RAINIER — In a doozy of an almost three hour contest in Rainier, the Toledo Riverhawks battled the Rainier Mountaineers to a 48-42 win to open league play, and their season, with a win.
Though No. 8 Toledo had a fight on its hands for most of the game, its offense simply wouldn’t let Rainier take the lead in the second half, scoring on seven of its 12 total drives and amassing nearly 500 yards of offense on the ground.
Rainier had the first laugh, though, with Jacob Uch taking the opening kickoff to the house and following that up with a long touchdown drive that ended with a Logan Bowers touchdown. Facing a 12-8 deficit, the Riverhawks then stormed back and rattled off 20 straight points to take the lead for the rest of the game.
“I’m proud of the way that we responded,” Toledo head coach Mike Christensen said. “We have a lot of guys that haven’t played varsity football. We returned 100 total yards and no touchdowns, and we got a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns tonight. Some guys were making a name for themselves.”
One of those guys was senior Wyatt Nef, who torched the Mountaineers defense with over 200 yards of total offense and four rushing touchdowns. The quarterback distributed the ball effectively too, helping his teammates Geoffrey Glass (165 total yards, one touchdown) and Justin Filla (153 rushing yards, two touchdowns) earn theirs too.
After spending all summer driving his teammates to a weight room so they could get in some offseason conditioning, Nef reaped the benefits en route to a dominant offensive performance in a big 2B Central opening win.
But on the other end, Rainier had a ton of success as well. Quarterback Ian Sprouffske threw for nearly 300 yards, four touchdowns with two interceptions. All four of his touchdowns came in the second half.
“We figured that’s what they were going to do, we talked about it at halftime,” Christensen said. “Our guys were actually in a good position, but it's just that lack of experience, all of our corners and all of our secondary is new outside of Wyatt (Nef). They are in the right position, it’s just playing the ball and that comes with experience. They’ll get there, I’m not too worried.”
With senior all-league receiver Sean Mahaffey nursing a knee injury for most of the second half, Sprouffske’s receiver duo of freshman Hunter Howell and John Kenney combined for 232 receiving yards and all four touchdowns, with the freshman Howell hauling in three.
But for Toledo, which is looking to keep pace with 2B Central stalwarts Napavine, Kalama, and Onalaska this season, Friday night’s win is just step one in the process of a pursuit for a successful season. Christensen said tonight’s game was perfect in that it gave his players a learning opportunity, and they won.
“There’s some things we have to shore up there on the backend, but overall I’m glad that we were in a game like this where we can learn and get a win,” he said.
Toledo will open its home slate next week against Raymond, and Rainier will look to bounce back on the road at 1A Tenino.
By The Chronicle staff
Napavine showed why it’s the No. 3-ranked 2B team in the state by the Associated Press as the Tigers used a devastating offensive attack to hand Adna a 44-6 thumping on the road Friday in Southwest Washington 2B Football League action.
The Tigers exploded for 496 yards of offense, 288 on the ground and 208 through the air, to outdistance an Adna team missing a couple key starters.
Senior Tiger standout Gavin Parker ran 14 times for 84 yards and two scores, while Ashtin Landry added three carries for 87 yards and a score and Austin Chapman and Ashton Demarest each added rushing scores.
“They’re big, they’re strong and they’re fast, just like we knew they would be,” Adna coach K.C. Johnson said. “We came out tonight and made a ton of mistakes. Part of it was mistakes and part of it was Napavine being good. They dominated and they’re a good football team. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Adna was held to just four first downs to Napavine’s 22. The Pirates struggled to maintain momentum and were held to 105 yards rushing. Gabe Slape led the Pirates with 69 yards on four carries, while Tristan Ridley tallied 26 yards on four touches.
For Napavine, sophomore QB Demarest was 9-for-14 passing for 112 yards, while Lucas Dahl caught four of those passes for 91 yards.
Johnson praised the play of middle linebacker Asher Guerrero, outside linebacker Gabe Slape and defensive end Asa Ingle.
Napavine (1-0) travels to face rival Onalaska at 7 p.m. on Friday. Adna (0-1) heads to Crogstad Field in Menlo to face its rival, PWV, at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley came out firing, smashing their way to a 40-6, season-opening victory in Pe Ell over an injury-plagued Ilwaco team Friday night in Southwest Washington 2B League North Division action.
“It went awesome,” PWV coach Josh Fluke said. “We came out full of energy from the kickoff.”
PWV racked up 287 yards of total offense, including 196 on the ground and four touchdowns, led by Derek Fluke’s five carries for 54 yards and two scores. Wil Clements added six carries for 50 yards and a score and Blake Howard ran four times for 37 yards.
Quarterback Tyler Adkins was 3-for-5 passing for 91 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Both touchdowns went to Joseph Krafczyk.
“Tyler had a good game and played with a lot of confidence,” Fluke said. “We had good runs from Derek Fluke and Blake Howard.”
Fluke praised the offensive line play for opening holes, which was anchored by senior standout Kaden Ritzmen, an all-area selection last season. Fluke also commended the play of his linebackers, Derek Fluke, Kolton Fluke, Clements and Howard.
“They’re not very big but they hit hard,” Fluke said.
The Titans held the Fishermen to just 83 total yards of offense. Clements tallied a team-high seven total tackles, while Howard added six total, Fluke had five, Ritzman forced a fumble and Garrett Keeton recorded a sack.
“It was pretty cool having Friday night lights back with fans and barbecues going,” Fluke said.
PWV (1-0) gets back into action when it hosts SWW 2B League rival Adna (0-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.
Morton-White Pass persevered in a possession battle for a 30-14 road victory over Stevenson on Friday.
The Timberwolves were outgained 188 yards to 181 after the Bulldogs held the ball for almost the entire third quarter. MWP garnered just one possession in the third and led just 16-14 heading into the final quarter.
Junior running back Carter Dantinne then punched in two scores in the fourth, from 20 and 2 yards, to give the Timberwolves the cushion they needed for the win.
“We’ve got some things to work on but we just gutted it out,” MWP coach Lee Metcalf said.
The T-Wolves ran for 160 total yards, led by Kysen Collette’s five carries for 85 yards. Leytan Collette added 15 carries for 37 yards and Dantinne finished with 24 yards on eight carries.
MWP (1-0) hosts Highland in non-league action at 7 p.m. on Friday in Randle.