2B Football: Kreger, Loggers Rally Back to Hand Rainier First Loss
MOUNTAIN TIME: Kreger Accounts for Four TDs in Onalaska’s 34-28 Win
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
ONALASKA — There was no pulse-pounding speech at halftime.
The Loggers had played a poor first two quarters, and on Friday night fire and brimstone wasn’t going to cure the ills rain — and Rainier — had inflicted.
Down 21-6 at the break after four turnovers, the locker room discussion was frank.
“We said, right now, you’re getting out-physicaled. You have to make a conscious decision what we’re going to be in the second half,” Onalaska coach Mazen Saade said. “Win, lose or draw, how are you going to come out of this thing?”
The Loggers came out of it the same way they went into their SWW 2B League Mountain Division contest with No. 3 Rainier: Undefeated.
Lucas Kreger scored on an 8-yard run with just over 2 minutes left in the game, leading Onalaska all the way back from a 28-12 deficit late in the third quarter for a 34-28 victory.
Kreger, a junior quarterback, ran for 140 yards and three touchdowns and added 111 passing yards with a score to help his team improve to 6-0.
“He just digs, man. He just digs,” Saade said of Kreger. “He doesn’t let little things get in his mind. He’s mentally tough and he works hard — and that’s our whole team, man.”
Kreger opened the first and third quarters with big touchdown runs, going 45 yards for the first score and 49 yards for the second.
Between those, though, the Mountaineers notched 21 points, helped along by the Loggers’ three lost fumbles in the first half. The wet weather played a factor, with the teams combining for 14 fumbles — of which changed the possession.
“You know, it’s all mental. A couple of those times I was just so hyped up, you’re ready to go and I totally forgot there’s still a football that I have to snap,” Kreger said. “The rain didn’t help any at all, but I’d say we dealt with it well, and when we wanted to do something we could.”
Rainier pulled ahead 28-12 on a 6-yard run from Cole Reise — his third of the game — midway through the third quarter, and the Loggers went to work on that conscious decision. Seven plays later Hazen Inman scooted in from 5 yards out to cut the lead to 28-18, and the teams swapped lost fumbles to keep things interesting.
Two plays after the Mountaineers’ next punt, Kreger floated a pass downfield to Kyle Hamilton, who evaded cut his way into the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown. Kreger ran in the conversion — the Loggers’ first successful extra points of the night — to make it a 28-26 game with 10:13 to play.
The rain, though, wasn’t finished weighing in. Rainier punted on its next drive, and the teams combined to lose two fumbles in five plays, leaving the Loggers with the ball near midfield with 5:34 to go.
Kreger found tight end Kayden Allison for 19 yards, and Cade Lawrence grabbed 18 yards on a sweep to put Onalaska in the red zone. Five plays later Kreger darted into the end zone, and Ashton Haight did the honors on the conversion for what turned out to be the final margin.
The Mountaineers found themselves pinned inside their own 10-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, with starting quarterback Zach Lofgren sidelined after a hard sack from Logger Alex Frazier on the previous series. Lofgren returned for the final two plays of the game, but Frazier came up big again, tackling Reise on the edge to force a turnover on downs with less than a minute to play.
Lofgren ran 14 times for 90 yards and a touchdown, and tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Reise. Reise added 103 rushing yards on 20 carries and scored in the second quarter after stripping the ball from a Logger and returning it 75 yards.
The Mountaineers entered the game with a 5-0 record, and will play at Adna on Friday.
“That’s a good football team. That’s a really good football team,” Saade said of the Mountaineers. “(Lofgren’s) a heck of a quarterback, and their backs run hard. That’s a damn good team in this league.”
Haight finished with 67 rushing yards on 19 carries for Onalaska, and Allison caught two passes for 53 yards. Hamilton added an interception in the second quarter.
Onalaska (6-0, 2-0 league) plays at Napavine on Friday.
LOGGERS 34, MOUNTAINEERS 28
Rainier 7 14 7 0 —28
Onalaska 6 0 12 16 —34
ONY — Lucas Kreger 45-yard run; run failed
RAI — Zach Lofgren 10-yard pass to Cole Reise; Tyler Barlass kick
RAI — Reise 70-yard fumble return; Barlass kick
RAI — Lofgren 17-yard run; Barlass kick
ONY — Kreger 49-yard run; run failed
RAI — Reise 6-yard run; Barlass kick
ONY — Hazen Inman 5-yard run; run failed
ONY — Kreger 46-yard pass to Kyle Hamilton; Kreger run
ONY — Kreger 8-yard run; Ashton Haight run
Team Stats RAI ONY
First Downs 7 10
Rushing Yards 213 247
Passing Yards 17 111
Total Yards 230 358
Comp-Att-Int 2-9-1 4-6-1
Fumbles/Lost 7/3 7/5
Penalties/Yards 3/20 4/20
Rushing: RAI — Lofgren 14/90, Reise 20/103; ONY — Kreger 17/140, Haight 19/67
Passing: RAI — Lofgren 2-9/17; ONY — Kreger 4-6/111
Receiving: RAI — Reise 2/17; ONY — Kayden Allison 2/53, Kyle Hamilton 1/46