Day After Report (Rivalry Games): Week 2
This week’s Day After Report is brought to you by the number six. As in six touchdowns from Jabari Marshall in Skyview’s 42-0 win over rival Columbia River.
And by the letter R, as in Rivalry.
I’ll get to the other games in other Day After Report posts this weekend, but this report deals with the three rivalry games that were played in Clark County on Friday. Might be non-league games, but a lot of passion from the players and the fans.
We’ll also talk about running clocks. (Those pesky clocks keep running. Somebody stop them!) And a “Remember When” from a coach who won a state championship as a player.
The Skyview Storm made it a running clock on the Chieftains with eight minutes left in the game. They went for it on a fourth-and-goal play. Now, for those who weren’t at the game, this might seem like rubbing it in, going for a touchdown on a fourth-down play, up 35-0 in the final quarter. However, it should be noted the Storm were going to attempt a field goal before Columbia River jumped offside, pushing the ball to the 2-yard line.
Skyview coach Steve Kizer sent in the offense, gave the ball to Marshall, who punched it in for touchdown No. 6 on the night.
The running clock begins when a team is ahead by 40 or more points in the second half. So the rest of the game went by in a blur.
This always leads to the discussion of unintentional consequences. The running clock is there to prevent running up a score. Yet, it can ruffle some feathers when superior teams try to get to that 40-point margin.
Personally, I like the rule. It does prevent scores from getting even more extreme. Mark Morris, for example, had 56 points at halftime Friday. The Monarchs, surely using backups and with a running clock, only got one more touchdown in the second half.
The best teams in the area, the ones that often get to a running clock, expect to make long playoff runs. They know their starters won’t play full games against the weaker teams. So they go all out until they hit the 40-point mark, then call in the reserves. The top teams need to play their top players long enough to get some reps in, to prepare for bigger things ahead.
I’ve spoken with all three of the coaches of our region’s power teams — Skyview, Union, Camas — and they all understand it is a delicate situation. When should a team stop passing? When should a team take out the first defense? But all agree that they have to keep playing, at least until the running clock. For the long run.
One coach, even if the 40-point margin is reached by halftime, said he gives his starters at least one series in the third quarter.
Bottom line is I understand what Kizer and the Storm did Friday night. They were setting up for a field goal. But when the ball moved halfway closer to the goal line after the Columbia River penalty, and when a touchdown could put the clock into running mode, they went for it. When it is a blowout, which this game turned into by the third quarter, get it over with as soon as possible.
To the games …
SKYVIEW 42, COLUMBIA RIVER 0
In case you have been living under a rock the past 24 hours, Jabari Marshall scored all six touchdowns for the Storm.
It’s so close: Jabari Marshall has a coach who reminds him that if Marshall is at the 5-yard line, he is in the end zone. The reason? Marshall is so strong, so powerful, that if he can get to the 5-yard line, he should be able to drive his way to the end zone.
“That’s what I was thinking about the whole time,” Marshall said.
So close to a defensive TD: Well, there was one time when the 5-yard line stopped Marshall. Moments after scoring his fifth touchdown of the game, Marshall, also a linebacker, intercepted a pass and headed to the end zone. It appeared he would get his sixth TD on that return. But he tried to make one last move to beat the final would-be tackler.
“I tried to juke, but my leg just died,” Marshall said.
Brought down by the 5-yard line.
The internet can be seen by more than just your circle of friends: Three Skyview players told me that they were extra motivated for Friday’s game when a video posted on YouTube showed Columbia River Chieftains boasting about how they were going to beat the Storm. I have not seen the video, but apparently, one of the comments was a direct knock on a specific athlete. Yep, it got personal.
A Skyview coach confirmed that he had seen the video and, yes, most of the team had, too.
In the days leading up the game, the “Twitter-verse” was full of nasty comments regarding the Skyview-Columbia River feud. Trash talk, bad sportsmanship, and other untoward behavior has been going on for years, long before the internet. But fans and players should remember that putting stuff on the internet has a way of reaching unintended audiences.
Deeeee-fence: The Storm had five interceptions and the linebackers hassled the Columbia River quarterbacks all night. Defensive back Jacob Dennis and linebacker Xavier Norman gave all the credit to the defensive linemen.
“They were getting the push, which helped the linebackers,” Norman said.
Columbia River was held to 130 yards of offense.
Dennis said the way the Storm were playing in the second half, it seemed as if the River offense had no life left. The numbers back him up. The Chieftains had 103 yards of offense in the first half, 27 in the second.
Rivalry update: Skyview is now 8-7 in this rivalry and has won the last seven games.
Nerd alert: Longtime followers of this report know I love football statistics. And I hate being off. So when going through my notes Saturday morning, I noticed I was three yards off on Columbia River’s totals. Of course I obsessed over it, and found my error. I’ll be adding three more yards of rushing for Jonathan Branson to our stats data base. He had 13 yards on four carries, not 10 yards.
Remember when: Last week, I noted that I’m going to be asking area head coaches of their memories from their first starts as high school varsity players. I found out Columbia River coach John O’Rourke is a state champion.
Playing for Great Falls Central in the fall of 1962, O’Rourke threw a touchdown pass in what he believes was a 34-7 victory. He was actually the back-up quarterback but got the start because of an injury. Great Falls Central would eventually finish 9-0-1 and win a Montana state championship. That team had players who went on to play college at the Miami, Wyoming, Washington, and of course, Montana and Montana State.
The team was so good, a book was published detailing the squad decades after the title. O’Rourke said he is somewhere in Chapter 3 in Ed Flaherty’s “Coached for Life,” the story of how members of that team excelled in life long after their high school days were complete.
BATTLE GROUND 41, PRAIRIE 21
It’s a rivalry game, so passions are going to run high. Maybe, too high.
Battle Ground was the visiting team at District Stadium, which resides on the campus of Battle Ground High School. So the Tigers and their fans were on the north side of the field, away from the main grandstand.
Prairie occupied the home side of the stadium. The Prairie student body, to show its school spirit, put up banners on the grandstand wall, reminding folks that this was, in fact, a Prairie home game at the shared facility.
Those banners got caught in the crosshairs of the Battle Ground Tigers.
When the final horn sounded, and as the Prairie players began to stream onto the field for the traditional post-game handshakes, the majority of the Battle Ground team raced across the field to the grandstand wall, where they tore down the banners and ripped them up. The Tigers continued their post-game celebration on the track at the base of the grandstand to cheers of “Our house! Our house!”
After a few minutes, the Tigers exited the field into the locker room below the grandstand for their post-game meeting, while the Prairie players huddled underneath the goal posts on the east end of the field for their post-game meeting.
There was no midfield lineup for handshakes between the two teams. Well, there was an exception.
Battle Ground running back Kevin Haynes took time away from the celebration to shake hands with Prairie players, an act that was not lost on Prairie coach Terry Hyde.
Hyde, in a text to me (Paul), said: “I just wanted to say that Kevin Haynes might be the best player in the county, as well as a class individual.”
Adjustments: Battle Ground running back Kevin Haynes had one yard of rushing at halftime. One yard. Or, 309 fewer yards in the first half this week than he had last week. Yeah, the Prairie defense was keying on him.
That just gave room for the Tigers to air it out.
Quarterback Ian Humphrey hit on his first five attempts and nine of his first 11 for 104 yards.
Things changed at halftime. Haynes had 160 yards on 15 carries in the second half. Humphrey completed one of his two passes in the second half, and the completion went to Haynes.
“We just went to our power game in the second half,” Haynes said. “The offensive line did a great job opening holes.”
Battle Ground coach Larry Peck echoed that sentiment.
“Our offensive line isn’t the biggest, but they work hard and use good technique,” Peck said.
The line gave Haynes the first couple of yards. The senior did the rest.
“He’s a man,” teammate Trevor Ingram said. “We call him ‘The Big Sausage.”
Hayne’s also got Battle Ground on the board first with an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown from his linebacker position.
Falcons bounce back: Things didn’t look good for the Prairie Falcons in the first quarter. The Falcons’ three first-quarter possessions ended interception (returned for a TD), interception, and fumble.
But the Falcons regrouped to drive for touchdowns in the first two possession of the second quarter to tie the game 14-14.
Prairie put up big numbers in the passing game the last three seasons with Colin Seitz at QB. Now with Jacob Austin calling signals, the Falcons use a read-option offense out of the spread, similar to what the University of Oregon runs. It gives Austin, who lines up in a shotgun formation, to hand off to the running back or to fake the handoff, get outside to either run or throw the ball.
Austin had 11 carries for 84 yards after running for a 9-yard touchdown to tie the game with 5:38 left in the second quarter.
And the Falcons’ defense also stepped up, forcing two fumbles, intercepting a pass and forcing a three-and-out in five Battle Ground possessions in the second quarter and early third quarter. A fumble recovery with 8:05 left in the third set up Prairie’s go-ahead touchdown.
But then Haynes and the Tigers took over.
Rivalry update: Battle Ground improved to 19-15 over its rival, winning for the first time since 2009.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 38, EVERGREEN 21
A three-point game after three quarters, the Thunder scored two touchdowns in the fourth to take the rivalry game.
Shutting them down: The key to the Thunder pulling away in the second half was an improved defensive performance.
Evergreen had 119 yards in the first half (all on the ground), and was within three points at 17-14. But Mountain View held the Plainsmen to 67 yards in the second half and put the game away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
In particular, the Thunder stifled Evergreen’s passing attack. The Plainsmen finished 1 of 9 for 10 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Yes, Mountain View players caught more Evergreen passes than Evergreen players did.
Thomas shines in defeat: One person the Thunder had difficulty stopping was Evergreen senior Anthony Thomas, who carried three times for 84 yards. Among those was a 65-yard TD run that gave the Plainsmen a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Thomas also had the one reception for a 10-yard TD.
That will work for the Plainsmen: Evergreen got off to a quick start, with Te’Kwon Wallace returning the opening kickoff 76 yards to the Mountain View 17-yard line. Six plays later, the Plainsmen had a 7-0 lead thanks to a 1-yard TD run by Jamaree Jones.
Momentum changer: One of the key sequences came late in the first half, with Evergreen holding a 14-10 lead. Mountain View recovered a fumble at its own 43 with 1:33 remaining. That led to a 21-yard TD pass from Luke DuChesne to Nolan Biggs, who made a couple nice moves around defenders on his way to the end zone.
The score, with 19 seconds remaining in the half, gave the Thunder their first lead, and they held it the rest of the game.
Rivalry update: Mountain View has won five in a row in this rivalry and is 14-17 against the Plainsmen.
Look for more in the coming days on the rest of the 4A/3A winnings teams, then another post on the smaller schools.
Thanks to Tim Martinez for help with the Battle Ground-Prairie notes.
Thanks to Greg Jayne for notes from Mountain View-Evergreen.
Thanks to Bryan Levesque for his archives on gshlfootball.com for the rivalry records.