2A Football: Pineda Leads Tigers to Roller-Coaster Win Over Rochester
HOMECOMING: Pineda’s Three Touchdowns Key in Wild 42-35 EvCo Win
By Aaron VanTuyl
Jose Pineda scored the game-winning touchdown, but it wasn’t even his most impressive play of the night.
It was that kind of homecoming for the Tigers on Friday night.
Pineda ran for 125 yards, picked up another 88 yards receiving and accounted for three touchdowns in a back-and-forth 42-35 Evergreen 2A Conference win over Rochester at Tiger Stadium.
The game-winner? That came with 8 seconds left on the clock, on a 4-yard run up the middle.
The play of the game? That was, by all accounts, the senior slotback’s 28-yard catch from quarterback Kolby Baird on a play that started with 1.4 seconds left on the first-half clock. Pineda went up for a jump ball at about the 5-yard line, hauled in the pass and stayed on his feet to stumble across the goal line, putting the Tigers up 35-21 at the break.
“There’s one kid on the field that catches that ball, and that’s Jose,” Tiger coach Jeremy Thibault said. “He’s stinking athletic and he went up and got it. I don’t know how tall he is, but he’s not very tall, and I guess he had more will or more want than the kid covering him.”
The play that gave the Tigers their comfortable halftime lead was nearly as improbable as the series of events that made their first-half comeback necessary. Centralia fumbled on the opening kickoff, and on the Warriors’ first play quarterback Bryce Lollar pitched it to Bodey Smith, who tossed a reverse handoff to Daniel May, who then lofted a pass to Patrick Riley, who coasted untouched into the end zone just 13 seconds into the game.
The bad start got worse in a hurry. The Tigers lost another fumble on their first play, and Lollar scooped it up and went 38 yards for a touchdown (and a 14-0 lead) with just 30 seconds off the clock.
“That’s a big comeback, to be down 14-0 with them running one play,” Thibault said. “I don’t care how good or bad the team is, most teams don’t recover.”
The Tigers, though, did, scoring 29 points in the second quarter — more than they’d scored in any one game this year before Friday.
“We had to dig deep. We knew we had it in us, and we just had to get out,” Pineda said. “We didn’t come into the game prepared; we thought we were going to walk all over them and that wasn’t the case.”
The Warriors (2-5, 0-2 league) were more than ready for Centralia. Fullback Enrique Sanchez ran 26 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, while Lollar added 60 yards on the ground and 53 through the air.
“They have some athletes over there, for them having 20-some kids,” Thibault said. “That coach (John Moorhead) did a heck of a job over there with those kids.”
Fullback Dylan Purkey, who ran for 118 yards on 20 carries, got Centralia on the board late in the first quarter on a 1-yard run. Pineda’s first touchdown, also on a 1-yard run — combined with Baird’s conversion pass to Mason Titus — tied things up at 14.
The Warriors answered with a 10-play drive, concluding with Sanchez’s 3-yard run, but Centralia rattled off three scores in the last four minutes of the second quarter. Baird hit Mason Titus for a 44-yard touchdown, Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds scored on a 14-yard run, and the Tigers got the ball back with less than 30 seconds on the clock.
Baird hit Pineda for 37 yards to set up the big final first-half play.
“Those were good balls by my quarterback,” Pineda said. “Those were good plays by him.”
The second half featured fewer twists and turns. Lollar hit May in the corner of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown that tied things up with 3:29 to play, and the Tigers’ final drive covered the next 3:21.
Pineda set up his final touchdown with 23- and 8-yard runs, then moved to fullback for the last play — a second-and-2 from the 4-yard line with 11 seconds left, run after a timeout.
“We just put the ball in Jose’s hands,” Thibault said. “Not that Purkey can’t do it, but for whatever reason he was timid the play before, so that’s why we did the switch. And then we spread the field and they honored it, and we had no intention of ever throwing it.”
It was the first league win of the season for the Tigers (2-5, 1-2 league), who lost to Black Hills in overtime two weeks earlier and lost on a last-minute play to Sequim in Week 3.
“It’s huge. We’ve been on the doorstep for weeks, and today we finished,” Thibault said. “I’m glad the kids got a win tonight. They’ve worked hard, and they deserve it.”
Centralia plays at rival W.F. West on Friday night in Chehalis, while Rochester plays at Aberdeen in an EvCo game on Friday.
Bearcats Top Wolves in Overtime
By The Chronicle
TUMWATER — W.F. West went for two and the win in overtime against Black Hills, and Ka’imi Henry was able to get the ball over the goalline for the conversion and help the Bearcats to an 11-10 win in an Evergreen 2A Conference football game here on Friday night.
It was 3-3 after regulation, and Jason Tusan scored a touchdown on Black Hills’ first overtime play and kicked an extra point for a 10-3 lead.
W.F. West answered on their first play of overtime, scoring on a Leandre Gaines 25-yard pass from Nole Wollan. The extra point was blocked, but the Wolves were called for offsides, moving the ball a yard and a half away from the goalline, and Henry was able to punch it in on the ensuing play.
“When they cut the distance in half, only yard and a half, it was time to go for the win. We were tired, we had injuries on our defense and lots of kids playing positions they didn’t expect to be playing,” W.F. West coach Bob Wollan said. “It was time to go for it. It was one play, we’ve got to make a play and we got it done.”
Henry finished with 80 yards on 13 carries. Wollan was 8 of 21 passing for 74 yards and a touchdown. Gaines had two catches for 42 yards and Tyson Guerrero caught three passes for 23 yards.
“Defensively, they were on top of their game. Black Hills we knew was solid defensively going into this game, they’re everything we thought they’d be and more,” Wollan said. “We just struggled all night to consistently move the ball. We had multiple scoring opportunities in first half, were in the redzone three different times. We had penalties, some missed some FGs, it was one of those games where everything we were getting was tough. We couldn’t break the big play and it was the same thing with Black Hills.”
Neither team scored in the first quarter. A big run from Tusan looked like it might be a touchdown, but Jordan Thomas chased him down and the Wolves had to settle for a Davide Levi 27-yard field goal. W.F. West answered before the end of the half with a Cory Davis 32-yard field goal to tie the game.
“In the fourth quarter, we can’t make a mistake and this thing is destined to get to OT. It didn’t last long, but it sure exciting,” Wollan said. “Credit to our guys for hanging in and finding a way. I was impressed with Henry, his yards were tough.”
W.F. West (6-1, 3-0 league) faces Centralia next week in the annual Swamp Cup game at Bearcat Stadium.
BEARCATS 11, WOLVES 10 OT
W.F. West 0 3 0 0 8—11
Black Hills 0 3 0 0 7—10
BH — Davide Levi 27-yard field goal
WFW — Cory Davis 32-yard field goal
BH — Jason Tusan 27-yard run; Levi kick
WFW — Leandre Gaines 25-yard pass from Nole Wollan; Ka’imi Henry run
Team Stats WFW BH
First Downs 13 8
Rushing Yards 139 170
Passing Yards 74 37
Total Yards 213 207
Comp-Att-Int 8-21-0 2-5-3
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 4/0
Penalties/Yards 4/45 8/47
Rushing: WFW — Henry 13/80, Wollan 21/52; BH — Tusan 12/109, Taylor Simmons 17/71
Passing: WFW — Wollan 8-21/74; BH — Ryan Moloney 1-4/12, Simmons 1-1/32
Receiving: WFW — Gaines 2/42, Guerrero 3/23; BH — N/A
TIGERS 42, WARRIORS 35
Rochester 14 7 7 7 —35
Centralia 6 29 0 7 —42
ROC — Daniel May 41-yard pass to Patrick Riley; Enrique Sanchez kick
ROC — Bryce Lollar 35-yard fumble recovery; Sanchez kick
CEN — Dylan Purkey 1-yard run; run failed
CEN — Jose Pineda 1-yard run; Kolby Baird pass to Mason Titus
ROC — Sanchez 3-yard run; Sanchez kick
CEN — Baird 44-yard pass to Titus; Baird kick
CEN — Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds 14-yard run; Baird kick
CEN — Baird 28-yard pass to Pineda; Baird kick
ROC — Bodey Smith 6-yard run; Sanchez kick
ROC — Lollar 11-yard pass to May; Sanchez kick
CEN — Pineda 4-yard run; Baird kick
Team Stats ROC CEN
First Downs 18 18
Rushing Yards 228 355
Passing Yards 94 132
Total Yards 322 487
Comp-Att-Int 8-16-1 4-10-1
Fumbles/Lost 2/0 3/2
Penalties/Yards 5/42 7/50
Rushing: ROC — Sanchez 26/118, Lollar 10/60, Gerardo Carpio 5/35; CEN — Pineda 18/125, Purkey 20/118, Sobolesky-Reynolds 4/36, Tristan Dickey 5/71
Passing: ROC — Lollar 7-15/53; CEN — Baird 4-10/132
Receiving: ROC — Riley 3/55, May 2/18, Sanchez 1/15; CEN — Pineda 3/88, Titus 1/44