Matt Brown is a big guy — 230 pounds, and wears No. 70. Before Friday night, he hadn’t lined up in the backfield for the Hoquiam High School football team.
But by the time the Grizzlies’ 41-14 rout of Tenino was over, Brown ran for one touchdown and passed for another to bring a little excitement to an otherwise methodical Class 1A Evergreen Conference victory.
Brown put the Grizzlies (3-2, 1-0 1A EvCo) up 14-0 midway through the first quarter with a half-yard run for a touchdown. Later, he gave Hoquiam a 35-0 edge when he found quarterback Gregory Dick in the back of the end zone for a score.
The catch allowed Dick to hit for the cycle — he scored a rushing touchdown for the game’s first score, and threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Espedal before his own touchdown reception.
Hoquiam’s other star was senior running back Artimas Johnson, who rushed nine times for 139 yards — all but 11 of those yards in the first quarter.
Tenino (3-2, 0-1) was stifled by a hard-hitting Hoquiam defense most of the night before coming alive to score twice in the fourth quarter.
Hoquiam wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, marching 62 yards in six plays to score on a 12-yard run by Dick just two and a half minutes into the game. Johnson collected 44 of his rushing yards on the drive.
A miscommunication on the snap count on a Tenino punt set up the Grizzlies’ second touchdown. The ball came to Bailey O’Neal before he was ready, and he lost nine yards trying to run, giving Hoquiam the ball at its own 43.
Johnson took an option pitch and broke several tackles on a 56-yard run to the Tenino 1-yard line. In came Brown, usually a tackle, to take a direct snap in the backfield and barge into the end zone.
Another fumble by the Beavers — this one lost at the Tenino 37 — set up Hoquiam’s third score. On the first play after the turnover, Dick launched his pass to Espedal in the back corner of the end zone.
Hoquiam scored again on its first possession of the second quarter. Fueled by a 54-yard pass from Dick to Jack Adams, the Grizzlies moved 80 yards in five plays to score on an 11-yard run by Johnson, who dashed through the middle of the field untouched.
Brown found himself involved in a second scoring play, on only his second play lining up in the backfield, this time throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dick with two minutes to go before halftime. The play was set up by a 75-yard gain by Johnson after a short pass from Dick.
The only score of the third quarter came on a 22-yard Grizzlies field goal by Nazareno Mazariegos.
The Beavers offense came alive in the fourth quarter, putting together back-to-back scoring drives. First, Tenino finished a 58-yard, 10-play drive that began in the third quarter and ended on a 5-yard run up the middle by Garrett Kalkus. Next, the Beavers marched 72 yards on seven plays with Guy Murillo scoring on an 8-yard pass from Miles Cannon.
Mazariegos concluded the scoring, kicking a 44-yard field goal with 1 minute, 32 seconds to go.
H – Gregory Dick 12 run (Nazareno Mazariegos kick)
H – Matt Brown 1 run (Mazariegos kick)
H – Ryan Espeda 37 pass from Dick (Mazariegos kick)
H – Artimas Johnson 11 run (Mazariegos kick)
H – Dick 6 pass from Brown (Mazariegos kick)
H – Mazariegos 22 field goal
T – Garrett Kalkus 5 run (Bailey O’Neal kick)
T – Guy Murrillo 8 pass from Miles Cannon (O’Neal kick)
H – Mazariegos 44 field goal