Sid Otton has coached more than 500 games over a 49-year career, becoming the state’s all-time winningest coach in the process.
There haven’t been too many like this one.
The first game of Otton’s final season as the head football coach at Tumwater High School was wild, to say the least.
Noah Andrews threw two touchdown passes to Cade Otton, Jakob Holbrook ran for four TDs and the visiting Thunderbirds opened the new season with a 77-42 nonconference victory over Franklin Pierce on Friday.
Tumwater (1-0) held a 35-28 lead at the half, but scored four times in the opening nine minutes of the third quarter to completely overwhelm the Cardinals’ defense.
Holbrook, a junior, excelled in his first career start, rushing for 220 yards on 16 carries and scoring on runs of 18, 20, 63 and five yards — the last of which made it a 70-42 game a minute into the fourth quarter.
Tumwater’s ground attack also found success in Trayten Rodriguez, who added touchdown runs of 25 and 37 yards and registered an interception to set up another T-Birds score.
The 77 points are a program record for Tumwater, which had first-and-goal at the 10 with seven minutes to play, but elected to take four knees and three delay-of-game penalties instead of breaking the 80-point mark.
The abundance of points was needed to offset the performance of Franklin Pierce quarterback Willie Patterson.
Patterson tossed four touchdown passes, including three to Mason Starling, and ran for another in defeat.
Patterson shined in an explosive first half, accounting for 264 total yards of offense — with 100 coming on the ground from just seven carries.
The Cardinals signal-caller had a hand in three of his team’s four first-half scores, the last coming when he hit Starling on a 2-yard strike with a second remaining in the half.
Despite all the yards Patterson piled up, Tumwater still took a seven-point lead into the intermission.
Andrews matched his counterpart’s first-half production by running for a pair of scores and hitting Cade Otton on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Patterson struck first, scampering 24 yards for a touchdown on Franklin Pierce’s opening possession, lighting the fuse on what would be an offensive fireworks show.
The game was a rematch of last season’s 2A first-round state playoff matchup between the two programs. Tumwater emerged from that clash as 55-14 victors, jumping out to a quick 28-point advantage before cruising to an easy victory.
The sequel featured a completely different plotline, with the Cardinals countering everything the T-Birds threw at them early on before eventually succumbing.
Andrews scored on runs of 20 and 1 yards and Tumwater also received TDs on the ground in the first half from Holbrook (18 yards) and Rodriguez (25).