Timberline High School took advantage of remarkable field position and depth in its running game to open Class 3A South Sound Conference play with a 30-13 win over Capital on Friday night at Ingersoll Stadium.
The Blazers (3-0, 1-0 3A SSC) began three drives inside Capital territory, and ran a short punt back for a touchdown. Senior running back Michael Barnes carried 22 times for 120 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior Lonnie Anderson came off the bench to carry 10 times for 67 yards.
“We’re spoiled at running back,” Timberline coach Nick Mullen said.
A third running threat was unintentional. Making his first start at quarterback, junior Hunter Campau completed 4 of 9 passes, but more importantly scrambled for 54 yards on 14 carries, keeping a few Blazers drives alive with key gains.
“My line deserves a lot of credit,” said Campau, who often had time to throw but couldn’t find an open receiver. “When I couldn’t get a pass away, and I saw green grass, I ran for it.”
Mullen saw Campau’s running yardage as a mixed blessing.
“We’ve got to run our routes better and get open,” he said. “And Hunter needs to just stay back on his heels and let it rip more often. But Capital’s got a great defense, too.”
Timberline got out to a 17-0 lead on a variety of scores. First Barnes ran the ball in from 3 yards, then Campau booted a 28-yard field goal. Early in the second quarter, senior Mason Simeta returned a Capital punt 35 yards for a touchdown.
Capital (1-2, 0-1) made it game, though, thanks to a long passing game that was the Cougars’ most effective weapon on the night.
Putting together a quick seven-play, 69-yard drive, Capital scored on a 30-yard pass from junior Grant Erickson to junior Chris Penner, moments after Erickson connected with senior Ryan Guscott for a 27-yard gain.
The Cougars cut the difference to four points on their opening fourth-quarter drive, when Erickson again found Penner, who caught six passes for 137 yards total, including a 60-yard touchdown.
But, after taking over at the Cougars 25 after a 7-yard Capital punt, the Blazers handed the ball three straight times to Barnes, who scored from 15 yards out. Barnes would score again from the 2 in the final minute.
Erickson finished 11 of 20 passing for 194 yards and the two touchdowns.
At Yelm 56, Shelton 14: The Tornadoes scored twice in three minutes before halftime, as part of a 21-point second quarter, to open up an early 35-6 lead.
Junior quarterback Kyle Robinson connected with senior Alex Morris for a 61-yard touchdown before the Tornados (2-1, 1-0) backed Shelton (0-3, 0-1) up in their own red zone.
After a quick three-and-out by the Highclimbers, Yelm came up big again on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to junior Austin Osso.
“Robinson was incredibly efficient at throwing the ball, he was on point and dialed in,” Yelm coach Jason Ronquillo said. “James Palmer is also getting better at running between the tackles, he’s becoming the horse we need him to.”
Palmer, a senior, finish with three rushing touchdowns of 1, 2 and 29 yards.
2A SPSL SOUND
At River Ridge 34, Orting 7: The Hawks picked up their first win behind junior Brian Melloy’s big rushing night at South Sound Stadium.
Melloy carried the ball 24 times for 116 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown run that gave River Ridge (1-2, 1-1 2A SPSL Sound) a lead it never lost in the first quarter.
Junior quarterback Tomasi Manu added another 49 rushing yards on two carries, and a 13-yard touchdown run.
Junior running back Maleko Mina also had a 4-yard score.
River Ridge’s defense scored twice on a 55-yard fumble recovery by senior Griffin Adams and 45-yard interception return by junior Kieran Hunkin.
Orting never reached the end zone after Bryce Mecharn’s 5-yard score in the first.
Black Hills 25, at Prairie 22: The Wolves rallied from an early deficit to win a thriller on the road.
After two early scores from the Falcons, on touchdown passes by star quarterback Jayson Maddux (69 and 6 yards), the Wolves scored on a blocked punt by James Tobin.
A 90-yard punt return by Kade Weitzel evened the score at 16-16 by the break, and Xavier Bacak’s 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Wolves (2-1) a lead they never lost.
Black Hills’ offense didn’t score until the fourth quarter, when Taylor Simmons reached the end zone on a 5-yard run. Simmons’ score gave the Wolves a 25-16 cushion.
Maddux, who finished with 396 passing yards, connected with Nolan Mickenham for a second time on a 66-yard pass to cut the Wolve’s lead to 3, but it wasn’t enough.
“We scored nine points to take the lead in our last two possessions,” Black Hills coach Kirk Stevens said. “With 40 seconds to go on the clock, they scored with a (66-yard) pass. They then tried an onside kick and we recovered.”
At Sequim 23, Centralia 22: The Tigers couldn’t score when they needed to, and came up short on the road.
“I just think we need to find a way to win,” Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault said. “We had an opportunity to kinda put the game away in the first half and we didn’t do it.
“I mean we were driving and they weren’t even close to stopping us.”
But Sequim gained momentum in the second half, shutting out the Tigers, and rallying for 20 unanswered points.
“They made some adjustments and we couldn't get anything going,” Thibault said. “I feel like they were baiting us into throwing the ball more than we should have.”
Even when they managed to get a pass through, the Tigers (1-2) couldn’t advance the ball forward down the field.
“It just seemed like when we did complete a pass, we had something else negative happen,” Thibault said.
With 49 seconds remaining in the game, Sequim quarterback rolled out and tossed a pass to Jared Allen for the go-ahead score.
“We batted about a 22-yard pass down and it fell right into a kid on his back in the end zone on fourth-and-9,” Thibault said. “We just didn’t finish the second half.”
Rochester 21, at Charles Wright Academy 7: After a winless season in 2016, the Warriors picked up their second win.
Rochester (2-1) scored twice in the first quarter on rushes by Ben Slaymaker (13 yards) and Bryce Lollar (12 yards).
“We ran the ball well early. They made some defensive adjustments that slowed us down from the second quarter on,” Rochester coach John Moorhead said. “They made some defensive adjustments that slowed us down from the second quarter on.”
The Warriors allowed just 135 yards of total offense and the one touchdown from Charles Wright.
“The entire defensive backfield played very well,” Moorhead said. “We had about three kids that normally don’t start come in and play the whole game.”
Rainier 74, at Chief Leschi 0: The Mountaineers (3-0) scored 11 touchdowns — 10 on the ground — and shut out the Warriors on the road.
Junior quarterback Zach Lofgren led Rainier with 189 yards and four rushing touchdowns of 11, 1, 2 and 18 yards.
Lofgren connected with Chase Hinkle for another 14-yard touchdown.
Brody Klein (20 and 10 yards) and Ted Lester (18 and 2 yards) each added two scores.
Staff writers Chase Hutchinson and Jordan Whitford contributed to this report.