Last night was the regular season finale in the Evco 2A and GSHL 2A and we’ve finished the season with no need for any extra play-offs or coins flips to determine seeding although in the GSHL it was close. Columbia River, Washougal and Woodland all tied for 2nd place with 4-2 records but the 1st tiebreaker was all that was needed in head-to-head match-ups. This was a case that beating the League Champs actually did not help your cause for the Beavers because their 2 losses did not include to the outright league Champ Hockinson, in fact the Beavers handed the Hawks their only league loss of the year.
Instead they lost to both Columbia River and Washougal eliminating them from post-season. Columbia River also beat Washougal 35-21 in head-to-Head to take the 2nd seed and the Panthers end up with the 3rd seed. Next week’s cross-over play-off games will determine the three teams that go to state from District 4,
Washougal at Tumwater
Black Hills at Hockinson
WF West at Columbia River
Below are all the scores and links to coverage and our main story from our broadcast of the Tumwater vs WF West showdown for the Evco League Title.
Hockinson 42, RA Long 30 With the win the Hawks clinch the outright Championship and will get to host Black Hills in the Crossovers.
Ridgefield 22, Columbia River 17 This game looked like it just might cause a ton of tie-breaking scenarios especially if RA Long could have pulled the upset over Hockinson on Friday night that would have created a 4-way tie for 1st between Hockinson, Columbia River, Washougal and Woodland. But even if that would have happened the head-to-head tie-breakers would have sorted this out with the exact same result and Woodland would have still been the odd man out despite winning a share of the Championship in the case of a 4-way tie.
Woodland 24, Mark Morris 6 Two league losses to the wrong teams while being the only team to beat the League Champion equalled heartbreak for not advancing to the post-season but the Beavers went out in style with a win.
Black Hills 53, Rochester 0 The Wolves bounced back in a hurry to finish the season 3-2 in Evco league play and take the 3rd crossover spot. They will travel to Hockinson next week.
Aberdeen 35, Centralia 12 The Bobcats finished with a flourish and a decisive win over the Tigers for 4th place in the Evco 2A,
Tumwater 42, WF West 0
(Chehalis, WA) The Evco 2A Title and the #1 seed heading into the crossover games next week which meant a home game against Washougal were on the line in this ballgame. The loser would take 2nd place and have to travel to Columbia River. The reason the Evco 2A is on the road as the 2nd seed against the GSHL 2nd seed is they take turns on the #1 seed into the State Tournament. This year the Evco 2A gets the number 1 seed to State so the GSHL gets to host 2 crossover games. This is a 4-year cycle so the opposite will be the schedule next year with the Evco 2A 2nd place team hosting the GSHL. This due to the fact that over this 4-year cycle the 2 leagues combined get 3 entries to state each year.
The Bearcats came in with the look of a team that just might knock the T-Birds off. They were undefeated at 8-0, Tumwater had lost a non-league game to Steilacoom. The T-Birds despite the 1-loss were ranked #1 in the state on some of the polls that float around and certainly not lower than #2. Meanwhile, the Bearcats were being snubbed and not even being ranked in the top ten in some polls. The game was at Bearcats Stadium and would be the only natural turf game the T-Birds would play on this season. WF West had practiced on the game field all week, not to try and tear it up but because their practice field was a bog and they had no choice. Despite this after a 70-degree day in late October the field was in darn good condition. Other than a re-awakening of mosquitos playing conditions were excellent.
The Bearcats may have wished for a downpour in retrospect. Chehalis won the coin toss and elected to defer sending out the Tumwater offense to begin the game and they may have regretted that decision 8 plays later. The Noah Andrews to Cade Otton show was just beginning. Andrews and Otton look more like a comparison of Gary Payton lobbing passes to Shawn Kemp for easy slam dunks rather than a Jim Zorn to Steve Largent bomb for a touchdown. (Yah, I went old school with Seattle references on this one if you don’t know what I’m talking about…google it.)
Andrews has it down when it comes to throwing to Otton, lob it high and let him go get it and on the 8th play of the opening drive from the 41 yard line Andrews lofted a high pass down the right side of the field and Otton went up to grab it and then broke a tackle to scoot into the endzone and the tone was set, and not a favorable tone for the Bearcats.
After the 1st of 5 straight 3 and outs for WF West, Tumwter took over on their own 30. Trayten Rodriguez would bust off a 45 yard run and then Andrews would find Otton again this time on a 26-yard scoring strike. On the T-Birds 3rd possession they would trade ends of the field going into the 2nd quarter and once again Andrews floated a high pass down the right side of the field and Otton went up for the jump ball but this time defender Enrique Garcia who knew Otton had gotten behind him went to flat out tackle him to prevent the catch and likely TD. He no doubt knew he would draw a flag but it was better than giving up a touchdown the problem is Otton still caught the ball and escaped the tackle for his 3rd touchdown catch in less than 14 minutes. This play would earn our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.
Tumwater would get a 4th score in the 1st half when a snap on Bearcat punt went over the head of punter Nole Wollan and Caleb Jelcick recovered it on the 1-yard line. Jakob Holbrook would run it in on for his 1st of 2 touchdowns and it was 28-0. WF West would finally get their 1st, 1st down of the game on their 6th possession on a 25-yard run by Austin Emery. WF West would get down to the Tumwater 25 where the drive stalled and they went ot the break with Tumwater leading 28-0.
On the 2nd half opening drive it looked like the Bearcats were about to get on the scoreboard with a good looking drive and nice mix of runs by Emery and passes from Wollan. Jelcick then came up with a huge 13-yard sack to snuff out the promising drive.
Tumwater would then go on about a 6-minute 10 play drive with a heavy dose of Holbrook with Reshaun Tate and Rodriguez chipping in capped off with a 4-yard run from Holbrook for his 2nd score of the game, Nathan Seaman would hit his 5th straight PAT and it was 35-0 with 42-seconds to play in the 3rd. The knock-out punch that kicked in the running clock was a 57-yard fumble recovery and return for a touchdown by Zach Jones that would increase the lead to 42-0.
Then with 4:54 left to play in the game a scary moment for everyone. Reserves were in for both sides and the Bearcats Brenden Spahr was hit in the head neck area and Bearcats Coach Bob Wollan says he got hit in a face to face collision and then someone got him from behind in the pile-up. Spahr was down on the ground for an extended amount of time while paramedics were called. He was then taken by ambulance to Centralia Providence. Wollan says early word is that he will be fine that it was mostly precautionary and was relieved to get that news. While waiting for the paramedics Wollan told the officials to end the game. Wollan says the game was over, kids had been standing around for 20 minutes and it would serve no purpose to try and get warmed up to finish a game that had already been decided. He says it wasn’t worth the risk of getting someone else injured so the game was called at the 4:54 mark and a 42-0 final.
The Bearcats drop to 8-1 overall and will travel to Vancouver next week to face Columbia River in a loser out crossover. Tumwater will host Washougal as league champs in their crossover match-up.
Some final numbers, Andrews went 8-9 for 167 yards, 3 TD’s and an interception. There was a 2nd INT that was off for pass interference on Otton. Otton caught 6 balls for 146 yards and 3 Touchdowns. Jakob Holbrook ran the ball 20 times for 100 yards and 2 TD’s as the T-Birds racked up a total of 384 yards. The Bearcats were limited to 128 yards of offense led by Austin Emery’s 54 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving.
Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game went to Jakob Holbrook of Tumwater and Austin Emery for WF West.