Without its starting quarterback, Gavin Fugate, the W.F. West football team went to its ground game, early, often, and late, in a decisive 21-7 victory over Mark Morris Friday night. The win clinches the Bearcats first state bid since 2017.
The 2A Evergreen Conference second seed rushed for 315 total yards, led by Brock Guyette’s 169 and two touchdowns, as the Bearcats pounded the rock all night long.
“Our o-line and our running back won the game for us tonight,” Bearcats coach Dan Hill said. “Our boys up front did a good job blocking tonight. Brock ran the ball really hard and really well for tough yards. We hung our hat on him tonight and he did a great job.”
Guyette was the workhorse all night, with 24 carries, over half of the Bearcats total rushing yards, and two first half touchdowns that helped W.F. West keep the lead throughout the night minus Fugate. The sophomore starter suffered a broken collarbone injury late against Black Hills last week, and will miss the rest of the season.
Starting in his place was freshman receiver Gage Brumfield, who completed five of his seven passes for 28 yards, and took 13 carries for 69 yards and a game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“He was great,” Hill said. “He’s got more on his plate than just handing the ball off. We’re asking him to read stuff, he can pull the ball and go, and he did a great job of pulling the ball when he needed to, he made some plays. For him to come in and step up as a freshman in playoff football, I’m super happy for him.”
But it all started up front, on both sides of the ball. The Bearcats line paved the way for Guyette and Brumfield to run all over the Monarchs, and stopped them from doing anything on the ground on offense.
The Monarchs rushed for just 27 yards Friday night.
“Our front seven was lights out tonight,” Hill said. “We have some things we need to clean up and get better at, but I’m super excited for our defense to keep performing how they are.”
Now, the Bearcats are state-bound. With just losses against 3A state-qualifier Kelso and EvCo league champion Tumwater, the Bearcats should be in good position for decent seeding from the committee on Sunday.
“We’ve been working hard since freshman year,” Guyette said. “We’re ready for this big moment.”