2A Football: Touch Too Much for Tigers as Aberdeen Ends Centralia’s Season
EVCO: Playmakers Emerge in Tigers’ Final Game of 2017
By Jordan Nailon
Many people consider Kylan Touch to be the most dynamic player in the Evergreen 2A Conference this year and he certainly backed up that sentiment on Friday night with four touchdowns and 272 yards on 40 carries in a 28-21 victory over Centralia.
That outcome determined the fourth and final playoff spot for the EvCo and brought Centralia’s season to a close, while Aberdeen will move on to play at Greater Saint Helens 2A League champion Hockinson next week.
Playing to keep their respective seasons alive, the Tigers (2-7) and Bobcats (4-5) put on a heckuva show in the Hub City with nearly 700 yards of total offense and a lead that changed hands or wound up tied on seven occasions.
Aberdeen drew first blood with a two play drive in the first quarter that ended with a 45-yard run by Touch but a missed extra point left them with only 6 points to show. Centralia answered back at the top of the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run by Tristan Dickey that capped a 3:56 drive. An extra point by Kolby Baird gave the Tigers an early 7-6 lead.
On the ensuing drive Aberdeen reclaimed the lead on a 23-yard run by Touch that the Bobcats backed up with a two-point conversion on a pass by Ben Dublanko to Cameron Hochstetler. Unphased, Centralia eventually muscled its way onto the Aberdeen side of the field and then tied things up at 14-14 with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Baird to Mason Titus with just 32 seconds left in the half.
Centralia had an opportunity to take back the lead in the third quarter when Baird intercepted a pass from Dublanko around midfield and returned the ball into Aberdeen territory. Only a few plays later, though, Centralia wound up turning the ball back over to the Bobcats on a fumble. The ensuing 60-yard scoring drive by Aberdeen ended on a one-yard scoring dive by Touch that gave Aberdeen a 21-14 lead that would survive into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter Centralia wasted little time evening things back up on a 37-yard scoring slash by Dylan Purkey with 10:35 remaining in the contest.
That tie game lasted only a matter of minutes, however, as Touch took things into his own hands once more and again punched the ball across the goal line to end a clock-eating drive by the Bobcats.
A last minute comeback attempt by the Tigers that began on their on two yard line brought the ball back to midfield but a sack and a fumble recovery by Aberdeen with less than :30 to play put the game away for good.
After the game first year Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault was disappointed, not in his team, but in the fact that his players were not able to experience the success that he believes they deserve.
“I wish we were here for four more years so they could see what they’re really worth,” said Thibault. “There’s a lot of guys that are going to be tough to replace on this team, and you don’t usually say that about a team that went 2-7.”
After a season of leaning on Jose Pineda to carry much of the Tigers’ water on offense Thibault was pleased to see so more players in on the action on Friday.
Dylan Purkey finished the game with a team-high 67 yards on 10 carries, with the Tigers’ final touchdown on a 37-yard run in the fourth quarter. Tristan Dickey added 64 yards on 11 carries. Kolby Baird completed 9 of 18 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown pass to Mason Titus, while Derek Beairsto caught four passes for 75 yards.
“We had to have kids step up and we’d been preaching that all year,” said Thibault. “They’re always going to send guys after Jose.”
Looking at his first group of Tigers for the last time Thibault said he hopes the underclassmen have taken away the right examples from seniors.
“The seniors are close. Even their parents are close, and that’s a real positive,” said Thibault. “We’ve got some good classes coming up and a real opportunity to be competitive here in a few years.”
Thibault also complimented the gutsy effort of lineman Ryan Jensen, who played most of the year with nagging injuries that included a torn labrum, a dislocated shoulder, a pulled groin and a finger out of socket.
“If the underclassmen can take anything away, it’s that. Just an immense toughness and desire to compete,” said Thibault.
Rochester Falls in Season Finale to Black Hills
ROCHESTER — The Warriors ended their season here on Friday, falling to Black Hills 25-7 in an Evergreen 2A Conference football game.
Black Hills had eight fumbles on the game but only lost two, while Rochester couldn’t get their offense going, totaling just 139 yards on the ground.
Enrique Sanchez led the Warriors with 81 rushing yards on 16 carries. Bryce Lollar completed 5 of 15 passes for 53 yards and an interception, and Patrick Riley caught three passes for 53 yards.
Taylor Simmons scored on a 30-yard run for a 6-0 Black Hills lead after one quarter. Kade Weitzel added a 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for a 13-0 halftime lead.
No points were scored in the third quarter, and the Warriors got their only score of the game on a 21-yard fumble return touchdown by Sanchez in the fourth quarter. Zach Loveless and Simmons each scored late touchdowns to seal the win for the Wolves.
Rochester finished the season 2-7 overall and 0-4 in EvCo play.
BOBCATS 28, TIGERS 21
Aberdeen 6 8 7 7 — 28
Centralia 0 14 0 7 — 21
ABD – Kylan Touch 45-yard run; Kick failed
CEN – Tristan Dickey 9-yard run; Baird kick
ABD – Touch 23-yard run; Ben Dublanko pass to Cameron Hochstetler
CEN – Kolby Baird 41-yard pass to Mason Titus; Baird kick
ABD – Touch 1-yard run; Pisani kick
CEN – Dylan Purkey 37-yard run; Baird kick
ABD – Touch 1-yard run; Pisani kick
Team Stats ABD CEN
First Downs 15 9
Rushing Yards 326 175
Passing Yards 0 161
Total Yards 326 336
Comp-Att-Int 0-4-1 9-18-0
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 2/1
Penalties/Yards 6/50 6/45
Rushing: ABD — Kylan Touch 40/272; CEN — Dylan Purkey 10/67, Tristan Dickey 11/64
Passing: ABD — Ben Dublanko 0-4/1; CEN — Kolby Baird 9-18/161
Receiving: ABD — N/A; CEN — Derek Beairsto 4/75, Mason Titus 1/41
WOLVES 25, WARRIORS 7
Black Hills 6 7 0 12 — 25
Rochester 0 0 0 7 — 7
BH — Taylor Simmons 30-yard run; kick failed
BH — Kade Weitzel 14-yard run; kick good
ROC — Enrique Sanchez 21-yard fumble return; kick good
BH — Zach Loveless 20-yard run; kick failed
BH — Simmons 40-yard run; kick failed
Team Stats BH ROC
First Downs 12 8
Rushing Yards 351 70
Passing Yards 16 69
Total Yards 367 139
Comp-Att-Int 1-6-1 7-21-2
Fumbles/Lost 8/2 2/1
Penalties/Yards 4/45 6/45
Rushing: BH — Preston Lee 16/121; ROC — Enrique Sanchez 16/81
Passing: BH — Ryan Moloney 1-6/16; ROC — Bryce Lollar 5-15/53
Receiving: BH — Jacob Briggs 1/16; ROC — Patrick Riley 3/53