Thielke, Spartans vindicated

Brett Thielke is a 6-5, 275-pound lineman from Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline and he was still on cloud nine talking about Skyline's 33-27 double-overtime whopper of a prep football game against arch-rival Bellevue. They way Brett described it, the Spartans could end their season right now, such was the impact of Friday's outcome.

"It's vindication," Thielke told Dawgman.com. "It's payback for last year. It's just great, I've never felt so good. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't the greatest game for either team, but we just weren't going to give up. It was a back and forth war and we weren't about to let down. It's the only thing I had to do as a senior. I had to get a 'W' against Bellevue."

The ending was about as bizarre as it gets. Skyline's game winning field-goal attempt was blocked, and in the ensuing confusion, nobody picked up a live ball for a good 15 or 20 seconds. Sophomore lineman Jake Randolph made the heads-up play of picking up the ball and running into the endzone for 6, while the Wolverines were stunned, assuming the ball was dead. "It was crazy," Brett said, remembering his thoughts as the play unfolded. "Everything was running through my mind. The refs reminded us before the play started that it was going to be live and I knew it was third down, but I never heard a whistle. And then while all this stuff is going on it's slowly coming to me as were walking around and I hear the coaches screaming at us and then it was like, 'Oh crap!' (laughs)

It took all of Thielke's energy to attend the California-Washington game the next day at Husky Stadium, but he wasn't about to miss a chance to come out of the tunnel in front of 70,000-plus in attendance. "It's such a great place to play football. Just running out of the tunnel, with the Husky leading the pack and the horn going off...it's the first one I've been to this year. We got to go down on the field, which was cool. Ben Mahdavi is one of my favorite players. I like him because he's really intense. We were right by where the inside linebackers warmed up."

Portland State is still Thielke's only offer. "I've been hearing that it's pretty crazy out there right now," he said. "A lot of coaches are holding off, concentrating on the season. Oregon State is saying they are really close, but they want to see some video. A lot of schools are like that right now. My coaches are sending film out. They've been really good about that."

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