(Tenino, WA) The Tenino Beavers took the nearly 9-hour bus trip to Colville in their opening week and fell behind 27-0 before losing 34-14. New Head Coach Darren Tinnerstet was pleased with how his team battled back after the tough start and did not give up. This week the Beavers were looking to turn the tables with Zillah coming to town after a long road trip from Central Washington. The Beavers did just that jumping out to a 20-7 lead.

The Beavers are also playing under a new offense and look to throw the ball down the field on a regular basis and certainly have shown they will do that in a short amount of time. They no longer run the ball literally 95% of the time and have the athletes now to have a more balanced attack. Tenino did not hesitate and quickly put a pair of scores on the board. QB Cody Strawn hit Austin Gonia on a 64-yard TD strike followed by a reverse pass trick play with Gonia tossing a 12-yard TD pass to Jack Burkhardt for a 14-0 lead. Tenino added another score on their 3rd possession a 70-yard bomb from Strawn to Burkhardt, the PAT missed and it was 20-7.

Zillah did score on their 2nd possession with a 2 yard QB keeper by Jayden Salme. The Leopards had other chances but mistakes trying to get the ball down the field limited their offense.  The Leopards did put one more drive together and scored on a pass from Salme to Nakea John and Zillah was within 6 at the half down 20-14.

The Leopards received the 2nd half kick-off and went back to the run game and the ground and pound. Alex Martinez ran the ball just 7 times in the 1st half for 27 yards. In the 2nd half he more than doubled his carries and ended the game with 22 runs for a 123 yards and a Touchdown. Salme was the recipient of a lot of the hard runs and good offense as he ran the ball in 3 times from short yardage on just 26 total yards rushing.

The Leopards scored on their opening 2nd half drive with Salme going in from the 3 but the extra point failed and it was tied. Tenino countered with another TD pass from Strawn to Burkhardt for 39-yards but the 2 point try failed and it was 26-20. Zillah answered with an 11 play drive with a 1yard plunge by Salme, the PAT was good and Zillah had their 1st lead 27-26. 

The big play of the day was newxt when Martinez picked off a pass from the Beavers giving Zillah the ball on the Tenino 38. The Leopards did not waste the opportunity and Martinez ran it in from the 1 on the 4th play of the drive. The PAT was added and Zillah led 34-26. 

Tenino came storming back and Strawn again connected with his 4th TD pass of the game this time to Michael Vassar and the Beavers were within 2. But could not score the 2-point PAT and trailed 34-32. Zillah then went on an impressive 12 play drive never giving the ball back preserving the 2 point win. 

Salme finished 14/17 for 222 yards and a TD and the Leopards had 392 total yards of offense. Tenino finished with 357 yards of offense led by Strawn going 8/12 for 256 yards and 3 TD’s. Gonia was 1/1 for 12 yards and TD.

Our Better Homes and Garden Takin It to the House play of the game was the 70-yard TD pass from Cody Strawn to Jack Burkhardt. Our Thorbeckes MVP award went to Zillah’s Alex Martinez.

The BHG Takin’ It to the House Play of the Game

Thorebeckes MVP Alex Martinez


Zillah’s now 2-0 in non-league play and will next host Royal in a non-league game. Tenino drops to 0-2 and will try to get their 1st win of the year on the road Friday at Klahowya.

The ESN Post Game Show



Tenino goes up 14-0 with a little trickery


Zillah ties it up at 20-20


The Leopards score the Winning TD


ESN Talks with Zillah Head Coach Ryan Watson


By paulb

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