After a humbling defeat to Napavine in Week 1, the Adna football team started quick, and fired the last punch to defeat rival Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, 18-14, at home Friday night at home.
The Pirates (1-1) got off to a hot start, with Lane Johnson connected with Seth Meister from 80 yards on the very first play from scrimmage. Later in the first quarter, Adna added another score after Luke Mohney dove into the end zone to give the Pirates a 12-0 early lead.
“It felt really good,” Pirates coach Jason Dunnagan said. “Pe Ell is real tough up front. It was a battle with our guys. We jumped on them real quick and that helped set the tone.”
But little-by-little, yard-by-yard, the Titans (0-2) found a way to get back into the game. Titans quarterback Kolton Fluke hit Blake Howard for a 18-yard touchdown near the end of the first quarter, and after a scoreless second, PWV took the lead off a short plunge from Derek Fluke, 14-12, with five minutes to go in the third.
With minutes remaining, Johnson once again produced for the Pirates, finding Gavan Muller for a touchdown that put Adna ahead for good, after the defense sealed the victory.
“Our guys were gassed,” Dunnagan said. “Playing defense against that style of running game, our kids just had to dig down and take what they gave us and be patient.”
Dunnagan credited his middle linebacker, Asher Guerrero, for stepping up at middle linebacker and helping stifle PWV’s run game. On offense, Muller scored the game-winning touchdown and caught seven passes for 96 yards.
At quarterback, Johnson went 14 of 24 for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the win, with zero interceptions.
“It’s huge, that game means a lot,” Dunnagan said. “Everybody knows everybody, we have a long history of playing each other. It's more than just a football game, they bring their best and we bring our best. It was a battle. I’m really proud of our guys for gutting up when we had too.”
PWV was paced by Wil Clements 69 rushing yards on the ground, and will look to pick up their first win after a couple of heartbreaking losses against Wahkiakum next week.
The Pirates will play at home once again against White Swan at 5 p.m. on Friday.