Kallen Gutridge's five total touchdowns lift Wilsonville football past Summit
By Jackson Naugle,2023-09-23
Kallen Gutridge scored five total touchdowns and Wilsonville held the Summit offense scoreless in the first half as the Wildcats beat the Storm 35-20 in a rematch of last season’s 5A state championship game on Friday.
“The crowd’s excited, the boys are excited,” Wilsonville head coach Adam Guenther said. “The shining lights came out in our favor this week, so it’s a great night.”
In front of a packed home crowd, Gutridge first found the end zone with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter, scampering 18-yards to put Wilsonville up 7-0, but not for long.
Summit’s Ari Villano took the ensuing kickoff down the right sideline to the house, bringing the Storm to within one just moments later.
After the point-after failed, the Wildcats drove 53 yards to extend their lead, as Gutridge found Mark Wiepert for a five-yard touchdown.
From there, the Wilsonville defense took over, stalling a Summit drive on their own 44 to put the ball back into the hands of Gutridge.
Then, the senior quarterback continued his eye-popping first-half, zig-zagging on third-and-10 for a 66-yard rushing touchdown. With 7:08 left to play in the second quarter, the Wildcats led 21-6, and Gutridge had already accounted for three touchdowns.
“They kind of stacked the box against us tonight, so the outside running lanes were there,” Gutridge said. “I just made two cuts and saw daylight, and our receivers were blocking great. If we’re gonna run outside a lot, blocking is super important for them.”
After the Wilsonville defense forced another quick punt by the Storm minutes later, Gutridge continued to do damage on the ground, faking the entire Summit defense with a play action fake that allowed him to waltz in for a three-yard score.
Summit’s ensuing drive failed to travel across midfield, and the Wildcats went into the break with a healthy 28-6 lead.
After Wilsonville opened the second half with a lackluster punt, the Storm offense finally got on the board, as quarterback Jimmy Hughes capped off a 35-yard drive with a 19-yard strike to Paxon Kettering.
It proved to be too little too late for Summit, as Gutridge added his final touchdown, a 12-yard pass to Mark Wiepert, just minutes later.
“You gotta pick your poison with (Gutridge), because I’ll tell you what, if you sit back and try to play coverage, he can hurt you with his legs,” Guenther said. “He is an athlete. He can play just about everything.”
The senior quarterback finished with 15 carries for 220 yards and three touchdowns on the ground on Friday, while adding two more scores through the air.
While Summit pulled within 35-20 on a one-yard plunge by Hughes with just over four minutes to play, Friday still marked a resounding victory for the Wildcats, who partially avenged last season’s championship game loss to the Storm.
“We plan on seeing them later in the year, that’s for sure,” Guenther said. “Our journey this year started last Thanksgiving as soon as that game ended, and this is just the fourth step in the ladder, so hopefully we’ll see them down the road in the playoffs and we’ll do it all again.”
Wilsonville will be in action again next Friday, as they travel to take on Hood River Valley. They game will kick off at 7 p.m.