Week 5 Notebook: Adna Makes a Statement
The line on Friday night’s Adna/Napavine game was, essentially, that the host Pirates were the favorite, but a close game was expected.
What played out on the field was not particularly close, especially after the first half. In a 50-13 win, Adna’s defense only had one bad series — giving up two big runs and a 30-yard touchdown pass on Napavine’s opening drive of the third quarter. The linebackers chased down runners, the linemen always found their way into the backfield and the defensive backs only let the Tigers complete two passes. That’s all good news for Adna.
What’s even better news is that the offense looks more and more like it’s found its identity. Running backs Chance and Cole Fay, and first-year quarterback Braden Thomas, are all capable of breaking off big plays at any time, and the Pirates can run the same few plays over and over again, pick up consistent yardage, and wait for one of their three guys to break off a long run. They’d scored around 30 points in each of their four games this season, but Friday was the first time they’d looked like a team that could outscore an opponent instead of just bottling them up.
The biggest takeaway, though, was that the game actually meant something in the standings. Adna’s ranked No. 1 in the AP poll and now sits atop the SWW 2B League Mountain Division, which currently included two other undefeated teams in No. 5 Rainier and No. 7 Onalaska. It may not have five undefeated teams any longer, but it’s still probably the toughest league, top to bottom, in the state.
6: The number of punt-return touchdowns in Brady Collins’ career. Collins, Adna’s quick senior special teams star, ran back five punts last year in 10 games, tying the state record for a 10-game season (Royal’s Blair Collins ran back seven punts in 2008, but needed 13 games; Kittitas’ Joe Dawson ran back six in 1982 but had 11 games). He took the first punt on Friday night up the right side 65 yards for a score, which puts him in a tie for fifth in the state record book. The record holder is Adna’s Anthony Tatum, who led the Pirates to a state title in 2009 and ran back 10 punts for scores in 48 games from 2006 to 2009.
1,034: Total rushing yards this season for Onalaska junior fullback Ashton Haight. Haight also has 14 touchdowns through five weeks, which puts him on pace for a 1,854-yard, 25-touchdown regular season. Keeping that pace, however, won’t be easy. The Loggers host undefeated Rainier (giving up less than 9 points a game) on Friday, play at Napavine in Week 7, host Adna in Week 8 and close out the season at Life Christian on Oct. 27. Onalaska hasn’t beaten Napavine since 2005, when both were 1A schools (along with Toledo, Winlock, Ilwaco, Kalama, Rainier, White Pass and Ocosta, all of which now play in the SWW 2B League), but the teams didn’t play from 2006 to 2011.
3: The number of EvCo teams going to the crossovers. W.F. West opened its five-game Evergreen 2A Conference schedule with a loss at Black Hills. The loss is tough enough, but it also makes the Bearcats’ playoff road exponentially more difficult. The EvCo sends its top three teams into crossover games against the Greater St. Helens 2A League, and the one loss already means W.F. West would have to run the table — including beating No. 2-ranked Tumwater — over its last four games to finish second. Finishing third is a tough proposition; the EvCo No. 3 plays the GSHL No. 1 in a crossover game. And the GSHL champ is probably going to be defending state champ Hockinson, which is undefeated and averaging close to 50 points a game.
4: The number of 5-0 teams left in the 2B ranks. That includes Adna, Onalaska, Rainier and Tri-Cities Prep. The Jaguars beat St. Bernard’s out of Eureka, Calif., on Saturday, 23-21, in their closest game of the year. Lake Roosevelt and Ocosta are both undefeated, but have only played four games each.
316: Kalama quarterback Alex Dyer hit 15 of 18 passes for 316 yards with four touchdowns in a win over Winlock. The numbers aren’t as noteworthy as the fact that Dyer, the reigning 2B Player of the Year, is back in the lineup after leaving with a neck injury suffered in the first half against Adna two weeks earlier. Kalama hosts Toledo in a key River Division game on Friday.
52: The number of points Adna had scored in its last six games against Napavine, all of which were losses. Napavine scored 210 points during that span, and outside of an 18-7 win for Napavine last year none of the games were particularly close.
Lewis County Fantasy Football
Winner: At some point this season, Ashton Haight won’t be the runaway winner of the fake Lewis County Fantasy Football League’s weekly high-scoring honors.
This, however, was not that week.
Haight, Onalaska’s effective fullback, ran for a season-high 262 yards with three touchdowns in a thumping of Morton-White Pass, throwing in two conversion runs for 48 points. The Week 5 scoring runner-up was also an Onalaska kid: Quarterback Lucas Kreger ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 139 yards and a score for 42 points.
30-Point Club: There’s only one entry this week. Mossyrock’s TJ Villanueva scored three touchdowns and tallied 127 receiving yards in the Vikings’ loss to Wahkiakum, a bright spot in an otherwise rough outing in Cathlamet — which, as we’ve detailed before, is a tough place to play.
20-Point Club: Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Max Smith ran for 128 yards and a touchdown, and added a 30-yard TD catch, for 27 points in a nearly-impromptu win over Lyle-Wishram. … W.F. West quarterback Josiah Johnson threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns, and added 40 rushing yards and a conversion toss, for 24 points in a loss to Black Hills. … Toledo’s Duke Schaplow ran for 58 yards and three touchdowns (23 points), while teammate Colbey Cherrington ran for 85 yards and two scores (20 points). … Adna quarterback Braden Thomas ran for 163 yards and a touchdown and passed for 66 yards and a score for 28 points. Teammate Chance Fay ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns for 26 points.
Notables: Onalaska’s Cade Lawrence caught a 70-yard touchdown pass for 13 points, while Dylan Hamre scored MWP’s lone touchdown and ran for 53 yards (11 points). … PWV quarterback Logan Walker tossed a pair of touchdown passes and threw for 80 yards, while running for another 14, for 12 points. Teammate Sam Shelton added two touchdowns with 18 rushing yards for 13 points. … Adna’s Sawyer Burdick ran for 44 yards and a touchdown (10 points), and Pirate receiver Brady Collins had a 53-yard touchdown catch and returned a punt for a touchdown (17 points). … W.F. West’s Carver Brennan piled up 123 receiving yards with a touchdown against Black Hills (18 points), while fellow receiver Leandre Gaines had 90 yards and a score (15 points). Toledo’s Ethan Buck ran for 76 yards and scored twice for 19 points. … Napavine quarterback Dawson Stanley ran for 74 yards and passed for 61 yards and a touchdown for 13 points. … Centralia’s Shiloh Gray-Gundo had 49 rushing yards and a touchdown for 11 points in a loss to Aberdeen.