Noah Andrews had a plan for Tumwater High School’s Class 2A state quarterfinal against Squalicum — shut down the offense.
Well, he and the top-ranked Thunderbirds got a good read early.
Tumwater (12-0) caused five turnovers — three which led to scores — as it bested No. 2 Squalicum, 38-21, on Saturday at Civic Stadium. The Thunderbirds advanced to the semifinals where they will face Archbishop Murphy (12-0) at a time and date to be determined in the Tacoma Dome.
“That’s huge,” Andrews said. “That’s 21 points. Without that, we don’t win.”
It was 18, to be exact, but still the difference in the game.
Andrews led Tumwater with three touchdowns. He got around the corner for 15 yards on a Jacob Crawford block with 2 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the first quarter to score the game-winner.
And his 43-yard interception return five minutes later was the first turnover the T-Birds converted into points.
“Adrenaline — you just see it and react like that,” Andrews said. “I just saw the quarterback’s eyes from the handoff. I saw him fake it. His eyes were looking straight at me.”
Tumwater posted less points than usual — it is averaging 47 this season — but still got rolling early.
On the game’s opening drive, Spencer Dowers capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive by finding Jacob Crawford on a deep pass for 29 yards.
Squalicum evened it a minute later after Sorenson hit Josiah Westbrook — a Washington State commit — on an 8-yard slant to move the Storm to Tumwater’s 3-yard line. Sorenson punched it in to make it 7-7.
It was the closest Squalicum would come to taking the lead, something it failed to do all night.
The T-Birds limited Sorenson to 12 of 24 passing for 148 yards and three interceptions. His only passing touchdown came with 7:38 to play in the fourth quarter on a 59-yard deep ball to Ben Peterson.
That cut Tumwater’s lead to 31-21, but the T-Birds answered immediately on a 12-yard dagger from Trayten Rodriguez on the following drive.
“We just talked about they score, we score; that’s our mentality,” Tumwater coach Sid Otton said.
Though, the Storm didn’t need to score to propel Tumwater to the end zone.
Squalicum turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions to open the second half — which translated into 10 points for Tumwater.
After the Storm fumbled three plays into the half, Andrews scored his final touchdown from 6- yards out nine plays later.
And Nathan Seaman converted a 28-yard field goal after the Storm fumbled on the second play of its ensuing drive, which gave Tumwater a three-score advantage.
Westbrook collected a pitch from Sorenson and found Noah Westerhoff for 18 yards late in the second to make it 21-14, but Tumwater outscored the Storm 17-7 in the second half to ice it.
This will be the T-Birds’ 14th trip to the state semifinals — all under Otton. He collected his 350th win with the program, and is now 350-109 all-time at Tumwater.
“I love the experience here, it’s a great place to be,” Otton said. “I’m glad I’ve been able to be here this long.”
Tumwater 13 8 10 7_38
Squalicum 7 7 0 7_21
T – Jacob Crawford 29 pass from Spencer Dowers (Nathan Seaman kick)
S – Garrett Sorenson 3 run (Ben Peterson kick)
T – Noah Andrews 15 run (kick blocked)
T – Andrews 43 interception (Andrews pass from Dowers)
S – Noah Westerhoff 18 pass from Josiah Westbrook (Peterson kick)
T – Andrews 6 run (Seaman kick)
T – Seaman 28 kick
S – Peterson 59 pass from Sorenson (Peterson kick)
T – Trayten Rodriguez 12 run (Seaman kick)