The difference between No. 1 and No. 9 turned out to be 28 points.
Class 2A first-ranked Tumwater put up six touchdowns against ninth-ranked Black Hills on Friday night at Tumwater District Stadium to win the 17th rendition of the Pioneer Bowl, 42-14.
The T-Birds now lead the all-time series — which began in 1999 — 14-3.
“I thought they played really well. They always do in these bowl games,” Tumwater coach Sid Otton said.
Though Black Hills held Tumwater to seven points in the first quarter for the first time this season — the T-Birds hadn’t scored less than 13 in seven games — the Wolves couldn’t contain the T-Birds for the final three.
“We just couldn’t get anything rolling on offense, so we just kind of put ourselves in a hole,” Black Hills coach Kirk Stevens said.
Tumwater held the Wolves to 10 total rushing yards.
On its third drive, Tumwater opened scoring on a 69-yard touchdown run by Griffin Shea with 3 minutes, 36 seconds left to play in the first quarter. Shea trotted into the end zone after Adam Warren made a potentially touchdown-saving block.
The Wolves fired right back 28 seconds later.
Christian Williams found Jewell Day near midfield. Day bounced off of Shea and rolled into the end zone for 66 yards to even it at 7-7.
Tumwater broke it open from there.
On the following drive, Spencer Dowers found Cade Otton behind two defenders in the corner of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown.
The T-Birds forced a Wolves three-and-out on the following drive before striking again with 2:25 to play in the second quarter.
Noah Andrews completed to Jacob Crawford for 28 yards on a fake punt to set up a first-and-goal at the 10-yard line.
Dominic Jones punched it in on the following play to give the T-Birds a 20-7 advantage at the half.
Williams exited late in the second quarter with a concussion following two consecutive 6-yard sacks. He was 4 of 6 passing for 101 yards and one touchdown.
“Right before halftime losing our quarterback — that really hurt us,” Stevens said.
The T-Birds scored three more touchdowns in the second half to ice it.
Jones opened the third quarter with a 3-yard run. Dowers then completed the two-point conversion attempt to Shea.
Black Hills’ offensive woes continued on the following drive when Chase Morrow — who replaced Williams, but was playing with a shoulder injury — was picked off on fourth-and-9 by Andrews with 4:33 to play in the third.
Nine plays later, Jones hurdled over a defender for five yards into the end zone to make it 35-7. Jones rushed for 93 yards on 18 carries for three touchdowns.
Jarid Barrett led the T-Birds in rushing with 103 yards on 16 carries.
Zach Jones scored Tumwater’s final touchdown on a 1-yard run in the fourth to make it 42-7.
Black Hills saw Jordan March and Drew Kimmel both exit with injuries in the second half, while Tumwater running back Easton Trakel left in the first half after reinjuring his right hamstring. He’ll likely be out for the season.
“Both sides had some guys dinged up, so we hope both of our teams will get healthy,” Otton said.
Added Stevens: “We lost about five guys. Hopefully none of them are too long term, but we’ll re-evaluate on Monday.”
Black Hills scored its only other touchdown with 1:58 to play in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard pass from Morrow to Jewell Day.
Morrow finished 10 of 14 for 108 yards and one touchdown. The Wolves combined for 209 total passing yards.
Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473