Defense Catapults Loggers into State Quarterfinals


Though the No. 10 Onalaska football team was outgained, its defense came up with big plays when it mattered most to upset No. 7 Coupeville in the opening round of the 2B state playoffs at Oak Harbor Saturday night, 30-14. 

Holding on to a 14-7 lead after two Rodrigo Rodriguez touchdown runs in the first half, the Loggers got caught off guard by a successful onside kick to open the second half, leading to a Coupeville touchdown. 

Then the Wolves did it again, converting yet another onside kick looking to go ahead after just tying the game up. 

From there, the Logger defense was nails, keeping the Wolves at bay, even after some extra-curriculars led to a Coupeville ejection. 

“It’s unreal,” Ony coach Mazen Saade said. “It’s amazing, I’m so proud of these kids, they continue to work hard every day and get 1% better every day.”

The Loggers took the lead after that second onside kick, when their Jeff Lines forced a fumble, recovered it, and ran it all the way down to the two-yard line before fumbling it out of bounds, giving Ony possession on the goal line. 

Rodriguez punched in his third touchdown of the night to end the third, and a Case McGraw pick-six iced the game for Ony late to send them to the state quarterfinals yet again with just one senior on the roster. 

“It’s a great win for our program and town, it's another week we get to play football,” Saade said. “Coach Wayne Nelson and our defensive unit have done an excellent job all year. They get better every week… we’re going to have to do a helluva lot better if we want to beat Okanogan. They’re No. 2 for a reason. Our kids know the task, and they’re excited to be here.”

Saade praised the efforts of his defensive line, especially Lines and Lane Zandell, and his secondary which features Rodriguez, Cooper Lawrence, Kayden Mozingo, Sam Pannkuk, and Blaze Underhill. 

Rodriguez led the Loggers with 80 yards on the ground and three scores, and also came away with an interception. Mozingo added 32 rushing yards. 

The Loggers take on Okanogan in the state quarterfinals in Wenatchee at Noon Saturday.