2A Football: Tumwater Blanks Bearcats in Injury-Plagued Loss
GOING DOWN: W.F. West Loses Starting Quarterback, Running Back to Injury in 34-0 Loss
By Matt Baide
It’s one thing to lose a game with a team at full strength. It’s a whole different ball game when two of your best players go down to add insult to injury.
The Bearcats were playing well and looked like they had a chance to pull off an upset of No. 1 Tumwater until starting running back Jaiyden Camoza was hurt, followed shortly after by quarterback Josiah Johnson, and the No. 1 ranked Thunderbirds took full advantage in a 34-0 win in an Evergreen 2A Conference football game in Chehalis on Friday night.
“I thought our guys played extremely hard tonight,” W.F. West coach Dan Hill said. “We had a great game plan and just some things happened within our team today injury wise. We played tough.”
W.F. West and Tumwater were knotted at zero after one quarter and the Bearcats were able to pin Tumwater with a punt at their own 3-yard line early in the second quarter. After almost scoring a safety, the Bearcats received a Tumwater punt with great field position and a big run by Johnson pushed W.F. West into the red zone.
Camoza went down on a play in that red zone effort and Johnson appeared to get hurt on the next play. Camoza sprained his ankle and Johnson sustained a concussion, ending their evenings early.
“When you lose your starting quarterback and your starting running back within two minutes of each other, it’s got a big effect on the team and game plans essentially kind of change at that moment in time and we stuck a freshman quarterback (Gavin Fugate) in there against Tumwater, the No. 1 ranked team in the state and he did well tonight and he learned and grew tonight,” Hill said. “I’m proud of him sticking in there and throwing the ball and we rotated a lot of guys, both offensively and defensively. We had some guys step up that maybe didn’t get as many reps in practice as the starters did and they came in and did an excellent job. Our guys, they played hard all night long defensively and offensively.”
Tumwater was able to get into the end zone on the next possession. After a big run by Hunter Baker to get the T-Birds into W.F. West territory, Dylan Paine punched in his first touchdown of the game on a 23-yard run for a 7-0 lead at halftime.
W.F. West received the opening kickoff and on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, the ball was snapped over Fugate’s head and Tumwater recovered. Paine scored his second touchdown of the night on the next play with an 11-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
Tumwater pulled away in the fourth quarter as Cody Whalen connected with Austin Terry for a 9-yard touchdown pass and Paine took a handoff 50 yards for his third score of the night. Jaylen Clay completed the scoring with a 2-yard run.
“We knew, hey, we can play football. We are a good football team. When we’ve got things going, we’re as good as anybody at the 2A level,” Hill said. “I’m bummed that some guys didn’t get to play tonight and we didn’t get to experience the opportunity fully but you know, we’ve just got to keep plugging away and if we keep doing that, I think we’re going to get another chance some day to do it again.”
The Tumwater defense held W.F. West to just 91 yards of total offense. Josiah Johnson had 44 yards on eight carries before exiting the game and Leandre Gaines added 37 yards on nine carries. Johnson was 1 of 5 passing for 11 yards with two interceptions. Fugate was 3-of-6 passing for six yards and an interception and Max Taylor led the receiving core with two catches for 14 yards.
Paine had 24 carries for 196 yards and Baker added 62 yards on three carries. Whalen was 4 of 7 passing for 46 yards and Danny Goodbum caught two passes for 39 yards.
“We had a good defensive plan and I tell you what, our defense, we have a very good defense and our front four are very dynamite,” Hill said. “It was a 7-0 ball game at half and we have one bad snap and all the sudden, it changes in one play. I think it was 14-0 going into the fourth quarter. With a few guys that weren’t playing or starting on defense, that’s just a testament to how hard our guys play and their effort.”
W.F. West (6-1, 2-1) will hope to heal up and be ready to welcome the Tigers to Chehalis next Friday for the annual Swamp Cup game.
THUNDERBIRDS 34, BEARCATS 0
Tumwater 0 7 7 20 —34
W.F. West 0 0 0 0 —0
TUM — Dylan Paine 23-yard run; Nathan Vani kick
TUM — Paine 10-yard run; Vani kick
TUM — Cody Whalen 9-yard pass to Austin Terry; Vani kick
TUM — Paine 50-yard run; Vani kick
TUM — Jaylen Clay 2-yard run; kick failed
Team Stats WFW TUM
First Downs 5 16
Rushing Yards 24/74 47/314
Passing Yards 17 46
Total Yards 91 360
Comp-Att-Int 4-11-3 4-7-0
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 1/1
Penalties/Yards 9/55 13/71
Rushing: WFW — Josiah Johnson 8/44, Leandre Gaines 9/37; TUM — Dylan Paine 24/196, Hunter Baker 3/62, Jack Jones 4/28
Passing: WFW — Josiah Johnson 1-5/11, Gavin Fugate 3-6/6; TUM — Cody Whalen 4-7/46
Receiving: WFW — Max Taylor 2/14; TUM — Danny Goodbum 2/39, Austin Terry 1/9