Day After Report: Week 9

By now I’m sure you have heard that Camas quarterback Logan Grindy is out for the postseason. A broken fibula has ended his season, it was determined Saturday morning. For a story with comments from Logan himself, go to:

The rest of the Day After Report will be on the Week 9 games and the upcoming playoffs.

First, the playoff plan:

Keep in mind that not all days and times are confirmed. We will update any changes. But this is what we’ve been able to figure out after talking with coaches Saturday.

From the 4A GSHL:
Skyview will host Todd Beamer of Federal Way
at 4 p.m. Saturday at Kiggins Bowl.
Union will travel to take on Bothell on Friday night, either 7 or 7:30 p.m., at Pop Keeney Stadium.
Heritage will travel to take on Kentwood at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kent Meridian High School.

From the 3A GSHL:
Camas will host Rainier Beach at 7 p.m. Friday at Doc Harris Stadium.
Mountain View will travel to face Timberline at 7 p.m. Saturday at South Sound Stadium in Lacey.

From the Trico League:
Stevenson will host Rainier, we believe, likely on Friday night. (Rainier is the team we think earned the tiebreaker from Evergreen Division. There were three teams tied for third place. Hoquiam got the No. 3 seed, and we believe Rainier is No. 4)
La Center is at Hoquiam, Friday night at 7 or 7:30 p.m.
Ridgefield is at Onalaska, Friday night at 7 or 7:30 p.m.

Guess all the hype about Week 9 in the 4A GSHL was worth it. An amazing game for the league title.

Some start to the game, huh?
Depending on which team you were rooting for, it was a great start to the game or a terrible start to the game. Skyview was up 17-0 less than 10 minutes into the contest.

How? Oh that’s easy. The Titans kept turning over the ball.

Skyview sophomore defensive lineman William Lopez intercepted a Union pass on the third play of the game, taking it back 19 yards for a touchdown. Boom, 7-0.

On Union’s third play of its next possession, in the Wildcat formation, the snap was not handled, and Skyview’s Albert Chon pounced on the ball. That set up a Nick Phillips field goal. Boom, 10-0.

Union picked up a couple first downs on its next possession before another fumble. Alex Mangin recovered for the Storm. Three plays later, Ellis Henderson caught a pass from Kieran McDonagh and raced into the end zone. Boom, 17-0, with 2:50 left in the first quarter.

All turnovers converted:
The video from this game will be a good learning tool for the coaches. Skyview would have one turnover in the game, a second-quarter interception by Union’s Zach Nelson. The Titans would convert that into a touchdown.

Those four total turnovers turned into 23 points for the opponents.

Another solid performance:
Wanna know when a coach knows he has a good quarterback? When the quarterback worries about the one interception, even after throwing three touchdowns and helping his team to victory.

Kieran McDonagh completed 17 of 22 passes for 235 yards and those three touchdowns. But after the game, he was quick to point out that he was disappointed with that interception he threw.

His stats will tell you that he is very careful with the football. McDonagh, who became the full-time starter for the Storm in Week 5, has thrown just one interception since becoming the starter. Yeah, one pick in five weeks.

His numbers as the starter: 5-0 in five games, 72 of 88 for 1,113 yards and 17 touchdowns with the one pick. When adding his snaps from the first four games of the season, when he was not the starter, he has 20 TDs and four interceptions.

Amazing catch:
Of course, McDonagh likes to give credit to his receivers for making him look so good. He says every week that he has the best receivers in the state. 

Friday night, Reiley Henderson sure made him look good with a leaping grab on a third-and-14 play in the third quarter. Reiley reached as high as he could and grabbed the ball with one hand, pulled it close to his body, then absorbed a bone-crushing hit by the Union defender.

The play went for 15 yards and a first down, and it eventually set up a 37-yard field goal from Phillips to give the Storm a 27-20 lead.

Special teams make a difference:
Nick Phillips, one of the best kickers in the region, was 3 for 3 on field goals. Not just him, but the whole kicking unit.

“All the line blocked, the hold was perfect every time, and the snap,” Phillips said. 

The long snapper is wide receiver Karl Graves, who has not been playing receiver the past two weeks due to a leg injury. But he got cleared before the Union game. He knew he could not run routes and block, but he is the team’s best long snapper.

Phillips said Graves is invaluable with that role.

Zak attack: 
Union’s Zak Browning was all over the field once again. Fighting leg cramps in the second half, he still made play after play. On defense, he had sacks and tackles for loss. He knocked down a pass. On offense, he gained 103 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown. He also caught a touchdown pass. 

Union passing:
The Titans found a passing game, too. Quarterback Kaben Humphrey-Butler was 12 of 17 for 177 yards with two touchdowns, plus he rushed for a score. 

Titans respond: 
Trailing 17-0 in the first quarter? No big deal. Remember, this team came back in last year’s 3A GSHL title game with three touchdowns in the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter.

Even the Storm knew the Titans would make a run. 

Sure enough, the game was tied at 27 going into the final period.

And even after the Storm regained the momentum with the next 10 points, the Titans responded again. Humphrey-Butler escaped a sack and found Browning on a 5-yard touchdown pass with 1:15 to play. 

A year ago, the Titans recovered an onside kick to get that third touchdown for the win. This year, the onside kick was recovered by Skyview. 

Union coach Cale Piland said he was proud of his players for that effort. He also reminded his players that while the league championship was lost, the season is not.

“It’s not over. We have a playoff game,” he said. “We’re going to take this and move forward.”

Last week, Skyview coach Steve Kizer said he hoped the two teams would play each other twice this season. Once, for the league title, and then again in the state playoffs. 

Now, he’s not so sure about that.

“I take that back. I don’t want to play them anymore. They’re just really good.”

Kizer even showed off his “Rocky” knowledge.

“In the words of Apollo Creed, I don’t want a rematch,” he said.

Of course, only time will tell. Unlike boxing, teams cannot schedule their own opponents in the playoffs.

Union gained 389 yards of offense, including more than 200 on the ground. Brandon Brody-Heim rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown. Union picked up 16 first downs. 

Skyview gained 301 yards of offense, and were held to 66 yards on the ground. Skyview picked up 15 first downs. 

Both teams were hit hard by penalties. Union was flagged eight times for 69 yards. Skyview was flagged 10 times for 96 yards.

And then there were those turnovers. Skyview scored 17 points off of three Union turnovers. Union scored six points off of the one Skyview turnover.

Papermakers clinch undefeated regular season, clinch 3A GSHL title.

What a (regular) season: 
Logan Grindy found out out Saturday morning that he will miss the playoffs with a broken leg. But after the game Friday, he spoke to Paul Danzer of The Columbian. 

“Overall, I thought we played well, and I’m proud of everyone for having an undefeated season. It feels great. I’ve been playing three years and never had a league championship. So it feels great. I’m really happy.”

Grindy added that it was good for the Papermakers to play Kelso, another quality team, just prior to the playoffs.

Big plays from the offense:
Camas opened the scoring with a 15-yard TD pass from Grindy to Brent Hill.

“It was a great way to start off the game. I just threw it up there because he beat his guy, and he made a great catch,” Grindy said.

(It was the start of a big night for Hill. He ended up with a touchdown on a fumble return, plus he had an interception for the Papermakers)

The other memorable offensive play for Camas was Zack Marshall’s 39-yard touchdown on a trick play, taking a Statue-of-Liberty handoff from Grindy and finding room along the left sideline to reach the end zone.

Marshall on what he saw on the play that went for a 39-yard TD for the 11-point lead with 48 seconds left in the third quarter:

“I saw one of their defensive linemen who is an excellent player (Gage Townsend), and I just knew I had to beat him to the wide-open field.”

The coach speaks:
More thoughts from coach Jon Eagle.

On the 12 penalties for 117 yards: “A lack of focus, and undisciplined penalties. I was disappointed with that.”

On Kelso’s defense, which played aggressively: “We knew their run defense was pretty good. We had a few opportunities where we could have put the game out of reach and they got stops. I tip my hat to those guys.”

“I thought both defenses did a good job of eliminating big plays. Every yard out here was tough. That’s a sign of a good football game — good defense.”

Timberwolves clinch final playoff berth for 4A GSHL.

Amazing three quarters: 
Not sure of the status of Heritage quarterback Jake Dahlberg for next week. It did not look good, though. He was on crutches by the end of the game.

But through three quarters Friday night, he was simply awesome. He completed 19 of 28 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 120 yards. 

He got injured late in the third quarter, but the Timberwolves, with Riley O’Dell in at quarterback, scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter and Evergreen never got closer to 10 points.

Thunder emphatically say they are No. 2 in the GSHL

That was quick: In a game that Columbia River needed in order to force a tie for second place, it was the Thunder who quickly said no way.

Mountain View was up 41-0 at the half. P.J. Jones and Sterling Reynolds combined for 352 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

Just like that, the league was easy to figure out for the playoffs. Camas at 6-0 is No. 1, Mountain View at 5-1 is No. 2, and Kelso at 4-2 is No. 3. Columbia Rive finished with a 3-3 league record, 5-4 overall.

Stevenson, La Center, Ridgefield all make the playoffs.

Stevenson’s 50-20 victory over rival White Salmon gave Stevenson a share of the Trico League title. Toledo got the No. 1 seed with its earlier win over Stevenson, but the Bulldogs get to call themselves co-champs. Christian Morris rushed for 222 yards against White Salmon. Quarterback Zach Castro threw three TD passes.

Wildcats get big win:
La Center needed a win in the final week to secure a playoff spot, and the Wildcats did it with a 32-21 decision over Kalama. La Center led from start to finish, but it was a close game. The Wildcats rushed for 342 yards.

Ridgefield, yes Ridgefield, is in:
The Spudders improved to 7-2, a year after going 1-8. Their 5-2 league record is good enough for the No. 4 seed and a playoff berth. Dylan Young was strong again, rushing for more than 100 yards in a 40-0 win over Ilwaco. Quarterback Clay Barton threw three touchdown passes.

Three other Clark County teams finished the season with victories.

Hudson’s Bay 23, Fort Vancouver 22:
Bay scored a defensive touchdown and kicked a field goal in the second half to win this rivalry game.

Prairie 49, Battle Ground 13:
Jesse Zalk had three carries and took them all to the house for three TDs and 149 yards rushing. He also caught a touchdown pass and had 113 receiving yards as the Falcons won the battle of District Stadium.

Washougal 36, Woodland 0:
Sam O’Hara had 240 combined rushing and receiving yards to lead the Panthers to their fifth win of the season. Washougal got a winning record after winning two games last year and none in 2008.

That’s it for Week 9’s DAR.

Can’t wait for the playoffs.

I am hoping to touch base with the Stevenson staff for a possible story later in the week on the Bulldogs’ co-title in the Trico. Stevenson might be on the edge of our readership area, but it is quite a story to tell. 

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