Tumwater 49, Columbia River 0

(Tumwater, WA) On a perfect night for football everything went perfectly for the Tumwater T-Birds. The upset minded and nothing to lose invaders the Columbia River Chieftains things could not have gone worse.

It happened right from the start on a 3 and out on the 1st possession of the game Columbia River dropped back to

Caleb Jelcick recovers blocked punt
Caleb Jelcick recovers blocked punt

punt only to have it blocked by we “think” Caleb Jelcick, we do know for sure Caleb recovered the ball on the CR 15. This play was quickly the front runner for our Play of the Game award and held up as the true game changer just a few minutes into the game and earned the ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.

Tumwater took advantage quickly and on the 2nd play Jakob Holbrook would pound it in from the 2, Nathan Seaman added the PAT and it was 7-0.

The Tumwater defense which was not good in their 1st game although they won 77-42, most disappointing for Defensive Coordinator Pat Alexander was giving up the 28 1st half points. The defense got the message during a no doubt tough week of practice and they were flying to the ball shutting down the Chieftains every single drive.

Columbia River would have a total of 12 offensive yards going into the final play of the 1st half when the 2nd of 4 QB’s used by CR, Jack Armstrong connected with Dakota Mason for a 41-yard pass completion to the Tumwater 15 as time expired and finished with just 53 total yards. Tumwater’s defense gave up 62 yards through the air and -9 on the ground.

Cade Otton scores on a pass from Noah Andrews
Cade Otton scores on a pass from Noah Andrews

Prior to that final play before half, the Tumwater offense picked up right where they left off last week where they put up 77 on the Franklin Pierce defense. They would score on their 1st 4 possessions. On the 2nd touchdown QB Noah Andrews found Cade Otton in the endzone with a perfect pass to Otton’s back hip away from the defender and Otton with his big paws had an easy score to make it 14-0.

The T-Birds would once again take over with great field position on their 3rd possession on the CR 47. On a 5-play drive capped off when Tumwater split twin receivers wide on both sides setting up a QB draw with Noah Andrews who ran it in from the 13 making it 21-0. The final score of the 1st half was relatively early in the 2nd when Tumwater took over on their own 25 and drove the length of the field picking up chunks of yardage and scoring on a Keson Waller 5-yard burst over the right side of offensive line pushing the total to 28-0.

As the game went into halftime the Chieftains actually had a little momentum as they stopped Tumwater for the final 10-minutes of the half and they connected on their best play of the half as time expired. Unfortunately that momentum would disappear when the 3rd quarter began.

Tumwater received the 2nd half kick and began on their own 37. After gains of 11 and 4, Trayten Rodrriguez would take the 3rd hand-off through a huge hole of the right side break to the sideline up to the 10 and then back into the middle of the field completing the 48-yard TD run and it was 35-0.

The next series the Chieftains were again stopped deep in their own territory and for the 2nd time Tumwater would get to the punter. Aiden Slater blocked it and then got up and scooped but could not keep his balance hitting the turf at the 1. Holbrook took it in the 1 yard for his 2nd score and it was 42-0 and the running clock kicked in.

Tumwater would score a final time with many reserves in the game. Zane Murphy kind of turned into a 1-man show as he picked off the Chieftains and returned it to the CR 42. On the 2nd play T-Bird QB Matthew Brown handed the ball to Murphy who raced 34 yards into the endzone for the final tally of the night making it 49-0.

The T-Birds looked like the #1 ranked team in the state in this ball game. Game balls no doubt had to be handed out to a devastating defense and the offensive line was crisp and dominating. Caden Hicks, Jason Haury, Adam Warren, Cy Hicks and Cody Baker made it pretty easy for the 9 ball carriers to rack up 304 yards on the ground.

No doubt CR will focus on getting to the next game as quickly as possible. The Chieftains never gave up and battled hard and that is always impressive when things go wrong. Hunter Pearson is a battering ram for CR as he took the ball time and again running 15 times for little yardage but always popped right back up and lined up to do it again. Jack Armstrong had a beautiful interception in the endzone to deny Tumwater in the 1st half, Dakota Mason had 53-yards of receiving yards and Colby Rabitoy ran for 24 yards on 4 carries late in the game.

Sid Otton’s historic run as Coach of the T-Birds added another win to his impressive totals as the winningest coach in Washington State High School history now up to 386, more than 80 wins ahead of the 2nd place coach.

Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game were Aiden Slater for Tumwater who not only blocked the punt and nearly scored but was a thorn in the Chieftains side all night from his defensive end position. For the CR we named Jack Armstrong as their player of the game. Armstrong had the big interception and threw the 41 yard pass to Mason.

Tumwater will travel to Bellevue next Friday night while Columbia River will open GSHL league play at home against Washougal.

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By paulb

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