The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

19 years later

From 2004 – 2023, Wilsonville Football finds success defeating Mountain View for the 5A State Championship!
Kate Gore
Mark Wiepert and Nick Crowley celebrate after scoring a touchdown to secure the lead as the team celebrates behind them. Wilsonville walked away with the first place title in the 2023 5A Football State Championship.

It’s the 2004 3A State Championship, the Wilsonville Wildcats hoist the State Champion trophy in the air and celebrate alongside coaches, family, and friends. This was the most recent State Championship win for Wilsonville Football, and not a single player of the current Wilsonville football team had been born.

Despite multiple championship appearances after 2004, Wilsonville hadn’t been able to secure that first-place title. Almost 19 years later, Head Coach Adam Guenther hoisted the State Champion trophy and celebrated alongside his coaches, players, fans, and friends. An amazing end of the season for these Wildcats, but it was not an easy road getting there. 

The Wildcats breezed through the playoffs, beating Crater (42-7), Thurston (49-21), and Summit, the reigning State Champions (34-2). 

Wilsonville, obtaining only one loss on the season to 6A title contender Tualatin, was set to play the undefeated Cougars of Mountain View. Wilsonville took advantage of time off of school due to Thanksgiving break to dial in and prepare for the Cougar offense led by quarterback Connor Crum and running back Angel Valenzuela.

“We had the week off of school, so all the coaches and players were able to focus on the game plan and preparing mentally and physically for the game,” said senior Nick Colyer, adding, “We were able to lock in on trying to make history,” 

“Preparation started with learning and knowing what the other team is going to do in the game, and we constantly studied film and treated each day like it was game day,” said junior Will Ingle. “Having no school helped us just focus on one thing all week. The guys were dedicated and practiced like champions,” added junior Mark Wiepert. 

The game took place over Thanksgiving break on Friday, November 24th. With the dueling student sections both sporting their dark-out outfits on game day, the Cougar vs. Wildcat matchup was set to be an intense one from the very beginning. 

The first half was all Mountain View. Wilsonville couldn’t seem to have one play without a flag thrown which led to a serious downshift in the Wildcat’s momentum. “The penalties were for sure rough because we were shooting ourselves in the foot, it seemed, on every big play. We couldn’t catch a break,” said Colyer. This high-octane Wilsonville offense was held to seven points in the first half and trailed 7-10 to the Cougars. 

I was so happy to get one for Coach Guenther and to also send some of my best friends off with a championship ring

— Mark Wiepert

A switch flipped in for the Wildcats. Wilsonville found their groove on both sides of the ball, collecting clutch plays that flipped the momentum to the Wildcats. “During halftime, we told each other that we just have to play through what has already happened and support one another,” said Colyer.

Ingle agreed, adding, “In the locker room, we talked about our identity and said that we are a top defense in the state and we need to go back to doing what we do best. We changed things around and made the defensive adjustments and tried to get the best game plan possible,”

Ingle collected multiple sacks on the night, bringing Crum down for a loss of yards in critical circumstances. “The momentum went our way when we were holding them to field goals or no points on their drives,” added Ingle. 

The score was 13-7 after a field goal by Mountain View to open up the second half. Shortly after, the Cougars went up 20-7 after a touchdown drive to open the third quarter. Wilsonville began crawling their way back into the game. Senior Quarterback Kallen Gutridge hit Wiepert on 4th and six for a 55-yard touchdown to bring the score to 20-14.

Connor Calvert, Mountain View’s kicker, hit yet another field goal to increase their lead to 23-14. The Wildcats weren’t done yet. Gutridge hit junior Nick Crowley for a touchdown to close the gap with a score of 23-21, Wilsonville still trailing. 

Gutridge finished 18 of 29 for 291 yards and four touchdowns. One of the most important was a 30-yard touchdown to junior Nick Crowley to take the lead with five minutes left in the game. Gutridge then easily ran in the two-point conversion to take the lead 29-23. “After we took the lead, it felt like we became invincible. It felt like there was no way that we could come back and come that far and still lose, but it was still a little stressful,” said Wiepert.

Wilsonville was up 29-23 with less than five minutes to go in the game. The Wildcat’s defense was firing on all cylinders, forcing Mountain View to go for it on fourth down, the defense pressuring Crum and forcing an incomplete pass. The turnover on downs allowed Wilsonville to simply kneel the ball and run the clock out. 

As the clock ticked down, Wilsonville players and fans everywhere jumped and cheered, knowing that they had just brought home the state title they strived so hard for. “After the win, it was just overwhelming emotions thinking about all of the hard work everybody put in and how it paid off. You work so hard for so long, and only one team in all of 5A gets to go home happy after all of that, so it means a lot,” said Wiepert. “I was so happy to get one for Coach Guenther and to also send some of my best friends off with a championship ring,” added Wiepert. 

It is a bittersweet moment as the 2023 football season has ended, but Wilsonville went out on the best note possible, bringing home the first-place title almost 19 years later.