Sid Otton has had some impressive defenses during his 40-year tenure as Tumwater High School’s football coach.
This year’s bunch is shaping up to be one of the best after shutting out its second opponent in as many weeks.
Logan Schiendelman led the Thunderbirds defense with two interceptions as visiting Tumwater handed Timberline a 44-0 non-league defeat Friday at South Sound Stadium.
“The entire defense just puts its trust in each other,” Schiendelman said. “We knew we had to get after it tonight.”
The T-Birds (2-0) opened the season by blanking Shelton, 41-0, last week.
It was more of the same against the Blazers (1-1) as Tumwater built a 34-0 halftime lead.
“We just got beat by a better team tonight,” Timberline coach Nick Mullen said. “They took it to us.”
Schiendelman capped the T-Birds’ 27-point second quarter in dramatic fashion, returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown.
The defensive score came after Timberline quarterback Gabe Gutierrez’s pass bounced off a Blazers receiver and into the hands of Schiendelman, who zipped down the sideline, taking advantage of a wall of blockers, to score with 14 seconds left in the half.
“That was all on the defensive linemen. That entire play was all them,” Schiendelman said.
“I was just fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time and they did the rest with their blocking.”
Both defenses looked sharp early as the team’s traded possessions twice. Schiendelman’s first interception gave Tumwater excellent field position at the Timberline 7.
That big play seemed to kick start the T-Birds’ offense, which scored touchdowns on three of their next nine offensive plays.
Quarterback Jayden Croft opened the scoring with a 1-yard plunge.
Craft would later hit Gabe Gleizes on a 26-yard scoring strike, pushing Tumwater’s advantage to 20-0.
Christian Cummings provided a highlight with a 94-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, running straight up the middle and racing untouched to the end zone.
Trevor Davis also added a 6-yard TD run before Schiendelman closed out the first half with his touchdown return.
Cummings finished with 128 yards on 11 carries.
Elijah Hill booted a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter for Tumwater.
The game got off to a scary beginning when Timberline senior defensive back Garrett Reeser was injured two minutes into the game.
He was taken to St. Peter’s Hospital by ambulance after suffering a potential neck injury.
According to Mullen, Reeser was evaluated at the hospital and released.
“He’s fine. He was checked out at the hospital and was back here before halftime,” Mullen said.
“He was talking to me the entire time they were checking him out on the field, squeezing my hand. Scary situation, but it turned out fine.”
Both teams continue their non-league slate next week with the T-Birds playing Inglemoor and the Blazers facing Olympia.