Thursday’s 2B Football: Indians Run Into State Playoffs
UPSET: Toledo Shuts Down No. 6 Onalaska, 35-6, in District Crossover
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
Toledo’s margin of victory on Thursday night may have raised eyebrows in some circles.
Inside the Indians’ postgame huddle was not one of them.
Toledo, the runner-up from the SWW 2B League River Division, built a lead in the second quarter and pulled away in the second half to beat No. 6 Onalaska, 35-6, in a District 4 crossover game in Centralia.
“From the outside looking in, it’s probably a surprise,” Toledo senior running back Coleby Cherrington said. “But we know what we can do. I don’t feel it’s a surprise.”
And on the turf at Tiger Stadium, the Indians got plenty of chances to show just what they can do.
Cherrington ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns and hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass. Ethan Buck carried the ball 14 times for 144 yards. Duke Schaplow chipped in 83 yards and a pair of scores.
Mainly, though, Toledo smoothed over its bumps after the first quarter, while miscues haunted Onalaska throughout Thursday’s contest.
Each team turned the ball over twice before Cherrington broke the scoreless tie with 3 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first half, plowing into the end zone on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line in a situation set up by Schaplow’s 33-yard run.
The Indians wouldn’t turn the ball over again, while the Loggers tacked on two more lost fumbles and a pair of interceptions.
“That was big,” Toledo coach Mike Christensen said. “The last few years we’ve been the team that turns it over more, and it was nice to finally get one where the other team’s turning it over and we’re able to hold onto the ball.”
Two plays after Cherrington’s first touchdown the Loggers lost another fumble — their third of the first half — and on the next play the speedy senior swept up the left side 27 yards for another score, turning a tie into a 14-0 game in the span of 30 seconds.
Cherrington credited the coaching staff for their work prepping the team.
“They put together a great game plan, and they told us just to go out and do our jobs, and that’s what we did,” he said. “And we stopped a really good team tonight — a top-5 team — and I give it to the coaches and the linemen. They created havoc tonight.”
The Loggers got on the board in the third quarter, on a 9-yard run from Hazen Inman, only to see Toledo answer with a six-play, 80-yard drive capped with a 34-yard run from Schaplow.
“They looked good. Really good,” Logger coach Mazen Saade said of Toledo. “I thought in the first quarter we looked prepared to play them, and I don’t know where that focus went, but they’re good.”
The Loggers’ next drive came up a yard short for a turnover on downs, and Toledo marched back downfield before Marcil hit Cherrington on a fade route for the only passing touchdown of the game. That gave the Indians a comfortable 28-6 advantage with 10:40 left in the fourth quarter, and Schaplow’s 18-yard scoring run a few minutes later was only icing on the cake.
For Toledo, which entered the game with a 5-4 record, the win marked an end to a dubious early-season trend of losing fourth-quarter leads against ranked teams. The Indians were on the short end of late rallies by Rainier, Napavine and Adna — all ranked teams at the time — in three non-league games.
“We’ve lost to good teams, but we haven’t lost to them; we’ve lost to ourselves,” Cherrington explained. “It just comes down to if we beat ourselves.”
Christensen praised his players for buying into the process and improving throughout the regular season.
“There was some early frustration,” he said, referencing the nonleague losses, “but our guys stuck through, stuck through, and this is a little bit of a reward for them. They came together to make it work.”
Another reward, of course, is a spot in the State 2B playoffs. The Indians will have a first-round opponent and site on Sunday afternoon, when the WIAA’s state seeding committee releases the bracket.
Onalaska, meanwhile, drops into a three-way Kansas-style tiebreaker on Saturday, back at Tiger Stadium. The Loggers (7-3) will face Ilwaco and Raymond for District 4’s seventh state entry.
“It’s a killer. I feel bad for Onalaska,” Christensen said. “They’re a team that deserves to be in the top 16 in the state, and in a Kansas tiebreaker anything can happen.”
Notes: Ashton Haight ran 38 times for 258 yards to pace Onalaska. … Christensen praised the work of Jacob Marley, Jemal Anderson and Hunter Eaton on the defensive line. … Carlo Arceo-Hansen had two interceptions for Toledo.
INDIANS 35, LOGGERS 6
Onalaska 0 0 6 0 —6
Toledo 0 14 7 14 —35
TOL — Coleby Cherrington 1-yard run; Andreas Malunat kick
TOL — Cherrington 27-yard run; Malunat kick
ONY — Hazen Inman 9-yard run; run failed
TOL — Duke Schaplow 34-yard run; Malunat kick
TOL — Bryce Marcil 21-yard pass to Cherrington; Malunat kick
TOL — Schaplow 18-yard run; Malunat kick
Team Stats ONY TOL
First Downs 14 12
Rushing Yards 339 312
Passing Yards 22 43
Total Yards 361 355
Comp-Att-Int 2-11-2 4-9-1
Fumbles/Lost 4/4 2/1
Penalties/Yards 7/50 7/50
Rushing: ONY — Ashton Haight 38/258, Hazen Inman 10/46; TOL — Coleby Cherrington 17/84, Ethan Buck 14/144, Duke Schaplow 8/83
Passing: ONY — Lucas Kreger 2-11/22; TOL — Bryce Marcil 4-9/43
Receiving: ONY — Cade Lawrence 2/22; TOL — Cherrington 2/20, Schaplow 2/23