How overwhelmingly efficient was Tumwater's offense?
By the time the game hit the midway point of the third quarter, the Thunderbirds had already scored seven times, and needed just 20 plays to do so.
Griffin Shea scored four touchdowns and finished with 306 total yards of offense, Noah Andrews added a pair of touchdown runs and Tumwater wrapped up the 2A Evergreen Conference championship with a 49-21 victory over visiting W.F. West on Friday.
"We've been minus a few guys on offense this season," Tumwater coach Sid Otton said, "but it seems like the rest of the team just picks it up whenever we have someone out."
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The Thunderbirds, the top-ranked team in 2A classification, finish the regular season a perfect 9-0 and will host the 2A Greater Saint Helens League's No. 4 seed next week in the state preliminary round.
It marks the sixth consecutive EvCo title for Tumwater (9-0).
In an offense filled with stars, Shea proved to shine the brightest against the Bearcats (5-4).
The senior touched the ball eight times, scoring on a 99-yard kickoff return, a 70-yard catch and runs of 23 and 33 yards.
"Give all the credit to the line and coach (Jamie) Weeks. I'm not going anywhere if they aren't opening those holes up," said Shea. "The coaches were on us all week about coming together."
Shea finished the game with three kickoff returns for a combined 171 yards.
Andrews finished with 111 rushing yards on just three carries, scoring on 69- and 39-yard runs.
Tumwater's Spencer Dowers threw for 134 yards, completing all three of his passes with Cade Otton, who hauled in two catches for 64 total yards.
W.F. West dominated the time of possession in the first half, running 41 offensive plays to the Thunderbirds’ 13, but the Bearcats still trailed 28-7 at the intermission.
Jarid Barrett, who ran for 78 yards on six carries, opened up the scoring onslaught with a 1-yard touchdown run on Tumwater's first drive of the game.
W.F. West was able to cut the deficit to 13-6 on Austin Emery's 28-yard scoring run with 5 minutes to play in the second quarter.
But Shea took over from there, scoring the game's next three touchdowns, capped by his end zone-to-end zone kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half.
"I haven't had too many opportunities on kick returns this year," said Shea, who added he briefly thought about letting the ball go into the end zone. "So, I thought I would take a chance and try to return this one."
It paid off as Shea raced untouched for the score to push Tumwater’s advantage to 35-7.
W.F. West, which had won three in a row, answered right back with quarterback Elijah Johnson hitting Nathan Anglin on a 47-yard scoring strike.
Unfortunately for the Bearcats, they had to put the ball back into the hands of the T-Birds’ offense, which again needed minimal plays to put points on the scoreboard.
Shea nearly broke a second kickoff return for a score, but had to settle for a 25-yard return, which put the ball close to midfield.
Three plays later, Andrews visited the end zone for a second time, pushing the lead to 42-14.