Mistakes have haunted Mazama’s football team all season.
Saturday, they proved painful.
The Vikings lost two fumbles, had a pass intercepted and were stopped short on a fourth-and-1 situation at the Tillamook 20-yard line in the Class 4A state football playoffs.
The Cheesemakers took advantage of those miscues to stun second-seeded Mazama, 19-14, at Viking Field.
“Disappointed,” senior Ben Hoegee, a key on defense, said, a sentiment echoed by his teammates.
“Execution is what it comes down to,” Hoegee said after the Vikes saw their season come to an end with a 7-2 record and a sixth straight Skyline Conference football championship. “We certainly shot ourselves in the foot.”
When Aiden Kindt scampered 66 yards yards for a touchdown on Mazama’s first possession of the game, life looked good for the home team.
Before the first quarter would end, the Vikings lost two fumbles inside the Tillamook 25-yard line.
In the second period, after Mazama had taken a 14-13 lead, the Vikes were driving, again, but were stopped on a fourth-and-inches play.
Then, down 19-14 in the third quarter, Tillamook picked off the first of two Mazama passes, this one on the goal line and the Vikings never threatened again as the Cheesemakers upped their record to 7-3. Saturday was their third road win of the season.
“We wanted to go in and execute, to do whatever we could for the guy next to you,” junior Alex Hayden, who caught three of the four passes Mazama completed, said. “We just didn’t execute properly. They stopped us pretty good (on the fourth-and-1 play).”
With a sizable number of players returning next season, Hoegee said the key for Mazama will be to hit the weight room hard in January to become healthy and not get hurt. “That is the foundation of our program.
“We can’t let the games affect us the way the rest of our lives hang out. You have to handle losses, and deal with adversity.”
■ Mazama held a 347-273 edge in total offense, most of that coming in the first half.
■ Tillamook was 3-for-3 on fourth-down conversions.
■ Charlie Baker, playing on a bad foot, rushed 18 times for 81 Mazama yards, while Kindt finished with 79 yards on five carries.
■ Hoegee was involved in 14 tackles, 10 of which were solo efforts. Cadence Blasz had followed solo stops among his eight tackles, Hayden was involved in seven stops and Isaac Hagerty six.
■ Sam Connelly had Tillamook’s interception at the goal line in the third period, and Trent Stonebrink an interception with six seconds left in the game to seal the Cheesemakers win.