Day After Report: Week 1, 2011

As I begin to write this, it is 2:45 a.m., officially Saturday morning. 

(This is where you might wonder why, or perhaps you think I’m crazy. Go to bed, you might say.)

However, if I go to bed, then one of the best days of the year will be finished. You see, I don’t care what the clock says. If I’m still awake, it is still Friday. And I want the first Friday in September to last as long as possible.

High school football is back. 

I worked two games Friday night, and loved every minute of it.

I got back to the office to check on all the other games. 

I hit The Main Event before its kitchen closed at 1:30 so I could grab a bite to eat and drown myself in iced tea. 

And now I’m ready to let it all soak in. Football is back. Oh yeah.

Coverage plans: 
As many of you know, The Columbian is trying to staff every game that is played in Clark County this year. That means coverage of the smaller programs, or what are deemed the “lesser” games. 

Our full-time reporters and editors who are available on Friday nights will get to their games, but we will also rely on some new reporters, trying this whole football thing for the first time.

So I’d like to thank Kate Zot, Dan Ellertson, Kyle Bliquez, and Sid Louie for their efforts. They found out it can be overwhelming. Football is a lot different when one must track every play for the statistics. (Poor Dan. His first game featured 77 points. Yikes!) There were some mistakes, but everything can be corrected. I hope they all will want to continue working with us.

With that said, we hope coaches, players, and fans will be patient. If there were some stats that were “off,” we can get those changed online. In the long run, though, we believe our readers will appreciate having more coverage of their teams online at, from reporters who were there as opposed to reporters in the office just taking calls from stat keepers.

Few hiccups: 
Our main high school sports Web page,, also is experiencing a few growing pains. We launched a new look, and not everything is working smoothly right now. We’ll work on it. In the near future, we hope to have the season stats for every player on offense. We expect to use some video highlights from our partners at 

Now to a few quick notes on Friday’s games:

John Norcross probably did not think he would score two touchdowns this way. He recovered a fumble on offense, and ran an additional 25 yards for one TD, and later secured the victory while playing defense, returning a fumble for 42 yards and a score.

Kicks: Camas coach Jon Eagle got his kicks out of Camas’ special teams play — most notably from kicker/punter Roldan Alcobendas.

After the Papermakers’ first two drives stalled in the first quarter, Camas came away with a 6-0 lead thanks to field goals of 34 and 43 yards by Alcobendas.

Four of Alcobendas’ five kickoffs went for touchbacks, forcing Timberline to open drives from its own 20 yard line.

And Alcobendas’ long punts forced the Blazers to start drives deep in their own territory.

“We definitely won the field-position game,” Eagle said. “When you can get production out of your kicking game like that — especially in a defensive game — it’s a huge advantage. What a weapon that was for us.”

Time management: Eagle passed on the chance to get Alcobendas another field goal attempt at the end of the first half.

Quarterback Tony Gennaro rushed to the Timberline 3-yard line with about 13 seconds left. Instead of taking the Papermakers’ final timeout, which was his first instinct, Gennaro rushed the Papermakers to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball and kill the clock, which he did with 3 seconds left.

Instead of letting Alcobendas attempt a chip-shot field goal, Eagle decided to take a shot a touchdown. But the final play ended with an incompletion and Camas settled for a 6-0 lead at halftime.

“Would I have like to get more points at the end of the half? Sure,” Eagle said. “But it’s a high school non-league football game in Week 1, so you go for it.”

Actually, with some better clock management, the Papermakers could have created more opportunities at the end of the half. If Camas had burned its final timeout when Gennaro was tackled at the 3, the Papermakers could have had at least two shots to throw a touchdown pass at the end of the half.

By bringing the offense to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball with 3 seconds, it basically rendered Camas’ final timeout as moot.

But those are lessons you learn in Week 1.

Blazing defense: Camas fans may have been disappointed by the Papermakers’ struggles to move the ball consistently on offense, especially on the ground. All-league running back Zack Marshall was held to 21 yards on 16 carries.

While admitting that Camas has things to work on, Eagle also gave credit to a tough Timberline defense.

“That was a Top-10 over there. Timberline is a very good team,” Eagle said. “I know some people don’t put a lot of stock into this, but at a team camp this summer, Timberline beat Skyline. They beat Gig Harbor. They beat everyone. Timberline is a very good football team.”

Riley O’Dell had a fine debut for his new team. O’Dell, who played for Heritage last season, threw for 113 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 55 yards and two more scores. He did all that with eight pass attempts and four rushing attempts.

Nick Mace rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns for the Thunder. 

Next up is Mountain View’s clash against Camas. A year ago, the Week 2 matchup determined the 3A GSHL champion. No one knows for certain if the same will be true this season. We do know we wish this was a Week 9 matchup instead of a Week 2 contest.

Well, that’s one way to slow Skyview’s offense down. Don’t let Skyview’s offense get on the field.

Sherwood, the defending Class 5A champion from Oregon, dominated the clock in the second half. The Bowmen gave themselves enough time to take the lead, and then gave the Storm headaches as Skyview tried to get back on offense.

As noted in the game story, the Storm extended a two-point lead to five at 24-19 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. From that point on, Sherwood’s offense took 35 snaps, while Skyview’s offense was on the field for only seven plays.

In all, the Storm had the ball for 5 minutes, 53 seconds of the second half. If I’m doing my math right, that means Sherwood had the ball for 18 minutes, 7 seconds. 

Gotta give credit to a big guy. Skyview’s No. 71, Riley Bockmier, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt. (OK, the blocked punt was not totally his own doing, but he got there. The Sherwood punter fumbled the snap and dropped the ball two times before kicking the ball. By then, Bockmier was there, and the ball looked like it was punted into a brick wall.)

For the second year in a row, both Skyview and Union lost first-week games. A year ago, the two teams would win their next seven games before Skyview got the best of Union in Week 9 for the 4A GSHL title.

In other words, no one at Union is panicking over this loss. 

Union led 10-0 in the first quarter but did not get its offense in gear in the final three periods. It was still a one-touchdown game going into the fourth quarter.

The Seattle Times had Bothell ranked 10th in the state in the preseason rankings; Union was ninth, for what it’s worth.

The Chieftains jumped out to a 13-0 lead after the first quarter, and both defenses dominated the rest of the game. Columbia River forced four turnovers.

Remick Kawawaki rushed for 144 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown. 

The Tigers lost but showed improvement from last year’s 24-point loss to River in the opener. The Tigers conducted a new training program in the offseason, with the hope that they would be stronger, more competitive this season. 

Lakewood scored the final two touchdowns of the game to rally past the Falcons.

Prairie QB Colin Seitz threw for more than 300 yards and tossed three TD passes. 

Jack Hathaway’s first game as Heritage’s head coach did not go as planned. Heritage was held to five first downs. And in a true oddity: Issaquah scored three safeties.

Heritage will look to improve at home next week. Heck, every week. The Timberwolves play their next eight games at McKenzie Stadium, even if some of those are “road” games.

Simply put, Michael Knox was awesome for the Spudders. He rushed for 247 yards and three touchdowns, and he returned a kickoff 85 yards for another score.

He was so fast, in fact, he had caught a ride out of Kiggins Bowl before I could get down to the field for a quick interview. 

(Because I was covering two games at Kiggins, I had to write my initial game story first, before the second game started. So it took me a few minutes to get out of the press box. By the time I got down to the field level, Knox was long gone, just like he was long gone four times Friday, into the end zone.)

However, I did run into defensive and offensive lineman Seth Williams. He had a few big plays, including a 5-yard tackle-for-loss when the game was still close.

“I thought we’d do pretty good, but we did a lot better than I thought we would,” Williams said. 

Ridgefield led 17-8 at the half, but at the time, Fort Vancouver had nearly the same amount of yards as the Spudders. It was all Ridgefield in the second half, though.

“In the locker room, the coaches were telling us a whole bunch of stuff and what we were doing wrong,” Williams said. “We came out and fixed it, and we did our best.”

Here is a shout-out to Ridgefield’s Tyson Wright. Long after a play, he noticed an opponent down on the field. Wright walked about 10 yards out of his way to offer his hand. The other player was a little banged up and not ready to get up. Wright waited a second to make sure help was on the way before heading to the sideline. Classy gesture.

Congrats to Matt Martin for picking up his first win as a head coach. He was an assistant for 18 years before taking the top job at Ridgefield.

Fort’s new coach, Eric Ollikainen, introduced a passing attack. While the Trappers did not score a lot of points, they found some success in the air. Quarterback Jacob Austin threw for 191 yards, including 124 in the first half.

Also, that’s Jacob Austin, but I want to apologize in advance if we write Austin Jacob. The two first names can trip up journalists from time to time. 

Wow. 1-0 looks really sweet at Woodland. Especially coming off an 0-9 season.

Wow. Eli Whitmire rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns.

Wow. Cy Whitmire rushed for 173 yards.

Wow. That’s Whitmire-squared.

Wow. The Beavers rushed for more than 500 yards.

OK, that’s enough with the Wows. Just love seeing those numbers.

Another team that struggled last year picked up a win to open the season. 

The Hawks got 125 yards rushing from Josiah Niemela and won a wild one with a defensive touchdown in the final minute of the game to secure the victory.

La Center had the ball, trailing by two, when Hockinson’s Jacob Reagan returned a fumble 48 yards for the final score of the game.

A year ago, the Hawks lost by 39 points in the season opener. So yeah, a year makes quite the difference at Hockinson.

Caleb Howard got the trifecta Friday, rushing for three touchdowns in the first half as the Panthers beat Hudson’s Bay for the second year in a row.

Sam O’Hara kicked two field goals, including a 43-yarder. That tied for the longest of the night — with Camas’ kicker — among Clark County kickers.

Bay’s new coach, Mike Funderburg will hope to get his first win with the Eagles next week at R.A. Long.

Jay Becker had a night for the ages, throwing for 294 yards and rushing for 220 yards in the rout. He also plays defensive end and led the Knights with 11 tackles. Yeah, he had a good game.

That’s it for this Report. Hope to have more notes throughout the week. 

As soon as I press the button to put this online, I’ll head home and get to bed. When I wake, it will be Saturday, the day after one of the best days of the year.

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