It was a case, Christian Swain said, of a finished product against a team that’s been together six weeks.
The Columbia River High head coach had just come up on the short end of a 49-0 non-league football game Friday night against Tumwater, the No. 1-ranked Class 2A team in the state.
Swain, in his first season at the Vancouver school after eight years at Roosevelt High of Portland, said he is not discouraged
“Just a few little things to get better,” Swain said after his team mustered just four first downs and 65 yards. “We’re going to be just fine.”
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Nothing much stopped the Tumwater Thunderbirds Friday night – except their own penalties.
The Thunderbirds (2-0) had eight penalties for 80 yards in the first half alone. They amounted to minor roadblocks.
“We’ve got to clean that up,” said head coach Sid Otton of the penalties, but he had little else to quibble over.
“Our defense played outstanding,” he said. “We have some speed on our defense and some experienced kids.”
Tumwater scored on four of its six first-half possessions, with four different Thunderbirds scoring in the half. Senior quarterback Noah Andrews had a hand in two touchdowns: a five-yard pass to Cade Otton after a short-field drive, and a 13-yard run.
A blocked punt and recovery by T-Bird Caleb Jelcick set up a 2-yard TD run by Jakob Holbrook. Keson Waller closed the first-half scoring with a 4-yard run set up by a 28-yard sprint by Andrews.
Sid Otton said Andrews, who carried four times for 64 yards, turns the T-Birds’ Wing-T into a four-back backfield with his running ability.
“He gives us a different weapon,” Sid Otton said. “He sees the field really well.”
The Chieftains, of the Greater St. Helens League, netted 59 first-half yards and never sniffed a scoring threat. Columbia River’s best play was a 31-yard completion from Jack Armstrong to Dakota Mason on the last snap of the half.
In the second half, Tumwater got a 48-yard TD run from senior Trayten Rodriguez; a second blocked punt and recovery – this time by junior Aiden Slater – to set up a one-yard TD run by Holbrook; and a 33-yard scoring run by sophomore Zane Murphy moments after his interception of Columbia River’s Matthew Asplund.
Despite the loss, Swain appreciated the moment.
“It’s a great honor to play against Coach Otton in his last year,” he said. “It was pretty impressive to watch that thing go.”
Tumwater 49, Columbia River 0
Columbia River 0-0-0-0—0
T – Jakob Holbrook 2 run (Nathan Seaman kick)’
T – Cade Otton 5 pass from Noah Andrews (Seaman kick)
T – Andrews 13 run (Seaman kick)
T – Keson Waller 4 run (Seaman kick)
T – Trayten Rodriguez 48 run Seaman kick)
T – Holbrook 1 run (Seaman kick)
T – Zane Murphy 33 run (Seaman kick)