W.F. West was undefeated, and hadn’t allowed an offensive touchdown since Sept. 30, and shut out its last three opponents.
But the ninth-ranked Bearcats had no answer for Tumwater tight end Cade Otton, who caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Noah Andrews, as the second-ranked T-Birds rolled, 42-0, in the Class 2A Evergreen Conference title games Friday night at Bearcat Stadium in Chehalis.
An overflow crowd was sent home with four minutes, 54 seconds still left on the game clock when W.F. West senior defensive lineman Brenden Spahr was injured and needed to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. After a delay of 12 minutes, the teams agreed to end the game early.
The victory gave Tumwater (8-1, 4-0 2A EvCo) its seventh consecutive league championship in undefeated fashion. Tumwater, the 2A EvCo’s No. 1 seed, will host Washougal in the first round of state playoffs next week. W.F. West (8-1, 5-0) still has a variety of possible opponents as the No. 2 seed.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Otton was physically too much for the smaller Bearcats defensive backs, catching six passes altogether for 146 yards. Andrews completed 8 of 9 passes for 168 yards.
After running seven straight running plays to start the game, the T-Birds scored on the first Andrews-to-Otton scoring pass, from 41 yards out.
Twice more in the first half, Tumwater ran that identical play, splitting Otton to the right and throwing long to him for a score. The second touchdown came later in the first quarter as Andrews lofted the ball beyond Otton and let him run under it for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
On the next T-Birds possession, they moved from their own 33 to the W.F West 29 in eight plays. On fourth-and-6, Otton ran the same pattern that was good for the first two scores and danced into the end zone, despite drawing an interference flag against a Bearcats defender who tried to tackle him before the catch, but only bounced off.
It was the first of two pass interference calls on defenders attempting to guard Otton — the second would cancel out an apparent interception.
Things went from bad to worse for the Bearcats, who would not convert a first down until less than two minutes remained in the half.
On the possession following Otton’s third touchdown grab, W.F. West faced a fourth down at its own 32. Nole Wollan dropped back into punt formation, but the snap sailed well over his head, and Tumwater recovered inside the 1.
On the next play from scrimmage, Jakob Holbrook, who rushed for 77 yards on 18 carries, dove into the end zone. Nathan Seaman kicked his fourth extra point, and the T-Birds had the 28-0 lead at the intermission.
W.F. West, which gained only 19 yards of total offense during its first five offensive series, finally drove to the outskirts of the red zone late in the half.
A tackle-breaking 25-yard run by Austin Emery started the drive, and two plays later, he picked up 12. Back-to-back passes from Wollan to Brandon White moved the Bearcats to the Tumwater 25, but three incompletions later they turned it over on downs.
In the third quarter, Holbrook scored on a 3-yard run to put Tumwater up 35-0.
With W.F. West driving into Tumwater territory early in the fourth quarter, a Bearcats fumble was scooped up by Zach Jones. He ran it back 67 yards for a T-Birds touchdown that wrapped up scoring.
NO. 2 TUMWATER
NO. 9 W.F. WEST
T – Cade Otton 41 pass from Noah Andrews (Nathan Seaman kick)
T – Ottton 26 pass from Andrews (Seaman kick)
T – Ottton 29 pass from Andrews (Seaman kick)
T – Jakob Holbrook 1 run (Seaman kick)
T- Jakob Holbrook 3 run (Seaman kick)
T – Zach Jones 67 fumble recovery (Seaman kick)