With his team trailing West Valley by 14 points at halftime, Pullman coach David Cofer asked for a player to step up and lead the team.
That player was senior running back Bogey Perkins, who rallied the team around him and led the ’Hounds to a big second-half comeback and a 28-27 Great Northern League win Friday against the Eagles at Hobbs Field.
Perkins had 185 yards of total offense and two touchdowns en route to a senior night victory that keeps the Greyhounds’ postseason hopes alive.
“Our locker room talk — our coach got us motivated and he asked someone to stand up and have the team follow them, and I stood up and the team rallied around me,” Perkins said. “We couldn’t have done it without our offensive line or what I’m gonna say is my MVB — most valuable blocker — Jason Tran. He led the holes for me.”
The wild game came down to a two-point conversion attempt by West Valley. With the Greyhounds leading 28-27 with 1:23 to go, Eagles quarterback Matt Allen rolled to his right and fired a pass to the near pylon, where Pullman’s Isaiah Strong dove for the deflection. The Pullman sideline erupted after the ball hit the field.
Strong played the game with one hand wrapped up in a bandage.
“He’s got one hand basically (and) he’s got a club on the other,” Pullman coach David Cofer said. “He’s had to change his game a little bit. That’s what great players do: Find a way to get it done.”
Early on, Pullman (5-2, 2-1 GNL) found itself in a 14-0 hole after a scoreless first half.
West Valley (4-3, 0-2) struck first on a 36-yard pass from Allen to Alyjouah Rollins — a matchup that would haunt Pullman all night. Allen racked up 249 yards passing with four touchdowns and one interception. Rollins, his favorite target, had 126 receiving yards and three scores.
The fired-up Greyhounds bounced back with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns, the first on a quick 3-yard slant from Carson Coulter to Sam Tingstad.
Coulter’s big day under center included 202 passing yards, 75 rushing yards and three passing touchdowns.
A Perkins rushing touchdown tied the game at 14 later in the third under a steady rainfall.
Pullman’s biggest play of the game came in the fourth quarter on fourth-and-10 in West Valley territory. Coulter dropped back to pass and launched the ball deep down the Pullman sideline to an open Mason Emerson. The juniors connected for a 47-yard touchdown that put thre Greyhounds up for the first time in the game.
“If I had to pick one play that shifted the game, (that was it),” Cofer said. “It’s fourth-and-10 ... I trusted those guys, I trusted our defense if we didn’t get it.
“Ultimately, Mason Emerson came up with a big play, Carson made a great throw on it.”
But the game wasn’t out of reach yet. The teams traded two more scores before West Valley’s Allen and Rollins connected on a 61-yarder with the chance to tie the game.
Instead, they chose to go for two, which was thwarted by Strong and the Greyhounds defense.
After the game, the Pullman coaches allowed the Greyhounds student body to come onto the field for the postgame talk.
“Our crowd really got into the game there in the second half and they gave our defense a lot of energy,” Cofer said. “For them to really rally behind us and make noise and make it difficult for West Valley to call their plays was huge for us.
“This is a school-wide pride thing.”
West Valley 7 7 0 13 — 27
Pullman 0 0 14 14 — 28
WV — Alyjouah Rollins 36 pass from Matt Allen (Jackson Bale kick), 6:32.
WV — Kamron Holley 7 pass from Allen (Bale kick), 9:58.
PULLMAN — Sam Tingstad 3 pass from Carson Coulter (Tingstad kick), 7:41.
PULLMAN — Bogey Perkins 1 run (Tingstad kick), 3:35.
PULLMAN — Mason Emerson 47 pass from Coulter (Tingstad kick), 11:42.
WV — Rollins 9 pass from Allen (Bale kick), 9:47.
PULLMAN — Perkins 10 pass from Coulter (Tingstad kick), 2:12.
WV — Rollins 61 pass from Allen (pass failed), 1:23.
RUSHING — West Valley: Malachi Clark 9-37, Allen 10-31, Isaac Smeltzer 2-4, Dakari Pakootas 1-(-19). Pullman: Perkins 23-107, Coulter 11-75, Rian Colon Fee 1-15, Isaiah Strong 3-11, Tanner Richartz 2-2, Riley Pettitt 2-(-2).
PASSING — West Valley: Allen 17-31-1--249. Pullman: Coulter 14-23-0--202, Pettitt 7-15-2--32.
RECEIVING — Rollins 5-126, Pakootas 1-51, Holley 5-45, Treden Davis-Reed 3-19, Kyle Gipson 1-2. Pullman: Perkins 5-77, Emerson 3-76, Ethan Kramer 3-29, Tingstad 5-25, Ryan Bickelhaupt 4-22, Justin Tran 1-5.
Stephan Wiebe can be reached on Twitter at @StephanSports and at email@example.com.