Week 7 Update: Loggers Take a Seat at the Grown-Ups Table
By Aaron VanTuyl / For The Chronicle
There was plenty to take away from Friday’s unofficial game of the week — the biggest, of course, being that Onalaska will be the No. 1 ranked team in the state when the AP poll comes out this week.
The Loggers were ranked No. 2 last week, with Napavine ranked No. 1. Their inevitable ascension to the top spot doesn’t mean anything, of course; the only thing that could make most coaches pause their nonstop consumption of Hudl footage is the chance to shout “POLLS AREN’T WORTH THE PAPER THEIR PRINTED ON!” at a frightened child or reporter.
The top spot, at this point in the season, is a matter of principle. For the last few seasons the Loggers have fought and clawed to improve their standing in the standings and in the state conversation, only to take a back seat to the Napavines and Adnas residing within their own division, or the Toledos or Kalamas in District 4. There’s been a bull-headed underdog mentality to their teams, running the same triple option offense and scoffing at passing and showing a determination to win on their own terms.
While Onalaska has been good for the past few years, they have not been great. They have been a consistent No. 2 or 3 team in their own conference; in a powerhouse of a division, they’ve found themselves a regular bridesmaid with no ring-toting gentlemen on the horizon.
Now that’s changed. They’ll have the respect, and the pressure, that accompanies becoming the main course in the dinner party that makes up the state football scene. It could last a week, or a month, or — if things go according to their plan — until next September.
And, of course, they could lose this week, flame out in the crossovers and not even make the state playoffs. Football’s pretty weird. But for now, in this moment, the Loggers are where they’ve wanted to be for the last decade.
Some Other Weird Stuff
Onalaska (7-0) plays Adna on Friday night with the SWW 2B League Mountain Division title on the line. If Onalaska wins, they finish with a 4-0 record and win the title outright. If they lose, however, things get weird, and we could wind up in a “Adna beat Ony, Ony beat Napavine, Napavine beat Adna” three-way tie. In that case, standard procedure is typically a coin toss to determine playoff seeding; the three options at play would be hosting the No. 3 and 4 seed from the River Division or playing at the Coastal Division runner-up. None of those options are likely to send chills down any Mountain Division team’s collective spine.
Columbia-Burbank, fresh off a win over previously-unbeaten Tri-Cities Prep, took a four-hour road trip and lost to Tonasket (5-1). That puts Burbank, TCP and Tonasket in a large group of one-loss teams, along with Asotin, Friday Harbor, Asotin, Colfax, and Napavine. The east side of the state is a grab-bag of teams that either started slow, had a tough non-league schedule, played too many out-of-state teams, or lost a key player to injuries at the wrong time, to the point that Chewelah — a team with a 3-4 record — might wind up being the biggest threat when the state playoffs roll around.
The last time Onalaska beat Napavine was 2005. Both teams were in the 1A ranks and the Loggers won 42-22. (They wouldn’t play again until 2012.)
Toledo and Winlock play on Friday in Winlock. The Battle of the Cowlitz has more serious playoff implications than it has in years, and the outcome will likely mean the difference between a home or away crossover game.
Lewis County Fantasy Football
It was not a massively productive week in fantasy football. Tumwater tempered the high-flying W.F. West offense, and Napavine and Onalaska cancelled each other out in the huge-game department. The only member of the 40-point club was Rainier’s Mikey Green, who continues to be an exciting watch. Here’s the rest of the league:
1. Mikey Green, Rainier (41 points): Green ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns, and passed for 54 yards and a touchdown, against Adna.
2t. Lucas Kreger, Onalaska (31 points): Kreger ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and passed for 45 yards and a touchdown, against Napavine.
2t. Braden Thomas, Adna (31 points): Thomas ran for 87 yards and three touchdowns, and passed for 31 yards and two conversions, against Rainier.
4. Laythan Demarest, Napavine (16 points): Demarest ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and passed for 36 yards against the Loggers.
5. Landon Hawes, Rochester (15 points): Hawes went 13 of 18 passing for 175 yards and two touchdowns against Centralia.
6. Cameron Erickson, Centralia (10 points): Erickson passed for 58 yards and two touchdowns against Rochester.
1. Max Smith, PWV (32 points): Against winless North Beach, Smith ran for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
2. Ashton Haight, Onalaska (31 points): Haight ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and ran in two conversions, in the Loggers’ biggest win of the year.
3. Kollin Jurek, PWV (30 points): Jurek ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns against the Hyaks.
4. Chase Sobolesky-Reynolds, Centralia (23 points): Sobolesky-Reynolds had 154 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries versus the Warriors, along with a 29-yard catch.
5. Cole Fay, Adna (22 points): Fay ran for two touchdowns, with 88 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards, against Rainier.
6. Braidyn Hoyt, Centralia (15 points): Hoyt had 93 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries against Rochester.
7. TJ Villanueva, Mossyrock (12 points): Villanueva ran for 61 yards and a touchdown against Kalama.
8. Gavin Parker, Napavine (10 points): Parker had a 47-yard touchdown run against Onalaska.
Honorable Mention: Dylan Paine, Tumwater (37 points): Paine ran for 196 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns as the top-ranked T-Birds beat W.F. West.
1. Daniel May, Rochester (21 points): May had three catches for 90 yards and two scores against the Tigers.
2. Carlo Arceo-Hansen (12 points): Arceo-Hansen ran for 63 yards and a touchdown against the Mules.
3. Wyatt Bush, PWV (10 points): Bush had two catches for 47 yards and a touchdown against North Beach.
4. Cade Lawrence, Onalaska (8 points): Lawrence had a 29-yard touchdown catch (one of only five completed passes all game) and two interceptions against Napavine.
Honorable Mention: Brennon Vance, Kalama (33 points): Vance ran for 124 yards and a touchdown, and added two touchdown catches (for 30 yards) against Mossyrock.