Story, Photos & Audio by Ian Johnson

Burien’s Highline High School Pirates beat the Washougal Panthers 30–27 at Highline Memorial Stadium in a tense WIAA state tournament football playoff game on Friday night, Nov. 11, 2022.

Visiting Washougal brought a very large, loud, and spirited cheering section with them.

The Panthers drew first blood with a touchdown early in the first quarter, although the Pirates were able to block their extra point attempt.

Highline answered back with a touchdown with 7:55 left in the first, but the Panthers blocked their extra point attempt, tying the score at 6-6.

2nd Quarter
Washougal pulled ahead with a touchdown and got the two-point conversion to bring the score to 14-6 with 7:14 left in the second quarter.

Highline kicked a field goal to narrow the gap to 14-9 in favor of the Panthers.

Highline gained possession and put one into the end zone. After a failed attempt on the 2-point conversion the Pirates went into the half with a one point lead, 15-14.

Highline High School’s Dance team provided halftime entertainment.

3rd Quarter
The Pirates started off the 3rd quarter with a huge punt return that was quickly negated by a penalty for holding.

The Panthers answered with an interception on the next play which they turned into a touchdown, making the score 20–15 with 11:39 left in the 3rd.

Highline answered with an interception and scored not only a touchdown, but made the extra point conversion as well, tightening the score to 20-23 with seven minutes left in the third.

Washougal scored a touchdown and got the extra point with 1:40 left in the 3rd, bringing the score to Washougal 27, Highline 23.

4th Quarter
Just seven seconds into the final quarter, Highline scored a touchdown with the extra point bringing the score to Washougal 27, Highline 30.

Highline stopped the Panthers offensive line with a amazing interception on the 2-yard line with 7:20 left in the game.

There was an extended stoppage with 2:44 left in the game so paramedics could remove an injured Washougal lineman from the field.

The Pirate defense held the Panthers at midfield and let the clock run out. Highline won the playoff game, 30-27.

The Pirates drew several flags on big pivotal plays throughout the game, but they remained victorious.

I had a chance to speak with Coach Deontae Cooper about the big victory after the game. When asked what this win meant for the Pirates he said:

“Historical…first time (Highline) has been in a state playoff game and have a home playoff game here. And to win it, it has never been done in school history.”

With the victory, the 10-1 Pirates will move on in state quarterfinals, with the next match set for Friday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. against the Lynden Lions at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.

Highline Pirates protect ‘The Ship’ from invading Washougal, 30-27 1

Highline Pirates protect ‘The Ship’ from invading Washougal, 30-27 2

Highline Pirates protect ‘The Ship’ from invading Washougal, 30-27 3

Highline Pirates protect ‘The Ship’ from invading Washougal, 30-27 4

Ian Johnson is a Burien-based sports fan and graduate of Mount Rainier High School. He is better known for his work as DJ Lucky Strike, a local DJ/Entertainer playing at local bars, restaurants, and weddings. Ian is a hockey fan and plays on several local rec teams around Seattle. Recently he was asked to combine his love of hockey and music, and is now the back-up Seattle Kraken Music Director. Ian and his wife Mandy live in the Chelsea Park neighborhood of Burien in a house he bought 10 years ago.