2A Football: Warriors Wallop Cougars; Tigers Tripped by Falcons


Talon Betts went over 100 yards for the second straight game, tallying 107 and rushing in three scores as Rochester blanked Seton Catholic 49-8 in its home opener. But for the Warriors (2-0), it was exciting to see all the other ball carriers thrive with most of the attention on the senior superstar. 

“He wants the football in his hands, but we talked to him at the half, teams are gearing up to stop him and other guys are taking advantage,” Rochester coach AJ Easley said. “It opens up a lot of things in our offense.” 

The Warriors top four rushers totaled 264 yards, with Tate Quarnstrom (82 yards, two touchdowns), Connor Morris (53 yards, one touchdown) and Palmer Watt (22 yards, one touchdown) all getting theirs as well. 

On defense, Rochester suffocated the Cougar offense, allowing just one touchdown and taking the ball away five times from the Seton Catholic offense. The Warriors had four different players register interceptions: freshman Carson Rotter, junior Brady Baird, junior lineman Owen Gillaspie, and senior Garren Smith. 

Easley said that the offense often had short fields to work with, in large part due to the excellent play of the Warriors special teams units and its defense. 

Rochester (2-0) will look to put that all to the test again next weekend when it opens league play against Black Hills (0-2) next Friday. 

Tigers Taken Down by Falcons

Centralia got what it expected in its non-league home match against Class 3A Prairie.

A Falcons team that regularly plays Class 4A opponents were much larger and more physical, delivering a 52-14 defeat to Centralia at Tiger Stadium on Friday.

“They’re an impressive team,” Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault said. “They have some dudes. But I’ll take playing a tough opponent and work on things than take the easy road.”

It was a last-second matchup after Centralia’s scheduled Week 2 opponent, Elma, was forced to cancel due to COVID protocol. In less than 24 hours, Centralia took the first opponent it could find, which happened to be Prairie from Vancouver, Washington.

Expecting to have an off week until they traveled to Shelton next Friday, the Tigers took a light offensiv day. The Tigers received game film from the Falcons on Wednesday and had just one day to prepare.

“It was a team we knew zero about and had no relationship with in the past,” Thibault said. “We were preparing for Shelton next week and then all the sudden we had a game.”

Compounding the Tigers’ troubles, starting quarterback Landon Jenkins dislocated a finger on his throwing hand just the day before during team dinner and was unable to play Friday.

That thrust Tommy Billings into the starting role, facing a Prairie team that was coming off 44-6 hammering of Washougal.

Still, Thibault saw some bright spots from his team. Rex Akins, making the switch offensively from wideout to tight end, picked off a pass and returned it 58 yards for a score.

Thibault praised the offensive performances of Anthony Saucedo and Moshi Eport as well.

“Our effort is there,” Thibault said. “That’s what I care about. Disappointed we lost, obviously, but we played hard.”

Centralia (0-2) will now travel to Mason County to take on Shelton at 7 p.m. Friday.

Wolves Leashed by Patriots

Black Hills couldn’t muster the offensive firepower, falling 42-24 to Washington (Tacoma) in a non-league home match on Friday.

The Wolves were limited to just 105 yards rushing and 84 yards passing, led by Xander Shepler’s 10 carries for 40 yards. 

Johnnie Stallings carried the ball twice for 16 yards and a score, while Luke Ellison hauled in three catches for 37 yards and one touchdown. Jaxsen Beck tacked on one rushing TD.

On defense, Ellison finished with three pass breakups and one tackle, while Max Johnson had a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown and had 3.5 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Shepler tallied a team-high 13 tackles and a forced fumble, and Braiden Bond had 11.5 tackles and one pass breakup.

The Wolves (0-2) open league play when they host Rochester (2-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday.