Friday’s 2A Football: Bearcats Take 10th Straight Swamp Cup
Twin Cities Rivalry: Big First Half Propels W.F. West Past Centralia
By Jordan Nailon
W.F. West came into the Hub City on Friday night considered heavy favorites to win the 111th Swamp Cup and they went right to work to prove the experts correct. By the time the second quarter had gotten started the Bearcats had posted 20 unanswered points on their way to a 42-21 victory in the Evergreen 2A Conference game that doubles as the the Twin Cities gridiron rivalry.
Jaiyden Camoza got things going for W.F. West with a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. That rush capped a methodical drive that lasted 7:01 and covered 89 yards. Camoza picked up 25 of yards himself to get the Bearcats on the board.
After the Bearcats defense flexed their muscle on the ensuing Tigers drive and forced a 3-and-out punt that didn’t travel far due to a poor snap they quickly found themselves celebrating another touchdown. That score was set up by a 45-yard air strike from Josiah Johnson to Troy Yarter and was capped by an eight yard scoring rush from Camoza, who promptly ran in the two-point conversion to make up for a missed extra point.
The Bearcats forced another 3-and-out offensive possession for the Tigers on their next trip onto the field and then took over the ball at their own 42 yard line with 28 seconds left in the first quarter. After moving the ball a few paces before the quarter expired the Bearcats again found paydirt when Josiah Johnson found Troy Yarter for a 46-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter.
That score gave W.F. West a 20-0 lead and put Centralia on notice that this year’s Bearcats had no intention of letting the Swamp Cup trophy stay in Tiger Town for the first time in 10 years.
On their first sustained drive of the night Centralia was able to cover 64 yards down to the Bearcats 9-yard line. That drive was fueled by a 20-yard pass from Tanner DeMonbrun to Alejandro Valencia, a 14-yard run by Adrienne Martinez and a 40-yard catch by Blaine Wass. Unfortunately for Centralia their luck ran out after a near interception in the endzone as Yarter hauled down the next Centralia pass and returned it all the way back to midfield.
With the possession and momentum back on their side W.F. West took to the air game as Josiah Johnson connected with Kaelin Hazen for a 30-yard connection. Johnson then went back to Leandre Gaines on consecutive plays for a 15-yard gain and then a 13-yard score. Lafe Johnson capped the quick drive with a two point rush.
Before time ran out on the half W.F. West was able to add one more score thanks to an athletic interception by Lafe Johnson around midfield. A 36-yard pass from Josiah Johnson to Yarter brought the ball down to the two-yard line and then, after a botched shotgun snap, Johnson recovered the ball on a bounce and lofted it to a wide open Carver Brennan in the back of the endzone to extend their lead to 35-0 at intermission.
It was a different team entirely that came out of the locker room though as the Bearcats looked flat for most of the third quarter.
“We weren’t focusing very good,” admitted Camoza. “I think we were a little bit too excited in the locker room (at halftime) and we started just going through the motions.”
That let down was highlighted when W.F. West curiously elected to call a fake punt pass on 4th and 33 from well inside Centralia territory. When the pass from Gaines fell incomplete the Tigers sideline was alive and roaring for the first time since warmups. After that the Tigers proceeded to put up three unanswered touchdowns, with a one-yard quarterback sneak by DeMonbrun capitalizing on the W.F. West miscue after he had found Tyler Milton on a 25-yard streak to approach the end zone.
In the start of the fourth quarter DeMonbrun hit Wass on a 38-yard arrow for another touchdown. When the Tigers attempted and recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff the Tiger faithful were finally proudly showing their stripes. A 26-yard naked backside flair to Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds caught the Bearcats defense completely unaware and he was able to skate untouched into the end zone as he waved at the distant Bearcats defenders.
That score brought the Tigers within two scores of W.F. West at 35-21.
“I thought the second half is more the football team that we are. We came in here at halftime and made no adjustments, it was just kind of a confidence thing to get them going,” said Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault. “I think in previous years they would have just rolled over and let it be 49-nothing, or 56-nothing, We just challenged them at half to be the team they are capable of being and I think they showed it.”
The good times didn’t last long for Centralia though as they failed to recover their ensuing onside kick. On the very next play Camoza got loose again, this time for a 46-yard touchdown run that removed any doubt about the outcome of the game.
Camoaa finished the game with three touchdowns and 107 yards rushing while splitting time in the backfield with Lafe Johnson.
“I didn’t expect it,” said Camoza of his big night. “I was hoping to and I pray for it before every single game to help my team out any way I can. It felt good tonight.”
The junior tailback added that it took a full team effort in order to see the game through to the end in the fashion that the Bearcats have become accustomed.
“First half I would say that defensively, I think that was probably our best thing. In the second half it was the offensive line that helped us out in the end,” Camoza noted.
W.F. West coach Dan Hill was singing Camoza’s praises after the game.
“He’s a really talented kid and he was pretty hurt at the start of the season but he finally started to get healthy and get his legs about him by week five and tonight he really showcased what he can do back there. He’s pretty special,” said Hill.
Josiah Johnson also threw for 267-yards and three touchdowns in the game with Yarter proving to be his favorite receiver on the night. Yarter hauled in four passes for 139 yards and a score to go with his interception at the goal line in the first half.
‘Troy, he’s been rock solid for us both offensively and defensively all season long. He’s probably the top two most consistent player we’ve had and tonight he had an opportunity to catch some balls and make some big plays for us,” added Hill.
Hill said that some of the let down in the second half from his players was his fault. The rest of back and forth in the second half he chalked up to typical rivalry game happenings.
“The first touchdown, I take ownership on that one, I called the fake punt when I probably shouldn’t have,” HIll said. “There’s something about rivalry games, it always seems like no matter how lopsided it could seem before the game starts there’s always adversity that you overcome in a football game. There’s way too many moving parts for something bad not to happen.”
While the Bearcats have claimed victory in the Swamp Cup for a decade straight Thibault said he saw good things on both sides tonight that gives him hope that the rivalry will live on for years to come. Namely, he enjoyed the demonstrative tit-for-tat play that broke out once the Tigers started putting points on the board.
“I wish there was more of it. I actually kind of admire the kids from Chehalis who were getting chippy because that means it’s not dead and it’s not dying. I’m a big believer that Centralia and Chehalis shouldn’t combine for a baseball team and stuff like that because i want to beat them, not be with them,” Thibault said. “I like it. I think it’s a good thing. I think the officials let it go just far enough to make it fun.”
Rochester Earns First EvCo Win Over Aberdeen
ROCHESTER — Rochester scored 19 points in the second half to come from behind and beat Aberdeen, 28-21, in an Evergreen 2A Conference football game here on Friday night.
The Warriors had 361 yards of total offense, including 189 yard on the ground. The rushing attack was led by Enrique Sanchez with 17 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Grayson Johnson tallied 12 carries for 60 yards and a score.
Quarterback Daniel May was 8 of 13 passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Cody Weddle caught four passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and Jakob Spann had one catch for 20 yards and a score.
Rochester’s defense played well against the Bobcats, surrendering just 237 yards of total offense with an interception, two fumbles recovered and a safety.
The Bobcats scored the only points of the first quarter on a 9-yard run by Dakota Davis.
Rochester got on the board in the second quarter with a safety. Aberdeen regrouped and scored on a 5-yard run by Ben Dublanko. The Warriors scored just before halftime on a 20-yard pass from May to Spann, but the Bobcats led at halftime, 14-9.
The Bobcats expanded the lead in the third quarter with Davis’ second touchdown of the night on a 5-yard run.
It was all Warriors after that. May found Weddle on a 55-yard touchdown pass to whittle the Aberdeen lead to 21-16 going into the fourth quarter.
Johnson ran in a score from three yards out to give Rochester the lead and Sanchez scored on a 10-yard run to put the icing on the victory cake.
Rochester (2-6, 1-3) hosts Black Hills on Friday to wrap up the season.
BEARCATS 42, TIGERS 21
W.F. West 14 21 0 7 — 42
Centralia 0 0 7 14 — 21
WFW — Jaiyden Camoza 5-yard run; kick fail
WFW — Camoza 8-yard run; Camoza run
WFW — Josiah Johnson 46-yard pass to Troy Yarter; kick fail
WFW — J. Johnson 13-yard pass to Leandre Gaines; L. Johnson run
WFW — J. Johnson 2-yard pass to Carver Brennan; Kick good
CEN — Tanner DeMonbrun 1-yard run; Ch. Sobolesky-Reynolds kick
CEN — DeMonbrun 38 yard pass to Blaine Wass; Ch. Sobolesky-Reynolds kick
CEN — DeMonbrun 26-yard pass to Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds; Ch. Sobolesky-Reynolds kick
WFW — Camoza 46-yard run; kick good
Team Stats WFW CEN
First Downs 16 15
Rushing Yards 113 130
Passing Yards 267 172
Total Yards 380 302
Comp-Att-Int 13-22-0 9-23-2
Fumbles/Lost N/A 1/0
Penalties/Yards 9/90 11/76
Rushing: WFW — Jaiyden Camoza 9/107, Lafe Johnson 7/32; CEN — Tanner DeMonbrun 15/46, Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds 9/25
Passing: WFW — Josiah Johnson 13-21/267; CEN — Tanner DeMonbrun 9-23/172
Receiving: WFW — Troy Yarter 4/139, Leandre Gaines 4/40; CEN — Blaine Wass 3/71, Alejandro Valencia 2/42
WARRIORS 28, BOBCATS 21
Aberdeen 6 8 7 0 — 21
Rochester 0 9 7 12 — 28
ABE — Dakota Davis 9-yard run; kick failed
ROC — Safety
ABE — Ben Dublanko 5-yard run; conversion good
ROC — Daniel May 20-yard pass to Jacob Span; kick good
ABE — Davis 5-yard run; kick good
ROC — May 55-yard pass to Cody Weddle; kick good
ROC — Grayson Johnson 3-yard run; conversion failed
ROC — Enrique Sanchez 10-yard run; conversion no good
Team Stats ABE ROC
First Downs 10 15
Rushing Yards 108 189
Passing Yards 129 172
Total Yards 237 361
Comp-Att-Int 10-16-1 8-13-0
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 4/3
Penalties/Yards 4/35 4/30
Rushing: ABE — Dakota Davis 15/43, Ben Dublanko 14/51; ROC — Enrique Sanchez 17/87, Grayson Johnson 12/60,
Passing: ABE — Ben Dublanko 10-16/129; ROC — Daniel May 8-13/172
Receiving: ABE — Dillen Espana 4/49; ROC — Cody Weddle 4/123, Jacob Span 1/20