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Wolves stumble in second half in loss to Bobcats
The Black Hills football team was held scoreless in the second half on Friday night, losing 17-10 against Aberdeen.
After an early Bobcat touchdown, the Wolves came back to tie the game on a Jaxsen Beck pass to Maddox Hodge in the second quarter, and they later tacked on a field goal to take a 10-7 lead.
The offense struggled mightily in the second half, however, and Aberdeen went on to tie the game in the third before taking the lead for good in the final frame.
On the night, the Wolves went 0 for 13 on third down, although they had better luck on fourth down, where they went 3 for 7.
Beck threw for 233 yards on the night, almost all of them going to Hodge (90 yards), Jack Ellison (72 yards) and Bereket Lester (63 yards).
Aberdeen was able to successfully slow down Jacob Weller in the run game, as he averaged just 1.7 yards per carry on 19 attempts.
At 0-5, the Wolves quest for win No. 1 continues next Friday, when they host 1A Elma.
Mountaineers cruise to win over Fishermen
The Rainier football team won its second straight game on Friday, topping Ilwaco 40-14 to open league play.
The Mountaineers got the better of the Fisherman in a matchup that could go a long way in determining the pecking order in the Southwest 2B West league.
Now at 3-2, the Mountaineers have won the most games in a season since before COVID-19.
Christopher Gray had a monster game on the ground, rushing for 186 yards and three touchdowns on just seven attempts.
Jake Meldrum was nearly perfect through the air, completing six of his seven pass attempts for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
Hunter Howell caught one of those touchdowns as part of his four catch, 70 yard day, and Josh Meldrum’s lone reception was a 22-yard score.
Dorien Cano also had a solid day on the ground in limited action, rushing for 45 yards on just four carries.
The Mountaineers wrap up a three-game homestand next Friday, when they host Ocosta.
Rodriguez, Warriors steamroll Tigers' homecoming
The Rochester football team just kept chugging away Friday, rolling out yet another powerful effort on the ground in a 52-14 win at Centralia.
This time around, it was Ethan Rodriguez’s turn to lead the Warriors (4-1, 3-0 2A EvCo). The sophomore took 15 carries for 189 yards, and scored Rochester’s first three touchdowns of the evening on runs of 41, 6 and 32 yards.
“They kind of took some things away on the inside, and Ethan did a really good job,” Rochester coach AJ Easley said. “Sometimes young, fast kids really want to bounce everything to the outside, but we’ve been working to keep him cutting across the grain, and he did that a few times.”
Palmer Watt added 121 yards and a touchdown, while Tate Quarnstrom had 74 yards and a score.
Jay Johnson capped the scoring with a 70-yard touchdown run; as a team, the Warriors pounded out all 502 of their offensive yards on the ground.
“We just kind stayed the course,” Easley said. “Guys churned out the hard yards. Our defense actually played really, really well tonight, got us the ball a lot with really good field position.”
Once, the defense did the scoring for the offense, when Kole Smith took an interception back to the house.
Terrell Sanders finished 6 for 21 for Centralia, with a touchdown pass to Roberto Rosales in the first quarter and a touchdown run in the fourth. Landen Jenkins caught two passes for 27 yards, and Kellen Rooklidge had 37 rushing yards for the Tigers (0-5, 0-2 2A EvCo).
The road is about to get a whole lot harder for Rochester; after three league wins against teams that are a combined 1-14, they’re set to wrap up league play with three matchups against teams that are 6-1 in EvCo play.
First up is a matchup against W.F. West; the Warriors haven’t beaten the Bearcats since they moved up to 2A in 2016.
“The kids should be really proud of where we’re out,” Easley said. “We’ve got a big dragon to slay next week.”
Titans dominate Timberwolves in Clash of the Hyphens
The Pe Ell-Willapa Valley football team got back in the win column in resounding fashion on Friday, jumping out to a big lead and cruising to a 54-22 win over Morton-White Pass.
The Titans led 40-0 at halftime and at one point led 54-0 before the Timberwolves got on the board with a few scores late.
Five different Titans found the end zone on Friday, including Cody Strozyk, Blake Howard, and Blaine King, who each had two, and Tyson Portmann and Spud Swogger, who both ran in a touchdown in the second half.
PWV did most of its work on the ground, aside from Nate Fluke’s two touchdown passes to King.
As a team, the Titans ran for 310 yards, including 95 from Howard, 79 from Strozyk, 68 from Swogger and 60 from Portmann.
“Shoutout to our offensive line,” PWV coach Nate Smith said. “Christian Escobar, Conner Keeton, Kevin Ruelas, Hank Swartz and Kannyon Clements. They did a lot better this week.”
Smith added that they were able to get some younger players playing time near the end, which will be valuable to those players long term.
“Overall, a great team effort, for sure,” Smith said.
Next week, PWV will head to Toledo, while MWP will host Napavine.
Cardinals run all over Lions for first win
The Winlock football team got in the win column for the first time on Friday night, running rampant over the Sound Christian Lions in a 56-22 win.
James Cusson and the rest of the Cardinals couldn’t be stopped on the ground. Cusson ran for 366 of the team’s 514 rushing yards, and he also scored five touchdowns on the ground.
All five of his touchdowns came on massive plays, as his touchdowns went 61, 46, 37, 34, and 20 yards.
Landen Klein also got in the endzone twice, and he caught the team’s lone pass attempt, a ball from Cusson that led to a 10-yard pickup.
Winlock led 12-0 after the first quarter, and in the second, they extended it to 28-8 before a late Sound Christian score. The second half was more of the same, as the Cardinals outscored the Lions 28-6 over the final two frames.
Now 1-3, the Cardinals will look to make it back-to-back wins at Oakville next Friday.
Loggers 'out-physical' Riverhawks in shutout victory
ONALASKA — They don’t all have to be pretty.
While it was a sluggish performance from the Onalaska offense, the Logger defense stole the show Friday night, putting together its best performance of the season to lead Ony to a 20-0 victory over Toledo to kickstart homecoming weekend.
“Coach Nelson and our defensive staff … they did a hell of a job this week getting the kids prepped,” Onalaska coach Mazen Saade said. “And on top, the kids just played their tails off. This meant something to them.”
In the week leading up to the game, the Loggers focus was on being the more physical team on both sides of the ball, something that stemmed from last year’s 38-12 loss to the Riverhawks.
"Last year, it went around everywhere in the county that we got out-physicaled by Toledo,” Saade said. “That was all over the headlines … These kids sat on that all summer, that was billboard material for them. And that was something they focused on every single day.”
The Loggers front seven held strong against Toledo’s rushing attack throughout, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry. Exclude an Ethan Carver 42-yard run on the second Toledo offensive play and that number drops to 2.4.
“I couldn’t fricking be prouder of those guys,” Saade said. “That’s a big time win for this group of kids. Their growth in a year, man, they were physical tonight … They were hitting people. It was awesome.”
While it was the Logger rushing attack led by Rodrigo Rodriguez that did most of the damage over the course of the night, it was a deep shot on the third play of the game that got the Loggers on the board.
Facing a third-and-3, Mozingo dropped back and found Cooper Lawrence open deep in the middle of the field. Mozingo dropped it in the bucket, and Lawrence outran his defender for the 72-yard score.
When Carver broke free for 42 yards on Toledo’s first possession, it seemed that the two teams were destined for a shootout. Instead, both defenses clamped down.
Onalaska had three straight three-and-outs before punting the ball away, and while the Riverhawks were able to get a few first downs, they kept stalling on the plus side of the field. They turned it over on downs in or just outside of Logger territory on four straight possessions.
After the fourth turnover on downs, the Loggers’ ground game finally gained some steam. Onalaska went 49 yards on 10 plays, nine of them running plays, and Rodriguez capped off the drive with a 4-yard score.
With less than a minute before the break, Toledo turned to some trickery to try and gain some yardage with a hook-and-ladder, but the pitch was fumbled and recovered by the Onalaska defense.
The biggest gut punch for the Riverhawk offense came on their second possession in the second half.
Facing a fourth-and-14 on their own side of the field, quarterback Eli Weeks scrambled around and eventually found Trevin Gale downfield for a 29-yard gain. The play was the boost the Toledo offense needed, but it was nullified by a hold on the offensive line.
“We’d get something going and then kind of shoot ourselves in the foot,” Toledo coach Mike Christensen said. “We’ve had a lot of success offensively early and we needed to kind of get hit in the mouth a little bit and learn from it.”
Two possessions later, Weeks tried to go deep to Gale again, but this time, it was intercepted by Lawrence. Twelve plays after that, Rodriguez scored his second touchdown of the game to put the game out of reach.
Both teams are now 4-1, but it’s the Loggers that kickstarted Southwest Washington 2B South play with a win.
“We’re so freaking proud of these guys, “ Saade said. “It was a big homecoming win, and now they get to go shake their booties and enjoy it.”
Jays host Rays again in possible postseason preview
(Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports) The Toronto Blue Jays can clinch a wild-card spot and win their three-game series against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon. An 11-4 victory over the Rays on Friday night in the series opener moved the Blue Jays to the brink of a postseason berth. One more win would do it, as would a loss by the Seattle Mariners. The Blue Jays (89-71), who won two of three