Holding a 50-47 lead over Montesano and the Bulldogs lined up to boot a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds, Napavine senior Gavin Parker leaped at the snap, got a hand on the ball, scooped it up and took it to the house 80 yards for a game-sealing touchdown — a 56-47 road victory.
It was a statement win for the Tigers, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2B AP football, over a perennial powerhouse Bulldogs team that entered ranked No. 5 in Class 1A.
“Our kids played a heck of a game,” Napavine coach Josh Fay said. “Our kids are excited. There have been a lot of Napavine teams in the past who’ve wanted opponents like this. We were fortunate to get it and capitalized on it. It was a neat win for our program.”
It was a back and forth battle, with both squads tied up at 21-21 at the half behind a 5-yard touchdown run from Parker, an 83-yard kickoff return to the house for Lucas Dahl and Ashton Demarest’s 65-yard TD bomb to Dahl.
The Tigers went up 35-28 in the third quarter from Parker’s 2-yard touchdown run and 33-yard interception return for a TD. The Tigers then reeled off 21 fourth-quarter points, sealed by Parker’s field-goal block and touchdown to end the game.
Parker finished with five total touchdowns, which included three on the ground with 19 carries for 221 yards. Demarest was 2 for 7 passing for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and added nine carries for 64 yards.
Napavine improves to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in league. The Tigers host Pe Ell-Willapa Valley on Friday.