TOLEDO — After playing in a high-octane, back-and-forth, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Week 1 contest earlier this season, a 48-42 Toledo victory, the Riverhawks took down Rainier in a much different game Thursday night in both teams' regular season finale.
Week 1 featured 800 yards of offense, and with torrential rain falling all night long in Toledo, the squads did not play the same game, a 34-0 Riverhawk victory, in Week 9.
“The elements were different for one, they played in our favor for sure,” Riverhawks coach Mike Christensen said. “Defensively we executed. Their strength is throwing the football and this isn’t throwing weather. When they had to run, that played to our strength.”
The Riverhawks controlled the pace all game, and limited Rainer quarterback Ian Sprouffske to just one completion all night in the downpour.
Justin Filla and Zane Raney found the end zone twice each on the ground, and Austin Norris scored another to lead Toledo to its seventh win of the season.
But now, it’s postseason time. The stakes are higher next Monday, when the Riverhawks head to Tumwater to play against Pe Ell-Willapa Valley in a pigtail game.
“It’s crazy to think about, you’re 7-2 and if you lose on Monday, your season could be over,” Christensen said.
As the third seed in the C2BL South, the Riverhawks have a huge test Monday on a short week, and then if they win that game, they’ll head to Oak Harbor to take on Friday Harbor or Coupeville with a spot at state on the line.
“We’re going to make sure our guys are healthy, we have to do a lot of work in a short time,” Christensen said. “We as coaches have to make sure guys are ready. It’s a difficult task, but PWV is in the same situation. They’re a really good football team. I’m sure it will be a difficult game for us.”
The Mountaineers end their season 0-6, after losing a Week 1 heartbreaker to Toledo, and then going into COVID-19 protocol for two weeks, they couldn’t recover from a swath of injuries and a strong schedule, and their season is over.
Toledo’s game against PWV will be played in Tumwater on Monday at 7 p.m.