Prep Football: Rochester Ruins Tenino’s Turf Unveiling
Comeback: Warriors Rally From Two Score Deficit for First Victory Since 2015
By Jordan Nailon
TENINO – Rochester came into Friday night’s contest as little more than an afterthought to most in attendance. The Warriors were coming off a winless season and hadn’t won a game since October 9, 2015. They were supposed to play the role of dutiful guest and ceremonial punching bag.
The hometown Tenino Beavers, meanwhile, were ready to commemorate the first game on their brand-new black turf field with a win over their cross-freeway foes in a rivalry game recently dubbed the Scatter Creek Showdown. The Beavers printed shirts, arranged a “blackout” in the stands and left no detail unaccounted for when it came to pomp and circumstance.
Rochester cared little for the best laid plans of Beavers, or men, though, and rallied back from a two score deficit to steal the thunder out from under Tenino with a 23-20 victory.
Early on it looked like Tenino would play the part of unfriendly host perfectly. They broke the seal on their new turf just four minutes into the game when senior quarterback Miles Cannon got loose for a 25-yard scoring run. After allowing Rochester to tie the game up at 6-all on a 3-yard run by Rochester quarterback Bryce Lollar later in the quarter, the Beavers got right back to work and capped a downhill scoring drive with a 17-yard scoring strike from Cannon to Jace Griffis.
In the second quarter Tenino looked poised to put the game away for good when they extended their lead to 20-6 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cannon that was hauled in at the back of the end zone Karl Hisaw.
As the points flashed on the board the Warriors sideline became familiarly quiet, if only for a moment.
“For a second we went back to the old Rochester, but the coaches stayed on us and brought us back,” said Rochester signal caller Bryce Lollar.
With less than a minute remaining in the first half the Warriors backed Tenino up deep in their own territory and forced the Beavers to attempt a punt. The ensuing snap sailed long over the punter’s head however and wound up bouncing waywardly out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
With their lifeblood reinvigorated the Warriors fielded the punt-style kickoff near midfield and then let Lollar go to work. The junior quarterback let his legs do the heavy lifting on consecutive carries and ushered the ball down to the one yard line with 16 seconds remaining in the half before handing the ball off to Rochester’s macho burrito of a running back, Ben Slaymaker, who plunged headlong into the end zone for a touchdown that announced the Warriors steadfast intention to play spoiler on the evening.
Sensing an ever elusive win at their fingertips the Warriors wasted little time getting back to business after emerging from their halftime locker room. With 8:53 remaining in the third quarter and momentum setting up camp on the Warriors’ sideline, Enrique Sanchez gave Rochester the go-ahead score on a 20-yard sweep. After a neat naked bootleg by Lollar netted Rochester an extra two points the Warriors were in possession of what would wind up being the winning score at 23-20.
“I told the kids beforehand, ‘You’re going to make mistakes. It’s the first game. It happens every year,” said first year Rochester coach John Moorhead, who credited his team for holding strong until the momentum swung back around their way. “The safety was a big one. We take a lot of pride in our special teams.”
Enrique Sanchez led Rochester with 119 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, while Lollar ran for a touchdown, a two point conversion and threw the ball six times for 28 yards.
“It feels good for these guys to get success,” said Moorhead.
Lollar agreed with his coach’s assessment. He said it was fun to open the season up by dashing Tenino’s plans for a week one party at their expense. However, Lollar insisted that it was more important for he and his teammates to get off the schneid and remember what a good old fashioned win feels like.
“It feels great but it’s not just because we beat them,” said Lollar. “I mean, we went 0-9 last year, so we broke the streak, the curse or whatever.”
Moorhead says he expects to see a lot of good things from Lollar as the season goes along.
“It’s his third system in three years so it’s going to take a little while for it to look perfect out there, but we preach attitude and effort and he’s got both of those,” said Moorhead.
Miles Cannon led the Tenino effort on the ground and through the air. The senior pigskin slinger threw for two touchdowns and 142 yards on 25 attempts and also managed to rush for a touchdown and 83 yards on 12 carries.
Rochester (1-0) will host Hudson’s Bay on Friday, while Tenino (0-1) will host Bellevue Christian.
WARRIORS 23, BEAVERS 20
Rochester 6 9 8 0 —23
Tenino 13 7 0 0 —20
TEN — Miles Cannon 25-yard run; two-point failed
ROC — Bryce Lollar 30-yard run; kick failed
TEN — Cannon 17-yard pass to Jace Griffis; Danilo Mino kick
TEN — Cannon 15-yard pass to Karl Hisaw; Mino kick
ROC — Safety
ROC — Ben Slaymaker 1-yard run; Enrique Sanchez kick
ROC — Sanchez 20-yard run; Lollar run
Team Stats TEN ROC
First Downs N/A N/A
Rushing Yards 138 224
Passing Yards 142 28
Total Yards 280 252
Comp-Att-Int 15-25-1 3-6-0
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 3/2
Penalties/Yards 6/50 11/95
Rushing: TEN — Miles Cannon 12/83; ROC— Enrique Sanchez 21/119
Passing: TEN — Cannon 15-25/142; ROC — Lollar 3-6/28
Receiving: TEN — Josh Tindle 2/32; ROC — Gerardo Carpio 1/20