The Rainier Mountaineers wasted no time Saturday night.
It took only 47 seconds for Ian Russell to find the end zone, as Rainier (4-2, 3-2 Class 2B Pacific) routed Tacoma Baptist (1-5, 1-4), 50-9, at Curtis High School.
Following a 38-yard quarterback keeper by McKoy Bichler, Russell punched it in from the 2-yard line. Alec Miller tacked on two more points on the conversion attempt to give Rainier an 8-0 lead.
“That’s something that’s been kind of a problem for us, and has been an emphasis for us, is a fast start,” Rainier coach Terry Shaw said. “We want to score first, and we want to score fast.”
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No problem. Rainier’s second touchdown came even quicker.
On the ensuing onside kick, Rainier recovered. On the first play of the drive, Miller pummeled through the Crusaders defense for a 46-yard touchdown 13 seconds later.
The Mountaineers found the end zone three more times in the first half on a 20-yard run by Bichler and 21-yard run by Israel Elwell.
Tim Clifford, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior right tackle, recovered a 6-yard Rainier fumble in the end zone to make it 35-0 entering the half. It was his first career touchdown.
“That was a good moment, actually,” Shaw said. “It was nice to see him score.”
Bichler led the Mountaineers with 97 yards on six carries with two touchdowns. He added his second on an 11-yard run in the third.
Elwell also picked up another touchdown on a pitch from Bichler that he took 53 yards into the end zone untouched. He finished with 76 yards on six carries.
The Crusaders couldn’t effectively navigate Rainier’s defense, committing two turnovers and turning the ball over on downs three times. River Reise led the Mountaineers with seven tackles and two assists.
Tacoma Baptist struggled with a thin roster — six starters are out with injuries — in trying to keep up with Rainier. Quarterback P.J. Talen briefly exited the game near halftime with a mild injury to his left wrist. He re-entered in the second half.
Talen rushed for 80 yards on 15 carries to lead the Crusaders.
“We’re just trying to get healthy and establish a culture of being physical and aggressive,” Tacoma Baptist coach Tim Rasmussen said. “We’re fighting.”
The Crusaders reached the red zone twice on eight possessions — both scoring drives.
Ryan Ratliff connected for a 30-yard field goal in the third for Tacoma Baptist’s first score, to make it 35-3.
With 58.1 seconds to play, the Crusaders finally found the end zone on a 5-yard completion from Talen to Doug Stone. The extra point attempt was blocked.
Yelm 25, at Evergreen 18: The Tornados put up 412 yards of total offense against the Plainsmen in Vancouver.
After trailing 18-16 entering the fourth quarter, Yelm took a 19-18 lead on a 28-yard field goal by Vernon Parker. The Tornados struck again with 10 minutes, 44 seconds to play for the game’s final score on a 38-yard pass from Daylon Matthews to Joey Hawks.
Matthews was 12-of-24 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Thompson rushed for 167 yards and one touchdown.
Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473