North Thurston High School won the numbers game Friday night, ringing up 28 first-half points on the way to a 38-16 non-league victory over Black Hills at Tumwater District Stadium.
Josh Ramirez scored three touchdowns, two on the ground and another on a pass from Ryan Mets. Hayden Maliska got most of his 99 rushing yards on an 89-yard scoring sprint on the first scrimmage play of the second half.
Black Hills, short on roster numbers and long on youth, made the score respectable with two long second-half TD runs by junior quarterback Jayden Troy. And the Wolves’ defense made it tough enough on the North Thurston running game that the Rams threw more than usual, coach Rocky Patchin said.
Mets, a senior, was efficient through the air, completing 7-of-9 for 202 yards. Brandon Morgan had four receptions for 101 yards.
“It’s nice to be balanced,” Patchen said. “They have physical kids – that was a good test for us.”
After Black Hills stalled deep in its own territory following the opening kickoff, the Rams took advantage of field position at the Wolves’ 46. Ramirez capped the nine-play drive with a 9-yard TD run.
The Rams had a short field again on the next series after another Black Hills three-and-out. A 40-yard completion from Mets to Morgan set up Ramirez’s second TD run, this one from 11 yards out.
Junior Josh Mosquera got in on the first half fun, bursting off right tackle into open space on a 26-yard scoring run. On the next Ram possession, a 39-yard Mets hookup with Luke Yanna set up Mets’ 26-yard TD strike to Ramirez.
Maliska’s 89-yarder seconds into the second half pushed the Ram lead to 35-0.
Troy got the Wolves on the scoreboard with a 38-yard keeper in the third quarter, set up by a pass interference penalty.
Matthew Longnecker, perfect on five extra-point kicks for the Rams, closed the Ram scoring with a 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Late in the game, Black Hills’ Troy recovered his own bobble, found a crease and gained the corner on a 47-yard scoring run.
“I’m happy with our kids,” Black Hills coach Dominic Yarrington said. “They play to the whistle every play. There’s no quit.”
River Ridge 43, at Sequim 6: Michael Key’s 90-yard interception return for a TD to begin the second half sparked the Hawks (1-1), who also got two TDs from Elijah Camacho.
“We showed up and played a lot better,” River Ridge coach Steve Schultz said.
At W.F. West 58, Archbishop Murphy 24: Three of Alex Cox four receptions from quarterback Tanner Gueller and three were for touchdowns, leading the Bearcats (2-0) to a victory. Cox finished with 103 yards receiving.
At Olympic 7, Yelm 0: Michael Halversen’s 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter lifted the Trojans to a non-league win.
Yelm’s best shot at scoring came in the third quarter, starting at the Olympic 25-yard line, but Quinton Buck’s 25-yard pass to Brandon Rochester on fourth down fell incomplete.
“It was a battle of field position all game long,” Yelm coach Jason Ronquillo said. “It was tough moving the ball out there. When we did, penalties and poor execution killed any momentum we gained.”
River Ridge 43, at Sequim 6: Michael Key's 90-yard interception return for a touchdown to begin the second half sparked the Hawks, who bounced back after a shutout loss on their home turf in Week 1.
"We showed up and played a lot better," Hawks coach Steve Schultz said. "It felt a lot better not seeing the ball on the ground as much.
The Hawks led 24-0 at halftime with Sequim driving around the Hawks 10-yard line before Key's interception.
"That was pretty big," Schultz said. "They (Sequim) came out firing and that took the wind out of their sails."
Schultz said senior Elijah Camacho ran for more than 100 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.
At R.A. Long 49, Rochester 7: The Lumberjacks rolled to 42 points in the first half for a non-league win. Lucas Eastman’s 4-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter provided the Warriors’ scoring.
At Centralia 58, Washington 32: Tigers quarterback Joe Blaser threw for 166 yards and three first-half touchdowns to help Centralia improve to 2-0 after going 0-9 in 2012. Jovany Almanza rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.