THRILLER: No. 2 Chinooks Score Quickly on First Possession of OT, Beat No. 1 Napavine 14-8
By Aaron VanTuyl
NAPAVINE — Tiger football coach Josh Fay was quick to sum up Saturday night’s loss as “just a nonleague game.”
By definition, of course, he was right on the money. The context, though, explains the wry grin that accompanied the explanation.
Napavine, the No. 1 team in the state poll and the defending State 2B champion, came out on the short end of an overtime battle, by a 14-8 margin, to No. 2-ranked Kalama. The senior-laden Chinooks, likely still smarting from the 41-6 beating delivered by Napavine in their first-round state playoff meeting last November, looked and played like a team of veterans, scoring first, scoring last and ending the game with an interception.
The finish, though, certainly didn’t leave anyone in the packed stands at Tiger Stadium looking for a refund, particularly after a last-minute touchdown by the hosts tied things up to force free football.
Kalama’s Corbyn Byrnes scored on a 3-yard run on the first possession of overtime, and teammate Hunter Griggs intercepted a pass on the Tigers’ second play in the extra session to end the contest.
“I mean, how many football games do you see like that?” Fay wondered. “That’s a pretty darn good football team. They’re a part of something good, and we’re just going to get better on Monday.”
Kalama quarterback Alex Dyer completed 18 of 34 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, and finally broke scoreless tie late in the second quarter. Dyer, a 6-foot-1 junior, hit Jacob Herz, who found just enough separation in the end zone for an easy catch. The Chinooks tacked on 2 points when Corbyn Byrnes snagged a tipped jump ball in the end zone.
“I thought we had some coverage issues there, but man, our defense was on the field a lot. And to hold a team to 8 points — and kind of an immaculate reception on the conversion?” Fay said. “I mean, we’re that conversion away from just kicking a PAT and this thing goes the other way.”
A pair of interceptions in the third quarter stymied the Tigers’ offense — one by K.C. Larranaga, another by Brennon Vance — and things didn’t get much better until the fourth quarter.
With their backs against the wall and 3 minutes on the clock, Napavine started from its own 49-yard line and went to work. Four straight runs by quarterback Dawson Stanley put the Tigers on the 28-yard line, and on fourth-and-10 Stanley lofted a pass to Purvis on the left side of the end zone. The 6-foot-3 senior went up and over the 5-10 Randall Keithley to haul in the touchdown with 59 seconds left on the clock.
“He wanted the ball at the end of the game, and he wanted the opportunity,” Fay said of Stanley. “And any time Purvis is the guy on the other end, we feel pretty good about giving him a shot. He’s one of the best in the state with his ball skills, and he’s long, he’s 6-3 and he jumps well.”
The point-after, once again, was entertaining. In the midst of being tackled Stanley tossed a shovel pass to a nearby Cole Van Wyck, who packed it into the end zone to tie things up.
Kalama was unable to gain any ground and punted with 30 seconds remaining, but the Tigers elected to kneel it out and play the overtime.
The defense, which held Kalama to 36 rushing yards, was a bright spot. Stanley and Purvis both recorded interceptions.
“That’s pretty good,” Fay said. “If they’re the best team in the state and we can hold them to 36 rushing yards, that’s pretty good.”
The offense, though, is still working out its identity. Stanley and Randy Kinswa combined to go 7 of 21 for 71 yards, with four interceptions.
“We’re going to have to make some improvements. I thought we struggled in the first half. We had a lot of stuff open and made some poor reads, and there were some tips, and we just kind of struggled with some things,” Fay said. “But those guys, they’ve been watching big Stanley (Dawson’s older brother Wyatt) do it for three and a half years, and we’re not big Stanley.
“We have to create an identity, and those guys are going to have to get better,” he added.
The hype around the game, and the close final margin, were reminiscent of the Tigers’ 28-27 loss to Pe Ell-Willapa Valley in Week 3 of the 2015 season. The teams met again in the state semifinals, with Napavine advancing to the title game.
“We certainly referenced it in (the locker room),” Fay said. “I don’t think this can be a turning point, necessarily, for us, but maybe a starting point. … We’ll get better. (Offensive coordinator) Tyson (Wilson) will do a good job, and we’ll get better. It matters how you play at the end of the year.”
Notes: Napavine (1-1) plays Morton-White Pass in Randle on Friday in a SWW 2B League Mountain Division game. … It was the lowest scoring output for Napavine since a 41-7 loss to Morton-White Pass on Oct. 4, 2013. … Purvis finished with four catches for 62 yards. Stanley ran 17 times for 72 yards, and Noah Lantz added 10 carries for 63 yards.
Haight Runs Wild as Loggers Keep Old Helmet
ONALASKA — Ashton Haight had a breakout night, and Onalaska shut out rival Mossyrock, 48-0, in the annual Old Helmet game to keep the helmet in the Loggers’ possession for a third straight year.
Haight ran for 269 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, and Lucas Kreger and Adrian Sanchez each added two touchdowns for Onalaska.
“It’s the Old Helmet game,” Logger coach Mazen Saade said. “At the end of the day we get to keep the helmet out here in Onalaska, and that’s a huge thing for our kids.”
Kreger (16 yards), Haight (64 yards) and Lazaro Rodriguez (5 yards) scored rushing touchdowns in the first quarter, and Sanchez added scores in the third and fourth quarters.
The Loggers’ eight fumbles (six of which were lost) were an area of concern, as were 60 yards in penalties.
“We have to take care of the football and the penalties, and get rid of those mental mistakes,” Saade said. “But it was awesome. It’s a great feeling right now. Our kids are sky-high after this win.”
Haight, a sophomore fullback, was a bright spot.
“It’s a testament to what he does, and to him in our system,” Saade said. “He had a few fumbles and got discouraged, but it was nice to see his mental toughness and his resilience as the game went on.”
Sanchez, a senior fullback, was another highlight.
“He adds a different element to what we do,” Saade said.
Haight scored on a 1-yard run and Kreger returned a punt 45 yards for the Loggers’ final touchdown.
Defensively, the Loggers held Mossyrock to just 10 yards of offense.
“Our whole defense stepped up tonight,” Saade added. “I thought (defensive coordinator) Wayne (Nelson) and his crew, Kenny (Ulery) and Weylin Womack, did a heck of a job preparing those guys this week.”
Onalaska (2-0) hosts Life Christian Academy on Friday. Mossyrock (0-2) plays Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, in Pe Ell, on Friday.
CHINOOKS 14, TIGERS 8 OT
Kalama 0 8 0 0 6 —14
Napavine 0 0 0 8 0 —8
KAL — Alex Dyer 20-yard pass to Jacob Herz; Dyer pass to Corbyn Byrnes
NAP — Dawson Stanley 28-yard pass to Jordan Purvis; Stanley pass to Cole Van Wyck
KAL — Corbyn Byrnes 3-yard run; pass failed
Team Stats KAL NAP
First Downs 8 15
Rushing Yards 36 179
Passing Yards 212 71
Total Yards 248 250
Comp-Att-Int 18-34-2 7-21-4
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 0/0
Penalties/Yards 10/75 3/20
Rushing: KAL — Dyer 7/28; NAP — Stanley 17/72, Noah Lantz 10/63
Passing: KAL — Dyer 18-34/212; NAP — Randy Kinswa 4-7/48, Stanley 3-14/21
Receiving: KAL — Tucker Wetmore 6/89, Max Ross 4/32, Jacob Herz 3/30; NAP — Purvis 4/62
LOGGERS 48, VIKINGS 0
Mossyrock 0 0 0 0 —0
Onalaska 18 0 8 22 —48
ONY — Lucas Kreger 16-yard run; run failed
ONY — Ashton Haight 64-yard run; run failed
ONY — Lazaro Rodriguez 5-yard run; run failed
ONY — Adrian Sanchez 1-yard run; Hazen Inman run
ONY — Sanchez 15-yard run; run failed
ONY — Haight 1-yard run; Rodriguez run
ONY — Kreger 45-yard punt return; Kreger pass to Inman
Team Stats MOS ONY
First Downs 2 17
Rushing Yards -6 422
Passing Yards 16 19
Total Yards 10 441
Comp-Att-Int 2-9-0 1-4-1
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 8/6
Penalties/Yards 12/105 8/60
Rushing: MOS — N/A; ONY — Ashton Haight 26/269; Kreger 5/52, Rodriguez 6/36, Sanchez 7/49
Passing: MOS — Colton McClure 2-8/16, Aiden Weist 0-1/0; ONY — Kreger 1-4/19
Receiving: MOS — Torre Villanueva 2/16; ONY — Rodriguez 1/19