Don’t think anyone can deny the power of River Flow this week.

Mountain View still rules its rivalry with Evergreen.

Prairie got the best of the battle for District Stadium.

Union’s performance against Jesuit is only going to make the Camas hype get stronger.

Oh, and did I mention River Flow?

Here are some more notes from Week 2 of high school football:

The Storm win! Oh wait, no, they don’t. Wow. Did that just happen? Yes it did.

Recap of the play:
Columbia River was trailing by one and attempting a field goal with just seconds left in the game. Skyview blocked the field goal and the Storm, along with their fans, started celebrating as if the game had ended. The ball never crossed the line of scrimmage, though, which meant the ball was still live. Seconds later, Columbia River’s Reese Keller scooped up the the ball and ran into the end zone for a touchdown. River wins.

Appeal or no appeal:
I spoke with Mick Hoffman, director of athletics for Vancouver Public Schools, on Saturday and he gave me the story on the appeal/no appeal thing. Click this link for the details.

River’s point of view:
“The ball is blocked, and the ball is in our backfield. None of the officials moved,” Columbia River John O’Rourke said Saturday, after reviewing the video.

This is important because had one of the officials assumed the play was over and blew a whistle or waved his arms to stop the clock, well, then it could have been even more chaotic.

“Our player picked the ball up and started running,” O’Rourke said. “The refs all followed him. It appears in the film all the referees … knew the rule. The referees followed the whole play all the way.”

I hope to have more on The Play for my Tuesday column in The Columbian. In fact, I spoke with Skyview coach Steve Kizer late afternoon Saturday and he had a great quote that I’m saving for the column. Yes, that is a tease.

Besides The Play:
Win or lose, bizarre final play or not, O’Rourke said it was exciting just to be part of such a game. His team fell behind early, had a bunch of turnovers and penalties, but kept fighting.

“In terms of effort and battling back, our kids did a great job,” O’Rourke said.

The final play overshadowed that fact, he added.

Not to mention, the Chieftains got the ball with 39 seconds to play at about their own 45-yard line. They still had to get in position to try the field goal, and they did.

Then something magical happened to them. Not so much for Skyview.

Seen this before:
Columbia River assistant football coach Ken Wiggins was credited with being the first to yell to his players to pick up the ball. Years ago, Wiggins saw the same thing happen when he played for Linfield.


The Thunder continue its streak against this rival

Evergreen got a lot of yards Friday but found trouble in the red zone a couple of times. Mountain View’s defense was clutch when it mattered.

It started early, too. Evergreen got a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line on the opening possession of the game. Four plays later, it was a loss of down. Mountain View defensive lineman Phillip Rudolph had a key stop in that series.

On Evergreen’s next series, the Mountain View special teams defense was ready for a fake punt, and stuffed it. That was two possessions, two loss of downs.

Mountain View drove deep into Evergreen territory then fumbled. However, on the next play, Mountain View recovered an Evergreen fumble on the 1-yard line, setting up an easy touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

The Plainsmen again got close to scoring in the first half, but Bryson Enge intercepted a pass in the end zone.

Well done, Evergreen:
Evergreen quarterback Brandon Bea had a fantastic effort, completing 25 of 37 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

He and the Plainsmen also put together a great drive to end the first half. Evergreen went 30 yards to get into field-goal range, then snapped the ball just before the clock hit zero. Conner Finnegan was true from 37 yards out to give Evergreen some momentum at the half. Brady Weir caught two of his passes on the drive. Weir finished the night with 7 receptions for 75 yards.

Justice Murphy was awesome all night, too, for the Plainsmen. He caught 13 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.

Tough call:
Mountain View was leading 17-10, facing a fourth down and setting up to to punt to Evergreen with about 5 minutes to play. The punter took what seemed like forever to get the ball off his foot. An Evergreen rusher had been closing in, and it appeared he tried to tackle the punter before the kick. The punter did get the ball off, and the official ruled running into the kicker. Five-yard penalty. Mountain View only needed 4 yards for the first down, so the Thunder got a new set of downs. Mountain View would go on to score a touchdown to take a 24-10 lead.

I have a call into the officials association for some clarification. My guess is it was a judgment call that the Evergreen player did not make contact until after the kick. It was close, though. Some could say the Evergreen player had his hands on the punter before the actual kick, which I always understood to be within the rules. The punter is just a ball-carrier until he kicks, so if contact was made before the actual punt …

Thanks a lot, Dad:
Mountain View’s Austin Mace had 173 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. I was interviewing him after the game, when I heard someone from the crowd yell something like “Austin, you suck!”

“That’s my dad,” Austin said. “Such a loving family, right?”

Well, a funny family for sure.

Mountain View still has Evergreen’s number:
The Plainsmen had the lead early in the second half, and they kept fighting until the end, even scoring with a minute to play to make it a seven-point game. But the Plainsmen still have not topped Mountain View since 2007.


Be afraid, 4A GSHL, be very afraid.

Apples to apples or oranges?
It is human nature in the sports world to compare one matchup with another. So if Camas beats Jesuit by a bunch, and Jesuit beats Union by a bunch, then Camas must be a lot better than Union. We all do it.

But be careful.

Yes, right now, Camas is in a class by itself in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. But Camas and Union do not play each other until Week 7, and both coaching staffs know each other so well. Not sure how that game will go down, but I won’t take games in Week 1 and Week 2 to predict anything.

(Still, Camas looks really, really awesome.)

Moving forward:
Union coach Cale Piland said he hopes the old coaching adage holds true when watching video after a team wins or loses.

“It’s never as good as you thought it was, and it’s never as bad as you thought it was,” he said.

“It’s a live-and-learn situation,” Union running back Leon Sioefele said. “You get better as the weeks go on.”

Record setter:
Siofele provided Union with its lone highlight of the night, a school-record 97-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Sure, the game was out of hand, but it was an awesome effort nonetheless.

First he broke free to get into the defensive secondary. Some 45, 50 yards later, he seemed to be caught by the pursuit angle. All the defender has to do was push Siofele out out of bounds. Instead, Siofele unleashed a wicked stiff-arm that neutralized his opponent. There was one more “man” to beat, and that was the sideline. Siofele, a big, powerful running back, used his graceful skills to tip-toe in bound around the 35-yard line, kept his balance and then outran the rest of the defense for the TD.

“I had the mentality that I was going to score,” Siofele said. “I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from getting there.”


Don’t look now, but those Falcons are 2-0 with wins over 4A programs

Tale of two halves:
During the first half, it didn’t look to be a question of if Battle Ground would win but by how much.

The Tigers led 14-0 and could have led 21-0 if the Tigers had not fumbled the ball away inside the Prairie 10-yard line.

Battle Ground dominated the stat book, as well, outgaining Prairie 272-101.

Battle Ground quarterback Colston Vukanovich completed 16 of 18 passes for 191 yards. By comparison, Prairie completed as many passes to Battle Ground defenders as it did to Prairie receivers — one.

It all changed in the second half.

Prairie outgained the Tigers 313-182. The Falcons’ Denzel Hamiel rushed for 114 of his 135 yards after halftime.

What was the difference?

“We decided not to quit,” Hamiel said. “We came together as a team. We focused, we did our assignments, and we executed them.”

Prairie coach Terry Hyde added: “We just made some blocking adjustments … and our kids just settled down and played. Defensively, we had to make some coverage adjustments.”

Falcons now 2-0:
Prairie is 2-0 for the first time in Hyde’s eight seasons as head coach and the first time since the team started 3-0 in 1997.

Those two wins came against Class 4A schools Skyview and Battle Ground.

“I think it shows we’re not just a one-week team that can surprise a team,” senior Jason Bracken said. “We just need to bring that to each team we face and knock them around.”

Beating Battle Ground, something the Falcons have done three of the past four seasons, is always special.

“As a rival team, it means a lot,” Hamiel said. “But we ain’t done yet. We still have a whole season in front of us.”

Next up for the Falcons is another 4A GSHL team: Evergreen.


Just wanted to say congratulation again to one of the classiest guys to coach. John Lambert won his 100th game, all at La Center.

Well done, sir.


Impressive start for the Hawks D.

I know we noted this in the game story, but still wanted to give a shout out to the defense at Hockinson. Yes, yes, we know Fort has been struggling in recent years. However, it is still tough to hold any team scoreless. That is what Hockinson has done two weeks in a row. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that it is impossible to lose if the other team does not score.


Statistically speaking:
Nice job Heritage on getting that first win of the season Friday night. Unfortunately, the team was not ready to give us their stats. It happens. But just a reminder that we want all scores, rushers, passers, and receivers for our boxscore. We usually get a reporter to every game in Clark County but when Clark County teams travel out of the area, we rely on help from coaches and stat keepers.

No big deal that we missed a few stats from Friday. Hope I can track them down by Tuesday or Wednesday to update the stat leaders on


That’s it for today. Sorry for the delay, but again, most of my afternoon was dealing with the Columbia River-Skyview finish. Once again, that deserves a Wow. Then I had a prior engagement Saturday night.

Thanks to Tim Martinez and Micah Rice for their help in this report.

Now, it’s time to get a little sleep before NFL Sunday. May the Raiders win, always. (Or at least today. It’s the Jags for crying out loud.)













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