Day After Report: Week 4

Back from my mini-vacation and because we are already closer to Week 5 than Week 4, this will be a mini Day After Report.

I’ll try to cruise through every game, with a few extra notes from La Center, Mountain View, and Fort Vancouver.

First off, I’d like to respond to a letter to the editor we received. A reader suggested I only write about the offense and not nearly enough of the defense. Not sure this is true, but he did bring up points to ponder.

In my preseason previews for the 4A and 3A GSHLs, I asked each coach to nominate a potential breakout player, someone who did not get a lot of attention, or no attention, last year but was expected to play a big role this season. For the 4A GSHL, I wrote about three defensive players and three offensive players. However, for the 3A GSHL, the five teams I wrote about broke down to four offense and one defense. So it is true I wrote more previews on the offense. However, had the coaches nominated 11 defensive players, I would have gone with that.

So far in our in-season features, I’ve written about the offensive line at Battle Ground. Yep, another offense story. However, I spoke with the guys who rarely get their names in the paper. The next week was the helmet rule that had nothing to do with one side of the ball or the other. And before Week 4, I did write a feature on the La Center passing attack, only because La Center has never been known for its passing attack.

I also covered the La Center game that Friday and led with defense. In fact, the headline was “Wildcat Defense Rules.” One, it was true. And two, I had just written about the offense in the previous day’s paper, so I was looking to find other athletes.

The week before, in the Camas game, I wrote about all three phases of the game: offense, defense, special teams. The long field goal was probably the coolest play of that game, but the best quotes, the “money” quotes, are from the defensive players I spoke to after the game.

In Week 2, Skyview beat Columbia River 42-0. Great defense, for sure, but a Skyview offensive player scored all six touchdowns. Of course I was going to lead with that. Funny thing is the same player, in that story, said he prefers to play defense.

In Week 1, the Union storyline was the new faces playing for the Titans. That included offense and defense, with quotes from both sides of the ball. And the night before, the first positive stat for Skyview used in my story was about its defense.

Still, the reader does deserve an explanation as to why we, in the media, generally go to the offense first. Of course, it depends on the game. But all things being equal, when a writer might only have 30 minutes to conduct interviews and write full game stories for the print edition deadline, it’s almost always a must to find the quarterback. If it’s a 14-13 game, yes, the defense will likely be high in the story. But if it is 28-24 or even 42-17, probably going with offense first. Sometimes we just have to get it done, without thought to which side is getting more coverage.

I’m confident, though, if the reader could ask the longtime coaches in this area, the reader would learn that the coaches know I’m always trying to find different players to talk to after games. I ask to talk to a defensive lineman or an offensive lineman. I am trying to get different names in the stories.

Doesn’t always happen. There are some positions in the sport that get more highlights. We all know this.

I’ll keep trying to find new faces to talk to, but I cannot promise it will always be defensive players or always be offensive players.



OK, raise your hand if you had Battle Ground at 4-0 back in August? Any of you outside of the Battle Ground football program, put your hands down, you liars. You didn’t see this coming. No way.

This might sound like a broken record, but yep, once again, the Tigers rallied for this victory. For the fourth week in a row, Battle Ground trailed in a game. All Battle Ground wins. In this one, the Tigers trailed 14-7 at the half.

Kevin Haynes, who leads the region with 891 yards rushing through four weeks, had 222 yards and two touchdowns.



The Chieftains just missed going to overtime. After scoring with 13 seconds left, the two-point try was inches short. Columbia River is 1-3 as it heads into Class 3A Greater St. Helens League play.



Jordan Berni was on target all night, finishing 15 of 22 for 274 and four touchdowns. Jacob Dennis had four catches for 130 yards and two scores. (By the way, as of this writing Dennis is credited with three receiving touchdowns this season in our stats database. He has four, but we are having issues with the week-by-week edit process. The computer does not want Dennis to have four, I guess. Bad computer. Bad computer. We’ll fix it, Jacob.



Hey, the Trappers had some hope in this game. It was 28-14 in the second quarter and the Trappers had the ball. That’s progress.

Now for some notes from Rene Ferran, who was at this game for The Columbian:

It was cool to see my old buddy Scott Parker on the Fort Vancouver sideline after the game.

Parker was the Kennewick High School girls basketball coach the last couple of years of the Leilani Mitchell run. He moved into administration shortly after she graduated and two years later became the principal at Fort Vancouver.

As such, he knows exactly what Fort Vancouver is going through, and he has a model the Trappers can follow to competitiveness.

The Lions had some lean years in football at the same time Parker first arrived at the school. Now they are one of the better teams in their region. Not a powerhouse, but competitive.

Kennewick, as well as Roosevelt of the Portland Interscholastic League, are two teams that second-year Fort coach Eric Ollikainen said are examples of what he hopes to accomplish at Fort, which is on a 19-game losing streak.

“The pieces are there,” the coach said, pointing to players such as sophomore quarterback Jordan Suell, who was 15 of 33 for 280 yards and two touchdowns Friday, and defensive line bookends sophomore Will Doty and senior Aaron King, who had four tackles for loss.

He smiled at the memory of R.A. Long having to summon its first-stringers back to the field after Fort cut the 28-point deficit in half.

Maybe the next game, the Trappers can make an opponent sweat in the second half. And the game after that, push an opponent late into the game.

“That’s what we tell our guys,” Ollikainen said. “That’s the goal. The problem is that with league play, now we have some tough mountains to climb. But we’re excited to go into the rest of the season.”

Setting a record: Sophomore receiver Deonte Hawkins broke a 35-year-old school record. He had 122 kickoff return yards Friday, eclipsing Mark Vincent’s 119 in a 1977 game, according to the school’s media guide. Hawkins finished with 215 all-purpose yards, including a 77-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.



Prairie struggled on offense, getting a fourth-quarter TD on a Jacob Austin pass to Mario Gonzalez to avoid the shutout.




The Titans are 3-1 going into league play.

Quarterback Nolan Henry had two touchdown runs and two touchdown passes in the first half. Treve’ Ensley had a solid averages with 80 rushing yards on six carries and 69 yards on three catches.



The Bulldogs got their first win of the season, cruising past the newest varsity program in the state. Zach Irwin had three touchdowns for Stevenson.



The Thunder had two backs break the 100-yard barrier but could not manage more than a touchdown.

Now notes from Greg Jayne, who was at the game.

New spot in the lineup: With Mountain View suffering a rash of injuries, junior lineman Phillip Rudolph was pressed into duty as a tight end and caught one pass for 17 yards. Considering the rest of the Thunder combined to catch one pass for 6 yards, that’s not bad.

With the position change, Rudolph wore No. 98 but was still listed as No. 52 in the program. Proving that sometimes you can’t tell the players with a scorecard.

Key play: Peninsula QB Austin Filkins scrambled for 15 yards on a fourth-and-13 play in the first half. That led to a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 21-6 lead, and they maintained control the rest of the way.

Filkins, a senior, finished 14 of 20 for 163 yards with two touchdowns. He also had seven carries for 28 yards.

“He was smart,” said his coach, Ross Filkins, who happens to be the quarterback’s father. “He threw the ball away instead of forcing it. I applaud his effort in this game. … Now, if I could just get him to clean his room.”

Geography lesson: Just where is Peninsula? The school is located in Purdy, just north of Gig Harbor on the Olympic Peninsuala. It is 150 miles from the school to McKenzie Stadium.

Top this: Peninsula twice downed punts inside the 1-yard line. Mountain View was undaunted by the punting prowess. The first time, the Thunder went 99 yards in four plays for their only points of the game. The second time, they marched 98 yards before time ran out of the game with Mountain View on the other 1-yard line.

Great defensive series: On back-to-back plays late in the first quarter, Mountain View’s Brad Hansen broke up a pass and then tackled a ball carrier for a 4-yard loss on a reverse.

Two for 100: Austin Mace’s 14-carry, 134-yard day included a 63-yard run in the second quarter that set up Carl Falls’ 29-yard touchdown on the next pay. Falls ended up with 14 carries for 121 yards.



The Plainsmen were in the game the whole way. Kelso scored late to make it a two-possession game. Jamaree Jones scored all three touchdown for Evergreen.



No one down here was surprised by the outcome, but the final score sure demanded attention. That’s a blowout over a really good program.

The Papermakers even wowed their coach. Jon Eagle said that was as impressive of a performance he has seen in 30 years of coaching.

Reilly Hennessey threw for 316 yards and Nate Beasley scored four touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving. Zach Eagle had 100 yards receiving on four catches. He is a friend of the Day After Report because we did not need a calculator to know that is 25 yards per catch.



Hawks suffered their first loss of the season. Austen Johnson scored both of Hockinson’s touchdowns.



The Beavers get a wake-up call.

“We got punched in the mouth and did not know how to handle it,” Woodland coach Mark Greenleaf said.

Fortunately for the Beavers, it was a non-league game.

Kyle Hendrix scored the game’s first touchdown, a pass from Hunter Huddleston. The rest of the game was all Montesano.



The Spudders scored seven first-half touchdowns to roll over the Eagles.

Clayton Farr and Gunnar Long did most of the damage on the scoreboard for the Spudders.

T.J. Brumfield scored for the Eagles, a 1-yard run in the third quarter.



The Timberwolves have been in a lot of high-scoring, close games this season. This week, things went their way.

Tim Hergert, the region’s leading receiver in yards and touchdowns, was at it again Friday. Of course, it helps that he has the region’s leader in passing, too.

Loren Standiford found Hergert for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:01 left in the game to give the Timberwolves their first win of the season.

Heritage trailed 27-14 in the third quarter.



Wildcats scored all four touchdowns in the second half after the defense shut down Rockets.

It’s a fake: Gotta love the guts. La Center coach John Lambert called for a fake punt on a fourth-and-2 play from La Center’s own 10-yard line. In the first quarter. Of a scoreless game. On the first drive of the game, in fact. Connor Fulton ran 25 yards for a first down.

Remember the defense: Remember how this Day After Report started? With me explaining our defensive coverage. Well, in honor of that letter to the editor, here are some defensive notes I wrote down from Friday’s game:

Matt Braaten with a pass defense.

Jeremiah Arn with a strip fumble and recovery. Later, Arn had a tackle-for-loss on a third-down play. And his big play was a forced fumble in the fourth quarter, with La Center holding a 14-3 lead. Arn then held the Castle Rock player back, keeping him from recovering the ball as Arn waited for his teammates to jump on the ball.

Andre Obot never got a sack, but he did not need one. He pressured the Castle Rock QB all night, disrupting the Rockets’ game plan.

Jacob Mendez was a force on the defensive line, as well. He had a tackle-for-loss on a third-down play.

Big A.J. Myers swatted away two Castle Rock passes.

Connor Fulton had a pass defense.

Gabe Bunker had an interception.

And Jared Huddleston, who had two rushing touchdowns on offense, had two interceptions. His first ended a long drive by Castle Rock early in the second half, with Castle Rock leading 3-0.


That’s it for this week, er, last week. Even the Day After Report needs a break from time to time.

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