It’s been a year of firsts for Tenino football. First playoff berth in eight years. First time being ranked in the AP poll in just as long. First state playoff game and win in 35 years last week. And now, after a 49-18 loss Saturday to Lynden Christian in the 1A state quarterfinals, its first loss in over a month.
The Beavers, who entered the state playoffs with the No. 6 seed, were coming off an 80-55 shootout victory in the state opener last week. No. 3 Lynden Christian, a 50-0 smacking of Granite Falls. The Lyncs hadn’t allowed a point in over a month entering Saturday’s matchup with the Beavers.
Tenino racked up yardage against the Lyncs’ vaunted defense, piling up 477 yards on 65 carries. But miscues proved costly for the Beavers.
“Just too many mistakes,” Tenino coach Cary Nagel said. “You can’t have that many mistakes against a team like Lynden Christian.”
Takari Hickle was once again the offensive catalyst for the Beavers, racking up 270 yards on 36 carries. He scored the opening TD of the game on a 44-yard jaunt.
The Lyncs proceeded to reel off 28 unanswered points to steal the momentum and the game.
Dylan Spicer added 16 carries for 93 yards and a 23-yard rushing TD. Gavin Watson tacked on 100 yards, including a 61-yard TD jaunt, on 10 touches.
But Lynden Christian’s explosive offense and bend-dont-break defense was too much to overcome.
“LC had a good game plan against us,” Nagel said. “They ran the ball well and got us out of position. They had big plays offensively and with special teams.”
Tenino ends its season with a 10-2 overall record. Nagel said what he’ll remember most about this group is their unselfishness and willingness to put everything on the line for the betterment of the team.
“We always talk about leaving the program better than you found it,” Nagel said. “Our seniors did leave it better than they found it. They did a good job bringing the Tenino toughness.”