The Tenino’s Beavers took a big bite out of Montesano’s postseason football aspirations on Friday night and spoiled the Bulldogs’ homecoming to boot.
Scoring on its first three possessions, Tenino manhandled the Bulldogs, 26-6, on Friday night at Aberdeen’s Stewart Field.
With its first victory over the Bulldogs in 17 years, Tenino (3-1, 3-4) remained in a virtual three-way tie with Rochester (which actually has a half-game lead) and Elma atop the Evergreen 1A League standings.
The reigning state 1A champion Bulldogs (also 3-4 overall) fell to 2-2 in league and may be forced to beat arch-rival Elma in the annual Civil War on Nov. 1 at Davis Field in Elma to merely to qualify for the district crossover playoffs.
Meanwhile, Elma got an impressive performance from a trio of skill position players in a 56-20 non-league triumph over Ilwaco last Friday night at Davis Field.
Against Montesano, the Tenino Beavers were led by sophomore backs Calvin Guzman and Thomas Pier, coupled with a big, physical offensive line. Operating from shotgun and pistol formations, the agile Guzman rushed for 141 yards and passed for 118 more. Pier, the foster brother of former Tenino standout Devante Harris, logged 43 yards rushing and 71 receiving.
The biggest difference, however, may have been up front. The brawny Beavers blew the Bulldog defenders off the line of scrimmage, particularly in the first half, to open gaping holes for the likes of Guzman, Pier and veteran running back Zack Chamberlain.
With Anthony Louthan rushing for 106 yards, the Bulldogs moved the ball well at times, but were unable to finish drives.
Late-arriving spectators caught in a pre-game traffic snarl between Aberdeen and Montesano may have missed the pivotal early moments of the contest.
Running almost exclusively between the tackles, the Beavers put together a 77-yard scoring drive on the game’s opening possession. Their shortest gain on the 10-play drive was 4 yards and Pier bowled over a Bulldog defender to score from 5 yards out. The conversion kick failed.
Three plays after the ensuing kickoff, Tenino’s 285-pound lineman Jonathon Jones-Newmann recovered a Monte fumble on the Bulldog 49-yard line.
The Beavers needed six plays to convert that opportunity, with Guzman breaking at least two tackles on an 11-yard TD run with exactly five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Pier ran for the conversion and a 14-0 lead.
Guzman then went to the air successfully on Tenino’s third possession, completing all four of his passes for 39 yards. He finished off the drive with a 7-yard scoring run midway through the second quarter. A blocked kick left the Beavers with a 20-0 halftime lead.
Montesano’s only ray of hope came on the opening possession of the second half. Louthan ran for 11, 28 and 14 yards during that series to set up his 5-yard scoring burst. Louthan’s conversion kick hooked wide.
The Bulldogs travel to Rainier on Friday.
Elma 56, Ilwaco 20
Elma, which amassed 535 yards of total offense, scored on the game’s opening possession and never looked back.
An eight-play, 62-yard drive was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown run by Todd Swinhart. Steven Persell rushed three times for 27 yards on the drive to help set up the score.
Persell finished the game with 136 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Swinhart gained 156 total yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns.
Although Elma (4-3) failed to score on both of its next two possessions, the Eagles’ defense came through to allow the offense to find a rhythm.
With 3:13 left in the first quarter, Collin hit Swinhart on a deep post route for a 58-yard touchdown.
That scoring play sparked the Eagles’ offense, who scored on each of their next three possessions.
Collin completed 16 of his 24 attempts for 239 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The senior signal caller also darted in for a score from 7 yards out on a designed quarterback run in the second quarter. Collin’s only possession under center in the second half ended with a 21-yard fade pass to Swinhart in the left side of the end zone.
This gave Elma a 42-0 lead to bring the mercy rule running clock into play.
Elma will be back in action on Friday when it hosts Forks.