Henry Bledsoe tossed three touchdown passes, including two to Cian Marderos, leading Summit to a must win Friday night.
The Storm never trailed but needed Bledsoe’s third scoring strike of the night midway through the fourth quarter to secure a 31-17 home football victory over Redmond. Both teams entered the game at 1-3 in Class 5A Special District 1, tied for fifth place. The league’s top four teams advance to the postseason, so there was no margin for error.
“We’ve got to win out,” said Summit coach Corben Hyatt, whose squad had lost three in a row. “I think the team really responded tonight. We came out in the second half and kind of controlled the ball. We ran the ball really well.”
The Storm (2-3 SD1, 3-4 overall) rushed for 193 yards, led by Justin Radatti’s 118 yards on 15 carries. Radatti’s 39-yard touchdown run two minutes into the third quarter gave Summit a 24-14 lead after the Panthers had trimmed an early 17-0 deficit to 17-14 with two second-quarter touchdowns.
Bledsoe’s 22-yard TD pass to Marderos three minutes into the game put the Storm up 7-0, and Max Asevado booted a 38-yard field goal later in the first quarter to make it 10-0. Ben Graziani’s 4-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the second quarter hiked Summit’s lead to 17-0.
But Redmond (1-4, 1-6) countered with a 7-yard touchdown run by Clayton Elrod and, with just eight seconds left in the half, an 11-yard TD pass from Kamau Troutman to Colton Mortenson.
All the Panthers would get in the second half, however, was a field goal by Brian Lopez, a 32-yard effort that got them within seven points at 24-17 with 4:34 left in the third quarter.
“Our defense played phenomenal,” said Hyatt. “That’s a tough offense to get ready for.”
It remained a one-possession game until Bledsoe and Marderos connected from 16 yards out with 6:47 remaining to account for the final score.
For the game, Bledsoe completed 18 of 26 passes for 221 yards. Six of those passes went to Graziani, for 83 yards, and Marderos made four catches for 56 yards. The Panthers intercepted Bledsoe twice.
Redmond is on the road again next week to face Hermiston, while Summit travels to Redmond to take on Ridgeview.