High School Sports

T-Birds use ground game to run circles around Centralia

Easton Trakel possesses blazing breakaway speed.

It just wasn’t on display during the Tumwater senior’s two first-half touchdown runs against Centralia. The extra gear was hardly required as Trakel simply walked into the end zone each time thanks to the Thunderbirds’ offense, which executed the plays to near perfection.

Fullback Jarid Barrett added two TD runs of his own, running back Dominic Jones scored twice — the first coming on a pretty 26-yard scamper — and visiting Tumwater opened up Evergreen Conference Class 2A play by overwhelming the Tigers with its powerful ground game in a 49-6 victory Friday.

Jones paced the T-Birds offensive attack with 115 rushing yards on just five carries. Trakel wasn’t far behind, running for 108 yards on six carries and scoring on runs of 3 and 8 yards.

“We’ve practiced this offense all summer long, but we’ve had some injuries,” Trakel said. “This is the first game we’ve had everyone back playing together. It couldn’t have gone any better than this. Everything was clicking. The line blocked perfectly.”

Barrett scored on runs of 5 and 4 yards.

The T-Birds (6-0, 1-0 EvCo) host West Valley of Yakima next week, while Centralia (2-3, 0-1) travels to Bremerton.

Tumwater had 220 rushing yards and a commanding 35-0 lead by the intermission.

The Tigers had one scoring opportunity in the first half, taking advantage of a turnover by Tumwater’s special teams and marching the ball down to the T-Birds 2.

Faced with a fourth-and-goal, Centralia was unable to put any points on the scoreboard in the first half as Tumwater’s defense turned away the Tigers at the 1.

Outside of its punt return miscue, the T-Birds were basically flawless on offense in the first half, scoring on all five of their possessions.

Tumwater scored on its opening drive of the second half with Jones punching it in from 2 yards out to widen the T-Birds’ lead to 42-0.

Trailing 49-0 with 7 minutes remaining, the Tigers avoided the shutout when Nolan Wassan hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Joey Aliff.