Yelm 35, Capital 14

(Updated: Explanation of a controversial call from SSA Head Official now included.)

(Olympia, WA) The Yelm Tornados have not been to the State Play-offs in 30 years and Head Coach Jason Ronquillo has been working toward a season like this since taking on the the job in 2013. There has never been as much hope for the Tornado’s to make a run into the play-offs in literally decades and if everything played out right a win over Capital would clinch a trip to the cross-overs, the 1st step to their goal of State.

On this cool fall evening and a large crowd on hand not only coming from Yelm but for the home team Cougars Homecoming. Capital not had Homecoming to think about but a must win if they had any hope of getting into the crossovers.

James Palmer on his way to the endzone

This would be a game of big plays and the Tornados got started with the opening kick-off with James Palmer returning it to the 44 yard line of Capital. 5 plays later Palmer scored on a spectacular 22 yard dash and ran through some would-be tacklers on his way to paydirt. Cody Frye added the PAT and it was 7-0.

Yelm would score twice in the 2nd quarter led by Palmer once again busting through the middle of the Cougar defense and didn’t stop for 76 yards to push the score to 14-0. On the ensuing kick-off the Tornados seemingly caught the Cougs flat-footed with a pooch kick to the right and one of the Yelm players caught the ball for an apparent recovery. The official ruled it was interference since the ball never touched the ground. There was quite a discussion about the legality of the kick but the Yelm coaches could not convince the head referee.

***Updated Information: ESN talked with longtime Head Official Terry Simmonds he said the Officiating crew got it right that the ball must hit the ground or a player from the other team before they can legally recover it regardless if there is a player of the receiving team in the vicinity or not of the kicked ball. Yelm’s argument was they believed they could catch it without the touch if there was no receiving team player in the area of the ball.

Despite the break the Cougars could not take advantage and turned the ball over on downs to the Tornados. Yelm would extend their lead to 21-0 when QB Kyle Robinson connected with Austin Osso on what appeared to be a broken play after a high snap to Robinson in the shot-gun. Osso scrambled to the corner of the endzone and Robinson was right on target.

Cap’s Nate Tyler punches it in

Capital would not give up and would hit the scoreboard before halftime. The Cougs finally put together a solid drive and Nathan Tyler came in to run the ball and finished it off with a tugh 7-yard burst late in the half. Carson Collard punched in the PAT and at the break the Cougs were still in the game and would receive the 2nd half kick-off.

Capital looked like they would get right back in this game taking the ball from their own 45 all the way down to the 21 of Yelm. Facing a 4th and 2 Tyler would get the hand-off and get stopped in his tracks with a nice play from the Yelm defense. The Tornado defense had big efforts all night matching the offenses big plays including Derrick Platt’s 3 sacks, Joncarter Coble had several tackles and DJ Jorbal added 2 sacks of his own.

On their 1st play of the 2nd half the Tornado’s came up with our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game when Robinson connected with Osso again down the left sideline for a 79-yard TD strike and just like that it was 28-7. Yelm added another TD when Palmer ran in his 3rd of the game and finished with 149 yards. Osso finished with 5 catches and 120 yards with the 2 scores.

Capital kept grinding it and scored a late touchdown on a pass from Grant Erickson to Isaiah Walker, a 20 yard connection. With the loss the Cougs will play out the season with no chance of post-season and dropped to 1-4 in SSC play. Yelm is now 4-1 and tied with Peninsula for 2nd. The Tornados will host the Seahawks next Friday. Timberline is in 1st place after knocking off Gig Harbor.

Our Pacific Sports Spa Players of the Game went to Yelm’s James Palmer and to Capital’s Jesse Mattson. Mattson had some huge plays for the Cougs on defense including a goal line stand and a huge sack.



Yelm: Palmer 149 (3 TD), McGown 64

Capital: Tyler 59 (TD), Jackson 12, Grady 6


Yelm: Robinson 13-22 201 2TD 1 int

Erickson: 17-30 242 1 TD 1 int


Yelm: Osso 5-120 (2 TD), Gifford 2-18, Morris 2-23, McGown 3-41

Capital: J Collard 5-74, Walker 4-70 (TD), Penner 3-32

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