Kalama 44, Onalaska 36
(Kalama, WA) In 2019, the Onalaska Loggers defeated the Kalama Chinooks in the 2B state championship for the Loggers first state title since 1986. In 2021, Kalama got a bit of retribution when they defeated Onalaska in the state semifinals en route to winning their second state championship since 2017. After both teams went through a little bit of a rebuild in 2022, the Chinooks and Loggers met with first place in the Central 2B League’s south division. In arguably the best game ever played between the two schools, quarterback play stole the spotlight with both QBs putting on an absolute show. Kalama would score late to take the lead and Onalaska would just run out of time as the Chinooks took this instant classic over the Loggers, 44-36
Onalaska received the opening kickoff and immediately began the typical Logger march down the field. Rodrigo Rodriguez and Kayden Mozingo carried the offense on the initial drive until the Kalama defense forced a third and long. Then came the first turnover of the game as Kalama forced and recovered a fumble to stop the Onalaska drive. The Logger defense prevented Kalama from turning the takeaway into points and the Logger offense took the field in a still scoreless games. Another long, grueling drive came for Onalaska and this time Rodrigo Rodriguez would find the endzone to cap off the typical Logger drive with a one-yard score to make it 6-0 Onalaska.
Kalama would have an answer and that answer was Aiden Brown. Whether he was throwing it or running it, Brown was moving the Chinook offense down the field with some help from receivers Ethan Brightbill and Hayden Lawson. It would be his legs that brought the first points to the Chinook offense. Facing a 4th and one on the very first play of the second quarter, a low snap rolled to Brown in the shotgun. Without panicking, the junior quarterback picked the ball up and immediately took off to his left and up the near side. Nothing would stop Brown as he sprinted his way 40-yards for the score. Pretty much at the beginning of the second quarter, Kalama and Onalaska were tied at 6-6.
Another 3rd and long forced by the Chinook defense made the Loggers have to punt for the first time of the day and it was a really good punt from Cooper Lawrence as he pinned Kalama back at their own 10-yard line. Facing a 3rd and long from inside their own 10, Aiden Brown found Hayden Lawson for a first down, but a penalty backed them up to their own three. Another conversion for Kalama moved the chains as Brown found Henry Sigfridson for a nice 19-yard completion to move the chains. That began a nice Kalama drive as the Chinooks marched down the field with a 37-yard pass from Brown to Ethan Brightbill highlighting the drive. Brown then scored on a three-yard scramble to give Kalama a 14-6 lead with the two-point conversion.
Onalaska football teams all do the same thing and that is that they test the toughness and mentality of the opposing defense. Smash-mouth style football is what the Loggers are known for and they were wearing down the Chinook defensive front. However, when Kalama forced Onalaska into third and longer than five, there were issues. After another good looking drive, Onalaska fumbled again and Drew Schlangen scooped and was headed the other way. Onalaska would run down Schlangen all the way at the Logger 25-yard line. A few plays later, Aiden Brown found Ethan Brightbill for an 18-yard score to give Kalama a halftime lead of 22-6.
Complete chaos took over this game in the second half. Kalama got the ball to start the second half. After converting on a 3rd and a mile, Kalama committed their first turnover of the game. An interception by Samuel Pannkuk gave the Loggers the ball at the Kalama 38. A 27-yard scramble by Kayden Mozingo set up Rodrigo Rodriguez for a three-yard score to make it 22-12. Another interception by Pannkuk followed giving all the momentum to Onalaska. A couple of plays later, Kayden Mozingo was zig-zagging his way for a 41-yard score. A two-point conversion and Onalaska had cut the Kalama lead to just 22-20.
What then broke out was practically a game of football style horse where Aiden Brown and Kayden Mozingo just took over the game and put on an absolute show. On a 2nd and 17, Brown dumped off a pass to Drew Schlangen who tip-toed his way down the sideline for a 19-yard gain and a 1st down. That would be a fitting play for Kalama’s drive as it ended with Brown finding Schlangen for a two-yard score to make it 28-20.
Both defenses would come up with stops on their next defensive series. Kalama would bend but not break as Onalaska marched down the field before Kalama came up with a 4th down stop to force a turnover on downs. Then, Kalama began to march to try to open up a two-score lead. A pick six by Cooper Lawrence would be wiped off the board due to a penalty on the Loggers. Just a few plays later, Lawrence would get another interception and this one would stand as the Loggers came away with their third interception of the half. The very next play saw Mozingo run right up the middle for a 58-yard score. A successful two-point conversion and all of a sudden Onalaska had tied things up at 28-28.
A short kick gave Kalama the ball at their own 49-yard line. After running two plays to get into Onalaska territory, Kalama was staring at a 3rd and two. Aiden Brown had his number called again and after not finding any running room on the right side, switched fields and cut back to the left side and was all alone up the sideline. 43-yards later and Brown had his third rushing touchdown of the game and Kalama had the lead back at 36-28.
Anyone that knows about the Onalaska Loggers knows that they were not ever just gonna give up in this one. However, facing a 3rd and long brought up the trend in this one that saw Onalaska struggle all game in these situations. This time, Kayden Mozingo had his number called and he was not going to disappoint. A spin move got him by one would-be tackler and that was all he needed to beat. Mozingo took it in for a 43-yard score and a two-point conversion for Rodriguez and the game was tied backup at 36-36.
With the way this game was going, it felt like whatever team that had the ball last was going to take home the win. Kalama began to march down the field but this time at a slower pace. A couple of eight-yard completions from Brown to Brightbill built a successful drive for the Chinooks. Another scramble for Aiden Brown went 22 yards to set up the Chinooks for the go-ahead score. Brown would of course be the one to deliver the points with a two-yard score. Another two-point conversion made it 44-36 Kalama with just 29.5 seconds left. Onalaska would push the ball down field a bit to give them a shot at a Hail Mary. Kalama would shut that down while Onalaska really just ran out of time in the end. A fantastic game on both sides of the ball ended with Kalama just surviving the shootout with a 44-36 win over Onalaska.
The Better Homes and Gardens Takin’ it to the House Play of the Game went to Onalaska quarterback Kayden Mozingo. After a fairly quiet first half, the senior QB exploded for a monster game using his legs to do the damage. On his first of three touchdown runs in the game, Mozingo went 41 yards for the score but had to do some horizontal running as well. Moving back and forth across the field, Mozingo had one man to beat and he did just that with a beautiful juke for the score. We could have chosen any of Kayden Mozingo’s three scores, but this one combined speed, vision, and heart.
Our Thorbeckes MVP of the game was Kalama quarterback Aiden Brown. The junior QB was spectacular both with his arm and his legs on Friday night. Through the air, Brown went 20-39 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Then, on the ground Brown ran the ball 25 times for 199 yards and four more touchdowns. Brown ended up tallying 423 yards and six touchdowns while announcing himself as one of the very best quarterbacks in the state regardless of classification. The jump Brown made from his sophomore year to junior year has been extremely impressive as he carries on the tradition of outstanding Kalama quarterbacks.
The only other Chinook to record any carries was Drew Schlangen who tallied three carries. In the receiving game, Ethan Brightbill led the way with seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Henry Sigfridson added four catches for 46 yards and Quin Hahn tacked on five catches for 35 yards. Schlangen mixed in two catches for 21 yards and a touchdown and Hayden Lawson mixed in two catches for 19 yards. On defense, Drew Schlangen and Kade Harriman each had a fumble recovery while Owen Purtteman and Aaron and Jordan Winans did a great job of slowing down the Onalaska run between the tackles.
Meanwhile for Onalaska, Kayden Mozingo led the charge with 22 carries for 315 yards and three touchdowns with 262 of those yards coming in the second half. Mozingo also completed one pass to Blaze Underhill for 13 yards. Rodrigo Rodriguez was a workhorse for the Loggers as he carried the ball 27 times for 140 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Nick Rushton mixed in three carries as well. On defense, the secondary stole the show for Onalaska as they helped the Loggers comeback in the second half. Samuel Pannkuk tallied two interceptions in the third quarter and Cooper Lawrence got an interception of his own as well.
With the win, Kalama moves to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in league play as they take over first place in the C2BL south division. The Chinooks will get a big test next Saturday when they visit the reigning state champions in Napavine at 7pm. Onalaska drops to 4-2 and 1-1 in league play. The Loggers will try to get back on track on Friday at 7pm when they host Stevenson.
To watch the entire replay of the game, you can click the link below.
Kalama Gets on the Board
Brown Finds Brightbill for Six
Mozingo Scrambles for a Score (BHG Play of the Game)
Brown Shows off the Wheels
Mozingo Continues Monster Half