Repetition seems to work for David Woodward.
The Olympia senior rushed for four touchdowns Friday night at Ingersoll Stadium — all on quarterback keepers — to carry the Bears to a 35-9 win over Yelm.
Olympia (7-2, 4-2 Class 4A Narrows) locked up the third and final district seed out of the 4A Narrows with the win.
“I think in that formation we have a lot of threats with Scott (Gunther), Jayden (Toussaint) and me, and they have to figure out which one to stop,” Woodward said.
Well, the Bears proved plenty unsolvable for the Tornados — they combined for 517 yards rushing.
After Yelm took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, Woodward barreled through the Tornados defense for three touchdowns in the second on runs of 28, 17 and 16 yards to give the Bears a 21-9 lead at the half.
“Big games like this, the defense has to play well,” Yelm coach Jason Ronquillo said. “If they don’t, we’re in trouble. That’s the way it goes.”
And the way it continued to go.
Olympia shut out Yelm in the second half and added two more rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to run away with the win.
Gunther (shoulder) returned for the Bears for the first time since Olympia’s 44-6 win over Stadium in Week 6. Most of his work was done in the middle of the field — he finished with 26 carries for 302 yards and one touchdown.
Gunther weaved through the Tornados defense from 10 yards out to open the third quarter.
The Bears went on a two-game skid with losses to Gig Harbor (27-26) and Bellarmine Prep (16-13) in Gunther’s absence.
“Having Scott back gave us a good threat that someone had to pay attention to,” Olympia coach Bill Beattie said.
Woodward skated 10 yards untouched into the end zone for Olympia’s final score with 3:42 remaining in the third to make it 35-9.
Woodward finished with 15 carries for 204 yards and the four touchdowns.
“He’s just so smooth,” Beattie said. “I think he sees the field really well.”
Yelm was knocked out of the playoffs with the loss, though the Tornados struck first.
On the first drive of the game, Daylon Matthews found Brandon Thompson open across the middle. Thompson broke a possible touchdown-saving tackle by Dayne Shafer to cruise 29 yards into the end zone.
Matthews finished 23 of 36 passing for 326 yards and one touchdown. He was picked off twice by Woodward in the second. Both interceptions led to Olympia scoring drives.
Yelm’s only other score was on a 35-yard field goal by Vernon Parker with 3:50 left in the second quarter.
The Tornados reached the red zone multiple times in the second half, but failed to convert on fourth-and-goal on two consecutive drives in the fourth quarter.
The Bears held Yelm at the 1-yard line on four straight plays to force a turnover on downs with 5:51 to play in the fourth quarter.
On the following drive, Yelm could not convert on fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line with 1:34 to play.
“We couldn’t score in the red zone; we had issues in the red zone,” Ronquillo said.
Olympia ran out the clock from there.
The Bears advance to districts and will travel to Issaquah next Friday or Saturday at 7 p.m. The Bears beat the Eagles earlier this season, 32-14, in nonleague play.
Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473
Yelm 6 3 0 0 _ 9
Olympia 0 21 14 0 _ 35
Y – Brandon Thompson 29 pass from Daylon Matthews (kick blocked)
O – David Woodward 28 run (Skyler Davis kick)
Y – Vernon Parker field goal
O – Woodward 17 run (Davis kick)
O – Woodward 16 run (Davis kick)
O – Scott Gunther 10 run (Davis kick)
O – Woodward 10 run (Davis kick)