Saturday’s State 2B Football: Pirates Send Loggers Packing
Efficient Offense: Adna Headed to Semifinals After Downing Onalaska 34-12
By Jordan Nailon
TUMWATER — If you looked at the first half stats in a proverbial vacuum it would be easy to assume that Onalaska ran away with the game early here Saturday night.
As they are wont to do, the Loggers stayed true to their formidable run game and wound up dominating some counting stats, like time of possession. Specifically, Onalaska was able to get off 42 plays before intermission compared to Adna’s 15 offensive attempts.
The Pirates didn’t even get off an offensive snap until there was just 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.
As ‘they’ like to say, though, the only number that matters in the end is the score. Much to the delight of the boys in blue and gold that final tally fell 34-12 in favor of undefeated and number one ranked Adna. The win sends the Pirates on to face Napavine next week in the 2B state football semifinals.
Helping Adna to overcome those wonky first half stats was Brady Collins who finished the night with three touchdowns. The first of those scores came on a 65-yard punt return following Onalaska’s initial possession of the night. It was Collins’ 9th career punt returned for a score as a Pirate.
“I saw that they were actually going to punt it to me so I got down field and saw the wall,” said Collins. “That was just perfect. There was nobody there.”
On their ensuing possession Onalaska got right back to work living the three-yards-and-a-pile of tire dust lifestyle. Eight minutes and 14 seconds later, after 19 plays and 79 yards later Ashton Haight took a one-yard plunge across the goal line to bring Onalaska within one point of their all-too-familiar Mountain Division foes with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
After knocking the dust off of their offense in the final moments of the first quarter Adna continued to bull their way down field to the 11-yard line thanks in large part to some rabid running play from Chance Fay. That’s when Collins caught a screen pass from Braden Thomas on the left sideline and then reversed the entire field for another touchdown with 7:19 left in the half.
After stalling out another methodical Onalaska drive Chance Fay again toted the pigskin to help put Adna in position for another score before the half. With 52 seconds remaining before intermission Adna’s Thomas kept a snap and jaywalked his way into the end zone for an 11-yard scoring rush that extended the Pirates’ lead to 21-6 before the midway festivities began.
KC Johnson said he felt fortunate to have emerged from the first 24 minutes of play with a 15-point lead despite the fact that his team had been on defense nearly the entire time.
“That entire first half they ran 42 plays to our 15 and that’s what they want to do is run three times as many plays. And we knew that,” noted Johnson.
Initially, there were things that Adna didn’t know, though.
“They had a totally different defensive scheme which took us an entire quarter just to figure out what in the heck they were doing in each set,” Johnson explained.
Adna didn’t allow Onalaska’s dreams of an upset to linger for long in the second half though. Wanting to get in on the fun that his brother had in the first half Cole Fay carried a touchdown in from eight yards out with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Later in the game he had another rushing score taken off the board due to a penalty, but he finished the game with four carries for 50 yards to go with his touchdown.
Early in the fourth quarter Collins capped off his night with a 21-yard touchdown catch on a gorgeous ball from Thomas. He finished the game with three catches for 41 yards and would have had another punt returned for a touchdown if not for an illegal block penalty called against the Pirates.
Adna coach KC Johnson noted the historical significance of Collins’ night.
“He got that one called back or he would have tied (Anthony) Tatum. I know he wanted that one. He wanted that tenth one. But we’ve got a couple games left so hopefully he’ll get another one,” said Johnson. “But I know Josh (Fay) and he won’t kick him one unless it’s by accident.”
Other offensive standouts for Adna included Chance Fay who ran for 56 yards and hauled in four passes for another 22 yards. Thomas rushed for 49 yards and a score while throwing 19 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
With less than a minute remaining in the contest Onalaska’s Cade Lawrence was able to break his team’s scoring drought with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Ashton Haight was the Loggers’ leading rusher with 82 yards on 36 carries. Lawrence added 50 yards on 10 carries and quarterback Lucas Kreger chipped in 34 yards on nine carries. Kreger also connected with Kyle Hamilton on one pass for 27 yards.
After holding Onalaska to just 215 total yards despite their onslaught of offensive attempts Johnson was keen to extol the virtues of his vigorous defensive unit. First he noted interceptions hauled in by Elmer Loose and Chance Fay that helped to snuff out any lingering hope for the Loggers. Then he went all in on gassing up the big truckers down in the trenches.
“I was really impressed with our defense. I mean, they are so physical and so tough,” said Johnson. “You’ve got to be physical to go up against that offensive line. They are good at what they do.”
Johnson also made sure to tout the quality of play that Onalaska displayed consistently all year long.
“They are the most physical group that we play every year. Hats off to Maz (Saade) and Wayne (Nelson) and those kids. I mean, they are tough kids,” Johnson said, noting that the Loggers are set to return the bulk of their playmakers next season. “They should be the league favorite next year. They really should be.”
Immediately following the game Saade wasn’t yet ready to take solace in his team’s potential. But he did try to put the season ending loss to the consensus number one team in state into perspective.
“I felt we had a good season. We got a lot farther than we have in years past…so that’s nice. It’s good for them to experience that. You know, we would have liked to have gone a little farther but I thought the effort was there tonight,” Saade said. “Hopefully they understand what this is and where they were and they take this feeling and let it sit in their gut and it motivate them for the future.”
Kalama, Toledo and Napavine all won on Saturday which sets up an all Division 4 semifinal bracket for next week. The time, date, and location for those games has yet to be determined by the WIAA, although Johnson is on the record for wanting to return to Tumwater.
Collins agreed with his coach’s instinct for a preferred playing surface. But mostly he’s just looking forward to another rough and tumble Mountain Division rematch for the right to go to the state title game in the Tacoma Dome.
“This is great. It’s the farthest we’ve ever been and we’re excited to play Napavine,” Collins said.
PIRATES 34, LOGGERS 12
Onalaska 6 0 0 6 —12
Adna 7 14 7 6 —34
ADN — Brady Collins 65-yard punt return; Mitchell Maynard kick
ONY — Ashton Haight 1-yard run; run failed
ADN — Braden Thomas 11-yard pass to Brady Collins; Maynard kick
ADN — Thomas 11-yard run; Maynard kick
ADN — Cole Fay 6-yard run; Maynard kick
ADN — Thomas 21-yard pass to Collins; kick failed
ONY — Cade Lawrence 1-yard run; run failed
Team Stats ONY ADN
First Downs 10 12
Rushing Yards 188 180
Passing Yards 27 97
Total Yards 215 277
Comp-Att-Int 1-6-2 11-19-0
Fumbles/Lost 4/2 2/0
Penalties/Yards 3/35 6/50
Rushing: ONY — Ashton Haight 36/82, Cade Lawrence 10/50, Lucas Kreger 9/34, Hazen Inman 5/22; ADN — Cole Fay 4/50, Braden Thomas 9/49, Chance Fay 9/56
Passing: ONY — Kreger 1-6/27; ADN — Thomas 11-19/97
Receiving: ONY — Kyle Hamilton 1/27; ADN — Collins 3/41, Chance Fay 4/22