do and still a lot to play for," said Linehan. "All we can do is win the next two and hope to get a high seed going forward."

Banks hosts Astoria Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. and travels to Seaside Oct. 20 to end the regular season.

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