Dylan Paine did something he’d never done before, score five touchdowns, and his Tumwater High School football team did something it seldom has to do, come from behind, on Thursday night at Tumwater District Stadium.
After enduring a half hour delay mandated by nearby lightning strikes and a downpour that lasted most of the second half, the 2A Thunderbirds pulled away for a victory over a 2018 3A state playoff participant for the second week in a row, beating Yelm (0-2), 54-27.
Just after the resumption of play caused by the lightning scare, midway through the second quarter, the Tornados scored on a two-yard touchdown run by Carson Amendt. When Braden Hill kicked the first successful extra point of the night by either team, Yelm led 13-12.
“Our defense executed the game plan well in the first half,” Tornados coach Jason Ronquillo said. “We were trying to take away their main four plays — belly, trap, sweep and toss. In the second half, fatigue set in. They have a lot of skill. They’re a machine.”
The narrow advantage lasted through halftime, but Tumwater came out of the locker room upbeat, with one player yelling “T-Bird weather!” as his team ran through their cheerleaders’ second half poster.
“We wanted to keep playing,” said Paine. “We came out excited. We tried to stay hyped in the locker room even though we were down. We kept the energy high.”
The weather was fine for Tumwater’s vaunted running game as once they solved Yelm’s successful early defense against the wing-T, seven T-Bird rushers combined for 479 yards on the ground.
Paine, who carried just a dozen times in his return from an ACL tear last week was the workhorse on Thursday, carrying 26 times for 166 yards and those five touchdowns. Fueled by an elusive 53-yard run, senior Jack Jones was right behind with 13 carries for 155 yards and a score. Turner Allen turned his one carry into a 66-yard scoring sprint up the left sideline.
“Dylan needed last week to get his feet under him,” Tumwater coach Bill Beattie said. “Jack Jones ran really hard tonight. We sputtered in the first half and Yelm played great defense. But our line did a great job blocking once we got going.”
It was Paine who put Tumwater ahead to stay, scoring on touchdown runs of 9 and 20 yards to cap the T-Birds first two possessions of the second half.
When Yelm closed to within a single touchdown on a 4-yard run by quarterback Ben Hoffman with five minutes left in the third quarter, Tumwater put it away with two more drives that ended with Paine touchdown runs.
Ronquillo hopes his team learned from the game.
“It’s a test of our physicality. They’re one of the most physical teams around here,” he said. “An early test of physicality is always welcome, especially when the kids get to watch it on film.”
Meanwhile, Tumwater’s typical tough non-conference schedule continues with a road game at 4A Bellarmine Prep next week.
“It’s going to be a battle up there,” Beattie said.
Yelm 6 7 7 7 – 27
Tumwater 6 6 21 21 — 54
T — Dylan Paine 1 run (kick failed)
Y — Ben Hoffmann 12 run (kick failed)
T — Austin Terry 3 pass from Cody Whalen (kick failed)
Y — Carson Amendt 2 run (Braden Hill kick)
T — Paine 9 run (Nathan Vani kick)
T — Paine 20 run (Vani kick)
Y — Hoffmann 4 run (Hill kick)
T — Paine 13 run (Vani kick)
T — Paine 6 run (kick failed)
Y — Anthony Chipres 48 pass from Hoffmann (Hill kick)
T — Turner Allen 66 run (Ty Gilliland run)
T — Jack Jones 5 run (Vani kick)
Y — Hoffmann 9-21-1-109.
Tumwater — Whalen 7-9-0-81.
Y — Chipres 5-20, Amendt 7-13, Hoffmann 8-38, Bradley McGannon 1-1.
Tumwater — Paine 26-166, Whalen 3-3, Hunter Baker 9-49, Jones 13-155, Tyler Woods 2-4, Jaylen Clay 5-36, Allen, 1-66.
Y — Sylas Franklin 5-46, Chipres 4-63.
T — Danny Goodburn 2-24, Terry 1-3, Paine 1-4, Clay 2-30, Ryan Otton 1-20.