There isn’t a nickname yet for the one-two punch that is Conner Furu and Jaden Toussaint — but it might be about time to fashion one.
“We don’t have a name yet, it’s a work in progress,” Black Hills High School coach Kirk Stevens smiled.
The Wolves running game? Not exactly a work in progress — closer to a well-oiled machine five games into the season.
The running back combination of Furu and Toussaint combined for six rushing touchdowns on 381 yards Friday night at Tiger Stadium, as Black Hills ran over Centralia, 49-14, to open Class 2A Evergreen Conference play.
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“Between our offensive line and them — you can’t stop both,” Stevens said. “You pick one, and the other has a big game or a big carry. … That’s been pretty consistent all season long.”
Following a shaky start — Black Hills dropped its first two games to local 3A rivals Timberline and Capital — the Wolves (3-2, 1-0 2A EvCo) have decisively picked up three straight wins.
Furu, a senior, and Toussaint, a sophomore, have carried the majority of the load. To date, the two have combined for 1,251 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. What seems to make the combination so monstrous is Furu’s bruising style, mixed with Toussaint’s jets.
“The speed and the power,” Toussaint said. “I think we both complement each other very well. It’s hard to stop both of us at the same time. There’s no simple way to stop both of us at the same time.”
Furu broke first against the Tigers. Following a penalty that brought back a sizeable gain, Furu bobbed through a sea of defenders and scooted 60 yards into the end zone.
His score on the Wolves’ next possession gave them the lead for good, this time barreling in from 10 yards out. He exited the game early in the fourth after tweaking a knee — Stevens said his removal was a precaution, and he should be ready for next week’s meeting with Aberdeen — but not before racking up 183 yards on 12 carries and the two touchdowns.
Toussaint scored on a pair of 1-yard runs in the second and third quarters. He added Black Hills’ final two scores on runs of 11 and 7 yards, long after the damage had been done.
Toussaint finished with 198 yards on 23 carries and the four touchdowns.
The Tigers, with three linemen absent, struggled to produce — and contain — the run throughout the contest. Centralia recorded 255 yards of total offense — 119 yards on the ground — while Black Hills finished with 541.
Quarterback Joey Aliff tossed Centralia’s only two scores on passes to Jose Pineda (70 yards) and Nathan Yahn (57). Aliff was otherwise contained; he completed 5 of 18 passes for 136 yards.
Aliff’s first touchdown pass to Pineda tied it at 7-7, but Centralia never led. Christian Williams connected with Noah Brewer for 44 yards just before halftime to give Black Hills a 28-7 advantage.
“I think we’re starting to become more solidified as a team, so I think we’re going to keep rolling,” Toussaint said.
BH – Conner Furu 60 run (Drew Kimmel kick)
C – Jose Pineda 70 pass from Joey Aliff (Kolby Baird kick)
BH – Furu 10 run (Kimmel kick)
BH – Jaden Toussaint 1 run (Kimmel kick)
BH – Noah Brewer 44 pass from Christian Williams (Kimmel kick)
BH – Toussaint 1 run (Kimmel kick)
C – Nathan Yahn 57 pass from Aliff (Baird kick)
BH – Toussaint 11 run (Kimmel kick)
BH – Toussaint 7 run (Kimmel kick)