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2A Football: Bearcats Use Defense to Pounce on Panthers

Slobber Knockers: W.F. West Shuts Out Washougal in Second Half For 23-7 Win
By Jordan Nailon
jnailon@chronline.com

On a night where their offense struggled to sustain the sort of traction they’ve become accustomed to this season the Bearcats learned to lean on their defense. That approach allowed W.F. West to shutout Washougal in the second half as they secured a 23-7 non-league football victory here in the Mint City on Friday.

Washougal came into Chehalis with a 2-1 record on the season, including 40-plus point offensive outbursts against Woodland and Hudson’s Bay. Against the Bearcats, though, the Panthers were held to just 163 total yards, and a paltry 34-yard rushing output.

Trent Peters and Drew Reynolds had their helmets on the football all night long while Leandre Gaines made a habit of exploding into the Panthers’ backfield in order to wreak havoc. Washougal’s only touchdown came in the second quarter at the end of an eight play, 79 yard drive that was extended by a 34-yard pass on 4th and 9 from the 35. A one-yard touchdown run from Brevan Bea did the trick to put the Panthers’ points on the board.

“Trent’s got the second most tackles on the team and Leandre had a great night. He was in the quarterback’s face all night long,” said W.F. West coach Dan Hill. “But I can’t just say it was three guys. We gave them one touchdown and it was on a missed tackle on a play that our DB slipped on. They were all lights out tonight.”

Hill added that Evan Moon and Brit Lusk stepped into the inside linebacker spots in the second half and performed admirably. Especially since it was their first varsity action in those lynchpin positions.

W.F. West got on the scoreboard first with a two-yard touchdown burst from Jaiyden Camoza with 10:36 left in the first half. That score was set up by a dazzling diving catch from Cade Haller that went for 40 yards down to the Panthers’ six yard line.

After Washougal briefly took a 7-6 lead midway through the second quarter the Bearcats answered right back when Camoza got loose on the outside for a 44-yard touchdown jaunt. Camoza finished the game with 103 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

A 31-yard field goal by Antheny Leal with less than a minute left in the half gave W.F. West a 16-7 lead at the intermission.

Apparently intent on bucking tradition, the Bearcats elected to keep on throwing the pigskin in the second half even as time grew short and they held the lead. That approach paid dividends in the fourth quarter when Gaines went up in a crowd in the corner of the endzone and came down with a one-handed circus grab for a 14-yard touchdown snag.

Gaines finished the game with five catches for 66 yards and the score. Cade Haller added three catches for 74 yards, while Carter McCoy grabbed two passes for 36 yards.

“We knew they were going to be pretty good going into it. We realized that passing routes were open in the beginning so we just ran ran ran until they crashed in on the run and then we threw it deep when they weren’t expecting it,” explained Gaines.

W.F. West quarterback Josiah Johnson connected on 13 of 25 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. Hill noted that it helps his confidence in their air-attack when his wide receivers are making highlight reel catches on the regular.

“We’re extremely confident in our passing game. They were loading the box on us and they were hard to run on all night long. We had some opportunities to throw some hitches there on that drive and we took advantage of that,” said Hill. “When guys are going after the ball and diving and getting it it just gives you the confidence that what we’re doing is right and that giving the guys the opportunity to make big plays is the right plan.”

Hill pointed out that Washougal was without their starting quarterback this week after he came down with an arm injury during last week’s drubbing of Woodland. That left Brevan Bea and Tristan Farrell to step under center as emergency backups. While Farrell proved to be the more accurate passer it was Bea who left a lasting impression on his foes.

“He was a warrior. You can tell that he’s a great football player both offensively and defensively. It’s noticeable on film when you watch it,” said Hill of Bea, who finished the game with a team-high 42 yards on 24 hard scrabble rushes. “When you lose your starting quarterback and what they do it hurts them a lot but he stepped up and ran the ball hard for them and did a good job tonight.”

W.F. West (4-0) will host Black Hills next Friday to begin their 2A Evergreen Conference schedule.

Note: Rochester lost 49-7 to Evergreen in Rochester.

At Chehalis

BEARCATS 23, PANTHERS 7

Washougal 0 7 0 0 — 7

W.F. West 0 16 0 7 — 23

Scoring Summary

WFW — Jaiyden Camoza 2-yard run; Kick fail

WAS — Brevan Bea 1-yard run; Kick good

WFW — Camoza 44-yard run; Bryce Laufenberg kick

WFW — Antheny Leal 31-yard kick

WFW — Josiah Johnson 14-yard pass to Leandre Gaines; Laufenberg kick

Team Stats WAS WFW

First Downs 8 14

Rushing Yards 34 115

Passing Yards 129 195

Total Yards 163 310

Comp-Att-Int 10-23-0 14-26-0

Fumbles/Lost 2/0 3/2

Penalties/Yards 12/100 8/60

Individual Stats

Rushing: WAS — Brevan Bea 12/42, Gavin Multer 5/24; WFW — Jaiyden Camoza 23/103

Passing: WAS — Tristan Farrell 10-14/118, Brevan Bea 1-9/10, Gavin Multer 0/1; WFW — Josiah Johnson 13-25/185, Leandre Gaines 1/10

Receiving: WAS — Bea 3/56, Julien Jones 1/36; WFW — Leandre Gaines 5/66, Cade Haller 3/74, Carter McCoy 2/36

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