Day After Report: Columbia River 24, Evergreen 21 OT

There’s plenty new this season for Columbia River and Evergreen. New leagues, new classification and, for River, a new coach.
But amid all the new, and old-school football game broke out in River’s 24-21 overtime win Friday.
Columbia River and Evergreen combined to run 96 plays from scrimmage. Seventy-eight of them were running plays.
Of the 512 yards of offense the teams racked up, 442 was on the ground.
Nobody had more yardage than Columbia River’s Hunter Pearson. The 5-foot-9, 205 pound senior rushed for 200 yards. He also absorbed 29 carries worth of hits.
Was he tired?
“It does get tiring after a couple runs, but I love it,” he said. “You’ve gotta stay looking like it’s easy, I guess.”
It helps when you have five senior linemen clearing the way. They include Mason Schell (285 pounds), Nathan Hockhalter (270), Daerius Waters (315), Mathew Bowman (255) and Derek Schreiner (255).
“I feel safe,” Pearson said of running behind that group. “I feel like I’m moving something.”
Unsung heroes
Evergreen – Defensive back Jonathan Spiering had two sacks and linebacker Dylan Goodpaster had several tackles at the line of scrimmage. With their help, Evergreen’s defense shut River down for much of the second and third quarters, during which the Plainsmen scored 21 unanswered points.
Columbia River – Kickers matter, no more so than in a close game. Kent Stricker wasn’t even listed on the Columbia River roster handed out at Friday’s game. But the senior was perfect on three extra points and on the 26-yard field goal that won the game in overtime.
Marquee matchup
River’s five offensive linemen weigh a combined 1,380 pounds (276 pounds on average). But Evergreen’s line more than held its own, both on offense and defense. Ray Salanoa clocks in at 6-foot-3, 407 pounds. Alex Rodriguez is 6-4, 270. Columbia River’s offensive line is likely bigger and tougher than most teams Evergreen will see in the 3A Greater St. Helens League. Friday, the Plainsmen proved they won’t be pushed around.
They said it
“I think we learned that when the going gets tough, we can get tougher.” –Columbia River lineman Mason Schell.
“We’re trying to establish that physical identity. Our offensive line did a tremendous job, as did our fullbacks and the receivers out on the perimeter. Hunter was just tremendous tonight.” — Columbia River coach Christian Swain.
“You always want to win the game, but you look for how kids recover and deal with adversity. They dug an early hole, but they fought out of that. … What we’re looking for is that growth and how they respond to adversity.” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde.
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