The first Pioneer Bowl legendary Tumwater High School coach Sid Otton watched from the stands started out close.
It did not stay that way for long.
Midway through the second quarter the third-ranked T-Birds began to run away with the game — literally — en route to 425 yards and an eighth straight victory over short-handed Black Hills in the rivalry game, 45-7, Friday night at Tumwater District Stadium.
Tumwater’s sophomore running back Dylan Paine went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season, gaining 166 yards on 22 carries to put him at 1,037. He scored the T-Birds’ final two touchdowns and caught three passes for 49 yards, to finish with 215 yards of total offense.
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“My offensive line did an amazing job,” Paine said. “The wing-T is so deceptive and our coaches know what they’re doing. They make the right play calls.”
The T-Birds (6-2, 3-0 Class 2A Evergreen Conference) added to what is now a 16-3 advantage in the series with Black Hills (4-4, 2-2). But Tumwater coach Bill Beattie didn’t breathe easy at the start.
The T-Birds scored four minutes into the game on a 1-yard Zane Murphy run after his 44-yard dash earlier in the drive paved the way. But the Wolves quickly countered when, on third-and-11, Jaden Toussaint broke away up the left sideline to tie the game with a 60-yard run.
“Black Hills came out flying after us,” Beattie said. “Our kids responded well. I’m proud of the way they picked it up, proud of the way our coaches on both sides of the ball prepared them.”
Black Hills played its second game without injured starting quarterback Ethan Loveless and its first without his brother, running back Zach Loveless, who was hurt in last week’s overtime loss to ninth-ranked W.F. West.
After Toussaint’s touchdown, Black Hills did not gain more than a single yard on a play from scrimmage until a 27-yard third-quarter completion from Wyatt Rollman to Jordan Claridge.
Meanwhile, with senior Jacob Holbrook joining Paine in triple digits with 158 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, Tumwater piled up 25 rushing first downs.
A 23-yard field goal by Nathan Seaman broke the early tie. Holbrook scored the first two of his touchdowns before halftime, and Tumwater went in at the break up 24-7.
Tumwater will host W.F. West, also undefeated in 2A EvCo play, in its regular-season finale next week.
“We got a great win in a great event for our community tonight,” Beattie said. “Our kids are playing really hard and I don’t expect that to stop.”
NO. 3 TUMWATER
T – Zane Murphy 1 run (Nathan Seaman kick)
B – Jaden Toussaint 60 run (Davide Levi kick)
T – Seaman 23 field goal
T – Jacob Holbrook 3 run (Seaman kick)
T – Holbrook 1 run (Seaman kick)
T – Holbrook 19 run (Seaman kick)
T – Dylan Paine 8 run (Seaman kick)
T – Paine 7 run (Seaman kick)