It has been 20 years since North Thurston last started a football season 5-0.
Coach Rocky Patchin was in his first season with the Rams, guiding a team that featured Mike Sellers to a league title.
There may not be any future NFL All-Pro players on this year’s roster, but that hasn’t stopped North Thurston from getting off to as hot a start as the 1992 squad.
Mo Manning rushed for three touchdowns, Ryan Mets threw for another score and North Thurston remained undefeated with a 34-0 drubbing of visiting Wilson in Narrows League 3A play Saturday night at South Sound Stadium.
“This was a solid win,” Patchin said. “I thought we played very well in all aspects of the game tonight. That’s a very athletic Wilson team we faced tonight.”
North Thurston (5-0, 3-0 league) notched its second shutout this season and rushed for 230 yards.
Ande Grantham paced the North Thurston ground game with 71 yards on seven carries, while Manning, who scored on runs of 1, 15 and 2 yards and added an interception on defense, gained 64 yards on 11 carries.
The teams traded early fumbles before North Thurston tacked on a pair of first quarter scores to grab a 13-0 lead.
Manning kicked off the scoring with a 1-yard TD plunge 6 minutes into the contest before Mets hit tight end Josh Cahill on a 58-yard touchdown pass.
Manning added two more rushing touchdowns in the second quarter and Hayden Maliska punched it in from 3 yards out, powering North Thurston to a comfortable 34-0 halftime lead.
Wilson (2-3, 0-3) struggled offensively to move the ball in the first half, gaining 64 total yards of offense on 29 plays.
North Thurston, which hosts Tumwater on Friday in a nonleague contest, will now look to do something that hasn’t been accomplished in 36 years at the school – start a season 6-0.
The 1976 North Thurston team, coached by Jim Fouts, was the last to open a season with six consecutive victories. That team went a perfect 9-0 in the regular season before finally losing in the Class 3A state semifinals.
Sellers’ 1992 team stumbled in week No. 6 – losing 14-7 to Lincoln – before winning the Narrows League 4A championship.
Friday’s clash between North Thurston and Tumwater will also feature two of the longest tenured coaches in the state in Patchin and Tumwater’s Sid Otton.
The two have been at their respective schools a combined 60 years. Otton holds the lead head-to-head, 5-4, over Patchin, having won two straight in the series, including last year’s 43-36 victory.