Very few 2B offenses can do what No. 1 Napavine does. Though there are various spread and multiple offenses around the 2B world in Southwest Washington, not many can keep up with a vaunted Tigers attack that has yet to see a defense that can slow it down for four quarters.
In their eighth-straight 2B semifinal appearance, the Tigers will be facing a No. 4 Jenkins (Chewelah) team that opts to do similar things as the Tigers on offense, with tons of success east of the mountains.
“The challenge is going to be balancing our resources when it comes to personnel,” Tigers coach Josh Fay said of the Cougars’ spread looks. “Making sure we have an adequate amount of guys on the perimeter and in the box to stop the run, and if you don’t cover on the perimeter it's where you’re going to get bit.”
The Cougars have scored at least 30 points in six of their 11 games so far this season, led by quarterback Clayton Jeanneret and lead back Kruz Katzer. With multiple big bodies up front to block for the pair, and some weapons on the outside when you focus too much on either, containing the Cougars could prove to be a tough challenge.
Jenkins is fresh off a 36-0 shutout victory over Central 2B League South winners Toledo last week, with offense and defense to spare in the win.
On the other side of the ball, the Cougars aren’t afraid to load the box to stop the run, and send some additional pass rushers to get after opposing quarterbacks.
“Ashton Demarest is going to have to make some quick decisions with the pressure,” Fay said. “If they want to send six or seven he’ll have to make some quick decisions. Plus our offensive line accounting for all the guys they’re going to put in the box.”
While Demarest has mostly dealt with clean pockets when he’s dropped back to throw this season, the Tigers’ offensive line is in for a new challenge come Saturday against Chewelah.
Come Saturday at 1 p.m. at Tumwater District Stadium, the Tigers will be looking to earn their second straight trip to the state title game, with a large group of seniors fighting for their last chance to win a trophy, and a group of underclassmen hungry for the chance that’s right in front of them.
“Everything is business as usual, but we’re reminding guys of the opportunities they have left this season, and right now they have one,” Fay said. “If they want two, every single day at practice has to be good. That message usually resonates with our seniors, but we’ve made it a point for a long time for our younger guys that we’ll probably be pretty good next year, but this is the best opportunity we have right now, and what are you going to do to make the most of it at practice this week.”