Yelm High School found every which way to score – running, passing, returning – to jump out to a five-touchdown first half advantage and coast home to a 49-20 victory over Capital on Friday night at Ingersoll Stadium.
Both teams came into the game with 2-2 marks overall and, more importantly, 2-0 in the 3A South Sound Conference. Yelm’s win keeps it in a tie for first place with Peninsula, which survived an overtime to beat Timberline on Thursday night, at 3-0.
“It feels really good to be tied for first,” said senior running back Carson Amendt. “Yelm hasn’t had a league title for awhile and that’s what we’re striving for.”
“We executed pretty well, though our second-half execution wasn’t as clean as I would have liked,” said Yelm coach Jason Ronquillo. “We also had some penalties we wish we could take back. We were being a little overaggressive.”
Yelm led 14-0 before the game was a minute old.
Sylas Franklin ran the opening kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown. Capital fumbled the ball away on the second play of its ensuing possession – the first of four times the Cougars would lose a fumble – and Amendt scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns from 11 yards out.
Amendt would carry 19 times for 222 yards. Capital running back Clayton Grady would be even more of a workhorse, carrying 33 times for 141 yards.
The second of Amendt’s touchdowns, this one from two yards, made it 21-0 before the first quarter ended.
“Carson’s got great feet, he’ll cut two or three times before he hits full speed,” Ronquillo said.
“A lot of its passion and a lot of it is our line opening up big holes for me,” Amendt said.
Yelm quarterback Ben Hoffmann, who would complete 7-of-12 passes for 139 yards, threw for two second-quarter touchdowns.
The first came on a circus catch by wide receiver Auzzie Schaler, who would also record two interceptions plus long returns on defense. Schaler was well-defended by Capital defensive back Gabe Taylor and bobbled the ball, but caught it laying on his back for a 27-yard score.
Then, Hoffmann gave Yelm its largest lead, 35-0, tossing a two-yard TD pass to George Packard in the back left corner of the end zone.
Capital had no intention of allowing Yelm to go up by 40 and get the game clock running.
On the first possession of the second half, the Cougars drove 80 yards on nine plays to score for the first time on a 19-yard run by Grady. On its next drive, Capital got as close as it would the rest of the way, 35-14, when, aiding by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Yelm, they moved the ball to midfield and scored on a 53-yard strike from Redman to Grady Lindekugel.
But Yelm shook off its post-halftime doldrums and moved downfield, handing the ball off time and again to Amendt, until he broke a play up the middle outside to the right and sprinted for 40-yard touchdown that was enough to put the game out of reach.
Yelm takes on North Thurston next week before traveling to Peninsula in Week 7 for what may be the game of the year in the 3A SSC. Capital is at Gig Harbor next week.
“It feels good. We’ll enjoy the win tonight, but we know who’s coming up. We’ve got a long road ahead of us,” Ronquillo said.
Yelm 21 14 7 7 - 49
Capital 0 0 14 6 - 20
Y – Sylas Franklin 96 kickoff return (Braden Hill kick)
Y – Carson Amendt 11 run (Hill kick)
Y – Amendt 2 run (Hill kick)
Y – Auzzie Schaler 27 pass from Ben Hoffmann (Hill kick)
Y – George Packard 2 pass from Hoffmann (Hill kick)
C – Clayton Grady 19 run (Connor Potonjak kick)
C – Grady Lindekugel 53 pass from Tristan Redman (Potonjak kick)
Y – Amendt 40 run (Hill kick)
Y – Franklin 48 pass from Hoffmann (Hill kick)
C – Grady 19 run (pass failed)
Y – Hoffmann 7-12-2-139, Kyler Ronquillo 1-1-0-17.
C – Redman 15-31-2-196.
Y – Anthony Chipres 2-16, Hoffmann 6-(-20), Amendt 19-222, Franklin 1-(-1), Sean Rohwedder 1-8, Corbin Bartells 2-(-4), Ronquillo 1-(-11).
C – Grady 33-141, Lindekugel 2-(-19), Redman 7-1, Tucker Grow 5-15, Jake Kennedy 1-19.
Y – Schaler 2-32, Franklin 2-78, Chipres 1-13, Packard 1-2, Amendt 1-14, Hunter Venable 1-17.
C- Liam Lash 6-77, Grady 1-(-9), Josh Maiava 5-80, Lindekugel 3-52.