The North Thurston High School football team is known for its bulldozing running game behind Hayden Maliska, Josh Ramirez and Josh Mosquera, who have combined for 11 of the Rams’ touchdowns in the first three games. But the defense is pretty good, too.
North Thurston intercepted three passes in the fourth quarter – two by Seth Meredith and one by Malachai Hicks – and stopped a potential tying two-point conversion attempt by Foss with 28 seconds to play to emerge with a 22-20 victory over the Falcons on Friday night at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
The Rams won their 3A Narrows League opener and improved to 3-0 overall.
North Thurston led, 22-14, with 3 minutes, 24 seconds remaining, but Foss marched 72 yards – with the help of two Rams penalties – and then capped the drive with Patiole Pesefea’s 1-yard run. That made it 22-20 and set up a try to tie the game.
Pesefea, who also had Foss’ 7-yard touchdown run on its first possession of the game, took the handoff and went up the middle but was stopped by a swarm of Rams defenders.
Two of North Thurston’s fourth quarter interceptions led to points by the offense. Foss had a 14-13 lead before Luke Yanna’s go-ahead 27-yard touchdown catch from Ryan Mets – his second touchdown pass of the game – with 10:01 remaining. The score was set up by Meredith’s first interception.
Then came Matthew Longnecker’s 21-yard field goal after Hicks ran back his interception 43 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the 7.
North Thurston held a 13-7 lead at halftime, getting touchdowns from Ramirez (1-yard run) and Brandon Morgan (11-yard pass from Mets).