ONALASKA — After all the hype built up over the last week about an early season matchup between rivals Napavine and Onalaska, and a packed crowd on hand, it was the road team Tigers that came out on top Friday night, 34-20.
The Tigers (2-0) rolled out from the get-go, building up a commanding 28-6 lead at halftime thanks in large part to a stifling defense and three touchdown connections between quarterback Ashton Demarest and receiver Lucas Dahl.
That lead built up in the first half would be enough to hold off the Loggers (0-1), who opened up their season with a loss after last week’s scheduled game against Oroville was called off due to COVID issues within Oroville’s program.
Demarest finished with 261 passing yards and five total touchdowns in just his second career start, and the sophomore found Dahl plenty, with the latter going for 145 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
“We knew Lucas was a downfield threat for us, the question mark was probably on Ashton a little more,” Napavine coach Josh Fay said. “They did a good job in the first half connecting, our offensive line did a good job giving Ashton some time. They wanted to throw a lot of guys in the box so we went out and threw and Ashton was up to the challenge.”
After a stellar showing last week, the Loggers held Tigers’ tailback Gavin Parker to just 45 yards on 13 carries, but couldn’t do much against Demarest and Napavine’s revamped passing attack.
“We’ve got to get a lot better,” Onalaska coach Mazen Saade said. “This game is about blocking and tackling and we’ve got to get a lot better at blocking and tackling. The kid’s know that. This one’s going to sting for a little bit but Napavine is well-coached and they’re a good team.”
The Loggers did find a bit of footing in the second half, outscoring the Tigers and commanding the line of scrimmage better, but the whole they dug was too great. Demarest’s fifth touchdown pass, and fourth to Dahl, proved to be the clincher in the fourth quarter.
Onalaska’s Marshall Haight led the way with 121 rushing yards and a touchdown, but Kolby Mozingo also factored in with 88 yards on the ground and two touchdowns on just nine carries.
For Napavine, it was a second-straight win to begin league play in Southwest 2B as they look to build on last spring’s success. But despite the strong win, Fay said the Tigers still have a lot of work to do looking ahead to North Beach next weekend.
“Our kids came out and played really well in the first half,” Fay said. “I thought we dominated both sides of the ball for the most part. But you play a good team like Onalaska, you can’t rest on your laurels and sit back. We’ve got to do a better job as a coaching staff on making some adjustments, we didn’t adjust well to what they did in the second half … anytime you come to Onalaska and get a win, it’s a quality win, but we’ve got to get better.”
For Onalaska, it was perhaps a tall task to come out in its first game of the season and pull out a win against a strong Napavine squad, but the Loggers will use this game to get better and build toward moving ahead.
“We’ve got to come in on Monday ready to prepare for Wahkiakum,” Saade said. “It’s a tough place to play. We’ve gotta come back.”
By Josh Kirshenbaum / email@example.com
TOLEDO — Mike Christensen’s Wing T offense isn’t built for the situation Toledo found itself in at the end of the first half of its 2B matchup against Raymond-South Bend.
Already up 14-0, the Riverhawks stopped the Ravens, and got the ball back after a punt with 58 seconds left on the clock, back at their own 28-yard line. Sneaks and sweeps weren’t going to work.
On the plus side, the Riverhawks had quarterback Wyatt Nef.
“I knew especially if we could get him out in space, we’d have an opportunity,” Christensen said.
That’s exactly what happened. Nef got 16 yards on first down, then found Carson Olmstead in one-on-one coverage for a 34-yard gain to get the ball into RSB territory with 27 seconds left. One more run set Toledo up at the Raven 22 with six seconds and one last play left.
So of course, Christensen did the obvious thing one would do with a first-year quarterback running a run-heavy system: he drew up a completely new play on the spot.
The Riverhawks lined up with Olstead in the slot and senior Aiden Umbriaco on the boundary. The plan was for the two to cross right before the goal line, and for Nef to hit Olmstead in the corner. Instead, the whole RSB defense went that way, and Umbriaco found himself in single coverage in the middle of the end zone for an easy throw.
“Props to Aiden, he ran under it, he made a great catch in the end zone,” Nef said. “First touchdown for him. Probably the most excited I was this whole game was when he caught that.”
That was pretty much the way the whole day went for Toledo, as Nef led a Riverhawk romp, 39-8.
“He’s doing what he’s been doing all season, and that’s leading our team,” Christensen said. “When he has a little bit of space, he can be electric, and we try to get him in space as much as we can.”
Nef started his game with another big throw. On Toledo’s first drive of the evening, the Riverhawks faced fourth-and-14 from the RSB 21, and for the first time, Christensen let his quarterback air it out. The senior found Olmstead over the top in the end zone, putting the hosts on the board and starting the blowout.
Nef added two more touchdowns on the ground — a 53-yard scamper in the second quarter and a 6-yard dive to the pylon in the third — to complete his night with four total. He went for 131 yards on the ground, while throwing for 62 yards on 3-for-4 throwing.
“His ability to throw the ball and think on the fly, he’s worked on a lot,” Christensen said. “That only comes with game reps, and I think he’s going to get better with each and every game.”
Olmstead caught two of those passes for 55 yards, in just his second game back after taking two years away from football.
“He works hard, he’s been lifting hard, he’s gotten thick and strong,” Christensen said. “He’s blocking well for us, and that’s a key to play tight end for us. You don’t get a lot of opportunities to catch, but he’s making the most of those opportunities.”
But aside from the air game, Toledo’s bread and butter — the rushing attack — worked nearly to perfection. The Riverhawks averaged an even 9 yards per carry in the first three and a half quarters before the backups went in with a 39-0 lead.
Nef, Justin Filla, and Geoffrey Glass all ran the ball 10 times. Glass fracked up 83 yards and a touchdown, while Filla swept and quick-pitched his way to 54. In the second half, junior Zane Raney came in and bulldozed his way to 44 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
As a team, Toledo racked up 341 yards on the ground, to RSB’s 172. The Riverhawks only ran five plays in the first quarter, and 17 in the first half, but those were way more than enough to get the job done.
Fifty-seven of those yards for the Ravens came in their final drive against Toledo’s JV defense, when RSB scored its only points of the game.
Well, that was when the Ravens scored their only points of the game that counted. All the way back on its second drive, the RSB quarterback faked the handoff, rolled to the right, and sprinted down the sideline for a 42-yard touchdown. But just as the Toledo defense bit the fake, so too did one of the referees, and an inadvertent whistle brought the play all the way back, to the frustration of the visiting sideline.
“I feel bad for them, because I think that changed the complexion of the first half for sure,” Christensen said. “That easily could’ve been a 14-8 game at halftime if they score that touchdown and we don’t get that last touchdown. That’s a different game.”
As it was, the Ravens continued their drive, but turned it over on downs at Toledo’s 23-yard line. RSB wouldn’t rip off a play for more than 20 yards again until late in the third quarter, and wouldn’t get into the red zone until its final drive.
“It was a little rough in the first half in terms of defensive execution, we gave up a lot of rushing yards that we didn’t need to,” Christensen said.”That’s on mental mistakes, and that’s frustrating. But we shored it up at halftime, and I think our guys did a much better job in the second half of following our game plan.”
Toledo (2-0) will hit the road for a long trip next week, taking on Stevenson as it enters the meat of its C2BL schedule.
By Eric Trent / firstname.lastname@example.org
Morton-White Pass quarterback Leytan Collette exploded for six total touchdowns, three on the ground, two through the air and an interception return for a score, as the Timberwolves demolished visiting Highland 67-0 at home on Friday.
Colette took five carries for 174 yards and three touchdowns, was 2-for-3 passing for 58 yards and two TDs and returned an interception 32 yards for another score as the Timberwolves faced little resistance.
“They’re scrappy,” MWP coach Lee Metcalf said of his team. “This is a tough group. If you want to get in a bar fight, these are the guys you want on your side.”
Hunter Hazen hauled in two of Collette’s passes for touchdowns, finishing with 58 yards receiving.
MWP’s rushing attack went for 385 total yards, with Brecken Pelletier going 77 yards on five carries, Peyton Brown rushing four times for 72 yards and Kysen Collette adding 52 yards on four carries.
The Timberwolves held Highland to just six first downs to their 15, including only 20 yards rushing and 84 passing.
‘Hard to say where we stand,” Metcalf said after starting the season against two easy opponents. “We’ll find out next week.”
MWP (2-0) was coming off a 30-14 victory over Stevenson last week and will now take on a Rainier (0-1) team that was edged by Toledo in a Week 1 offensive showcase.
By Eric Trent / email@example.com
Mossyrock held a two-point lead at the half but surrendered two second-half scores to Wahkiakum in a 28-24 non-league defeat at home on Friday.
With the Class 2B Mules moving down a classification for this game to play 8-man football, Mossyrock held its own, trading scores with Wahkiakum in the first half.
Vikings quarterback Easton Kolb connected with his brother, Keegan Kolb, on two first-quarter touchdown passes, 8 and 4 yards, to give Mossyrock a 16-14 advantage at the half.
But Wahkiakum answered with two second-half scores, one in the third to take the lead at 22-16 entering the fourth quarter, ultimately finishing it off with another score in the final frame.
“Not happy with the loss but we played better defensively and we were more physical,” Mossyrock coach Eric Ollikainen said.
He praised Saige Griesen for his defensive performance, as well as Brandon Cornelius.
Easton Kolb finished 15-for-20 passing 266 yards and three touchdowns, all to Keegan Kolb, who ended up with 152 receiving. Zack Munos tallied 126 yards receiving.
Mossyrock (0-2) is set to host Charles Wright Academy on Friday.