2A Football: McDaniel Carries Kelso Past Centralia
ROUGH OUTING: Max McDaniel Runs for 171 Yards, 3 TDs as Hilanders Drop Tigers 42-0
By Aaron VanTuyl
Earlier in the week Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault described Max McDaniel as, essentially, a big kid that runs pretty hard.
He wasn’t wrong, by any stretch of the imagination.
McDaniel ran for 171 yards and three touchdowns, with little in the way of flair on any of his 19 carries, to lead the Hilanders to a 42-0 win Friday night in nonleague football action at Tiger Stadium.
“Oh, he’s an impressive kid,” Thibault said after Friday’s game. “He didn’t have any quit in him. He ran hard.”
For the Tigers, though, it was a game of halves. Kelso scored four of its six touchdowns in the third quarter, turning what had been a first-half battle into a rout by the end of the night and racking up 367 of its 381 offensive yards on the ground.
“We had guys there to make plays, and we didn’t make plays,” Thibault said. “We just have to teach these guys how to finish.
“Like I told our linebackers, why do all the work — why scrape, why fight off the block and let them go by you? You’re there, make the stinkin’ play.”
Kelso scored on its first drive. McDaniel, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior, took the handoff on each of the six plays, starting with a 39-yard run up the middle and ending with a 3-yard run up the middle to cover 63 yards.
Beyond that, though, the Tigers’ defense was solid. Kelso was forced to punt on its next drive, turned the ball over on downs in the red zone on the ensuing possession, and lost a fumble on the first play of its fourth drive. Jerod Frias then snatched a tipped pass near the line of scrimmage to give the Tigers the ball with 30 seconds on the clock, but time was too short for much of a drive.
After halftime, though, things took a turn for the worse.
The Tigers’ first drive ended with a snuffed-out fake punt, and McDaniel took the next play 26 yards for a touchdown.
“They lined up a way that we’d seen through Hudl Sideline (an online video service), that we’d be able to hammer that hole and get the first down,” Thibault explained. “And we didn’t. That was kind of a momentum-swinger.”
Centralia then went three-and-out, and McDaniel needed only two carries — one for 38 yards, and the next covering the final 9 yards to the end zone — to put the Hilanders up 21-0 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third.
Quarterback Quentin Nelson — filling in for injured starter A.J. Hoggatt — added an 18-yard keeper score with 2:26 left in the third. Two minutes later a high snap on an attempted punt was recovered by Kelso’s John Roberts in the end zone, completing the series of unfortunate events that comprised the Tigers’ third quarter.
“I was very impressed with us in the first half, and in the second half we just didn’t do anything,” Thibault said. “I don’t know if they list a spark under their guys or what, or if our guys just thought they could coast and we’d be in it or what.”
The offense, meanwhile, had trouble finding its footing after a promising initial drive. The Tigers reached the 13-yard line on their first possession, but missed a 30-yard field goal and didn’t see the Kelso side of the field for the rest of the game.
Dylan Purkey managed 92 rushing yards on 17 carries, and Jose Pineda picked up 70 yards on 12 attempts.
“And I thought our defense played well, except for a couple big plays,” he pointed out. “I thought if our kids had any loose change in their pockets, they don’t anymore.”
Centralia (1-3) plays Black Hills on Friday at Tumwater District Stadium in both teams’ Evergreen 2A Conference opener.
HILANDERS 42, TIGERS 0
Kelso 7 0 28 7 —42
Centralia 0 0 0 0 —0
KEL — Max McDaniel 3-yard run; Josh Webb kick
KEL — McDaniel 26-yard run; Webb kick
KEL — McDaniel 9-yard run; Webb kick
KEL — Quentin Nelson 18-yard run; Webb kick
KEL — John Roberts punt recovered in end zone; Webb kick
KEL — Austin Bromley 42-yard run; Webb kick
Team Stats KEL CEN
First Downs 6 5
Rushing Yards 367 206
Passing Yards 14 0
Total Yards 381 206
Comp-Att-Int 1-5-1 1-7-0
Fumbles/Lost 1/1 1/1
Penalties/Yards 11/42 9/65
Rushing: KEL — McDaniel 19/161, Nelson 6/52, Bryce Miller 6/73; CEN — Jose Pineda 12/70, Dylan Purkey 17/92
Passing: KEL — Nelson 1-5/14; CEN — Kolby Baird 1-7/0
Receiving: KEL — John Roberts 1/14; CEN — N/A