Napavine High School, the top-ranked Class 2B football program in the state, honored 16 senior football players before its 2B Central/Pacific Mountain Division game against Rainier on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium in Centralia.
Or, one less player than the Mountaineers had in uniform altogether. After two key Rainier players, defensive lineman Easton Holmes and two-way star Ian Russell, were lost to injury, the result was predictable.
The Tigers (8-0, 5-0 2B Central/Pacific Mountain) rolled to a 42-0 victory in a game that was rescheduled because of muddy conditions at Napavine’s field on Friday.
Rainier (6-2, 4-2) lost its second game of the season, but anticipates a third loss as a result of Saturday’s game — Rainier coach Terry Shaw confirmed his team will forfeit its final regular season game against Washougal on Friday.
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‘We can’t play them with 14 guys,” Shaw said.
Instead, Rainier will look ahead two weeks to its first Class 2B playoff game.
Holmes was hurt on a scary block in the first quarter, when Napavine quarterback Wyatt Stanley ran for a 28-yard touchdown. Holmes lay on his back for more than 10 minutes before being transported to the hospital by ambulance, with what Shaw hopes was no more than a mild concussion.
Russell, who broke tackles for runs of 33 and 38 yards, was nearing a 100-yard rushing night when he reinjured a hip late in the third quarter. He finished with 98 yards on 12 carries.
Shaw was upbeat with his players during the Mountaineers’ postgame meeting.
“The message here is we got beat by a team that’s just better than us,” he said. “You can’t ask kids to play at a level higher than where they are. We thought we had a little bit of a plan, but they proved they’re the best 2B team in the state.”
The Mountaineers sacked Stanley on the first play from scrimmage, and stuffed a Napavine running play on the next down, but the Tigers 6-foot-3 senior then completed three consecutive passes, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Cole VanWyck.
Napavine’s offense was seldom slowed after that.
After Stanley’s rushing touchdown, he completed the first half with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Sam Fagerness, who also opened the second half scoring on a 23-yard run. Dawson Stanley and Mac Fagerness added third quarter rushing touchdowns to start a running clock.
NO. 8 RAINIER
N – Cole VanWyck 30 pass from Wyatt Stanley (Austin Filley kick)
N – W. Stanley 28 run (Filley kick)
N – Sam Fagerness 13 pass from W. Stanley (Filley kick)
N – S. Fagerness 23 run (Filley kick)
N – Dawson Stanley 26 run (Filley kick)
N – Mac Fagerness 1 run (Filley kick)