PASCO -- All season long, the Pasco football team has lived on the razor's edge between victory and defeat.
Friday night against Wenatchee, the Bulldogs again tried to fall on the right side of that line.
When Josh Morris' last scramble crashed to a halt 2 yards short of the end zone and the final second ticked off, the pain cut deep.
Several Bulldogs were strewn across the Edgar Brown Stadium turf, wincing as the reality of their 28-22 CBBN Columbia loss set in.
Seconds earlier, those same Bulldogs were jumping for joy after Marques Avery's two-point conversion capped a fourth-quarter comeback and gave them a 22-21 lead with 1:14 to play.
"I think I pulled a hammy celebrating," said Pasco coach Dustin Lamb.
Then just as quickly, it was heartbreak. Wenatchee's Jacob Sealby caught the ensuing kickoff, bounced off a speeding Bulldog and raced 95 yards to paydirt.
"That was our mistake, not the kids'," Lamb said of kicking to the reigning CBBN district 400-meter champion.
But Pasco (2-1, 1-1) still had 60 seconds to play with, and it nearly made the most of them. Morris hit tight end Jacob Price on a 33-yard pass play, then found Brandon Search for back-to-back completions.
A third-down shovel pass to DeVaunte Lamb for 13 yards and a first down left 19 seconds on the clock and the Pasco fans rocking. A pass interference penalty then set up the final play from the Panthers 6.
Morris rolled right and a lane appeared to open. As he darted into it, Sealby and teammate Noah Fenhaus closed in. The collision crumpled Morris at the 2, and the final second ticked off the clock.
"I almost stroked out on that last play," said Panthers coach Scott Devereaux, whose team improved to 3-0, 2-0 in division play. "I thought for sure we would punish these guys tonight, but they hung with us."
Wenatchee did punish Pasco in the running game, with Sealby rushing for 228 yards, the final 3 coming on a TD run with 6:29 to play that put the Panthers up 21-7.
"I didn't expect we'd have to play that much more defense at the end," said Sealby, who also had a game-high 13 tackles at linebacker. "But give credit to Pasco. They gave us a game."
Indeed, the Bulldogs did. They answered Sealby's score with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by an 18-yard TD pass from Morris to Price.
Pasco then got the ball back when Emmanuel Martinez's onside kick bounced off a Wenatchee up-man right to Brandon Search.
The Bulldogs needed only five plays to capitalize, as Morris hit Austin Wilborn on a quick slant and the senior did the rest, eluding two tacklers and sprinting into the end zone.
Avery then snuck just inside the left pylon on the two-point conversion for the lead.
"These kids just never quit," Lamb said. "To be down 21-7 and come all the way back, and then come all the way back again? Believe me, 99 percent of teams after that kickoff return would have been done. But these kids have some serious heart."
Morris finished 23-of-40 for 280 yards. Bevin Whitby led the Pasco defense with eight tackles, while Wilborn had seven to go with two pass breakups.
Wenatchee 28, Pasco 22
Wenatchee 0 0 7 21 -- 28
Pasco 7 0 0 15 -- 22
P -- Marques Avery 80 pass from Austin Wilborn (Emmanuel Martinez kick)
W -- Cameron Hoey 2 run (Rafael Ochoa kick)
W -- Hoey 1 run (Ochoa kick)
W -- Jacob Sealby 3 run (Ochoa kick)
P -- Jacob Price 18 pass from Josh Morris (Martinez kick)
P -- Wilborn 24 pass from Morris (Avery run)
W -- J.Sealby 95 kickoff return (Ochoa kick)
RUSHING--W, J.Sealby 27-228, Hoey 7-28, Blair Dorn 6-22, Noah Fenhaus 1-6, team 1-(minus 1). P, DeVaunte Lamb 11-49, Morris 10-25, Avery 3-(minus 3), Price 2-7, DeVonte Cleveland 1-3, Wilborn 3-13, team 1-(minus 8).
PASSING--W, Hoey 2-12-0-17, Lucas Sealby 0-1-0-0. P, Morris 23-40-0-280, Wilborn 1-1-0-80, Lamb 0-1-0-0, team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING--W, L.Sealby 1-3, Jared Jaeger 1-14. P, Avery 5-131, Brandon Search 3-23, Wilborn 6-69, Lamb 3-33, Price 6-95, Lucas Cash 1-9.
FIRST DOWNS--W 16, P 24. FUMBLES-LOST--W 2-1, P 1-0. PENALTIES-YARDS--W 5-46, P 6-50.