Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper

Lincoln comes up just short against Timberline

// Charles Wright falls, Wilson and Foss dominate

Riding high after a big win in Lacey against North Thurston, the Lincoln Abes had quickly become the favorite in the Narrows 3A. But struggling preseason favorite Timberline wasn’t ready to give in just yet, as the Blazers regained their contender status with a punishing ground game and held on late for a 26-20 win at Lincoln Bowl on Oct. 4.

“We had more than enough opportunities to win this game but could not find a way to do it,” said second-year Lincoln head coach Jon Kitna.

The Abes got off to a sluggish start in the first half offensively, as they could manage only 10 yards rushing on 11 carries and 50 yards passing. That led to a 21-7 deficit at the half. Lincoln would finally jumpstart the offense on the first series of the fourth quarter when Jordan Kitna hit Kashawn Johnson with a 63-yard bomb down the right sideline, but the point after was missed and the Abes trailed 21-13.

Following an interception return for a touchdown for the Blazers, the Abes cut the margin to one score again as Kitna hit J’Maka Love with a 35-yard strike to cut it to 26-20.

The Blazers mounted a drive late in the quarter to possibly run out the game clock, but Lincoln’s Marcus Johnson stripped the ball and recovered at the Abes’ 49-yard line with 2:42 left.

The Abes began marching downfield as Kitna hit Johnson for a 22-yard gain to the Blazers 29-yard line. But two plays later, sitting on the Timberline 9-yard line, Kitna’s pass in the right flat was underthrown and intercepted by Gabe Gutierrez to seal the win for Timberline. Lincoln turned the ball over five times on the night, including three interceptions from Kitna.

The Abes now sit in a second place tie in the Narrows 3A with Foss at 2-1, one game behind first-place Wilson.

“We’ll just have to regroup and get ready for Shelton next week and put this one behind us,” Kitna said. “We left our A-game in Lacey the week before, which is very disappointing, but we’ll have a chance for redemption next week.”

By Steve Mullen


Halftime couldn’t have come at a worse time for Charles Wright. Trailing by two touchdowns in the first quarter, the Tarriers stormed back to take the lead when Desmond Jones scored on a one-yard run as time expired in the first half. But they couldn’t sustain momentum after the break, as Cedar Park Christian dominated the second half for a 42-17 win on Oct. 4 at Haertl Field in University Place.

“All season we have not started well,” said Charles Wright head coach Mike Finch. “Once we have gotten things going we’ve just kind of rolled. That’s what we just expected, and maybe we were overconfident coming out of the locker room (after halftime).”

Connor Johnson got Cedar Park Christian on the board with a 39-yard touchdown run after Ben Anderson intercepted Charles Wright quarterback Henry Cheney on the Tarriers’ second play from scrimmage. Andrew Rickman then scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns from two yards out late in the first quarter, after he had picked off Cheney on the previous play.

“Turnovers and penalties, you just can’t have them in high school football,” Finch said. “If you lose the turnover battle you’re going to lose the game.”

But Charles Wright quickly responded, as Cheney hit Alexander Moore for a 44-yard completion on the next drive, and Jones capped it off two plays later with a one-yard touchdown. Jones ripped off a 30-yard run on the Tarriers’ next drive, and Travis Sowell later hit a 34-yard field goal to cut it to 12-10 midway through the second quarter.

With time winding down in the first half, Cheney hit Andrew Williams – who finished with eight catches for 128 yards – for a 35-yard strike down the right sideline to the Eagles’ one-yard line, setting up Jones’ one-yard plunge to take a 17-12 lead.

But the second half was all Eagles, as Rickman ripped off a 43-yard touchdown run on Cedar Park’s second drive, and Ben Anderson cut through the Tarriers’ defense for a 54-yard touchdown late in the third to make it 26-17. The Eagles poured it on in the fourth, as they sacked Cheney in the end zone for a safety, and Johnson took the resulting kickoff back 70 yards for a score to make it 35-17 with 9:20 left. Rickman capped the scoring with a 37-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Jones led the Tarriers with 12 carries for 72 yards, while Moore was a standout on defense with four tackles for loss.

By Jeremy Helling


Riding a three-touchdown performance from running back Isaiah Simpson, Wilson posted its second straight impressive win by topping North Thurston 29-9 at Stadium Bowl on Oct. 4.

Simpson caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Julius Yates-Brown in the second quarter to get the Rams on the board, and later added a 10-yard touchdown run for a 15-3 lead at halftime. He caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Yates-Brown in the third quarter to give the Rams a commanding 29-3 lead, and led the Rams with 19 carries for 72 yards. Yates-Brown scored on an 11-yard touchdown run earlier in the third and had 12 carries for 66 yards while going 7-for-14 for 129 yards. Brandon Montgomery had three catches for 90 yards for Wilson, and A.J. Ruffin led the Rams with nine tackles and two sacks.

The win moves the Rams to 5-0 overall on the year, with a 3-0 record in the Narrows 3A to sit alone in first place.

By Jeremy Helling


Posting their second straight shutout – and third total on the season – Foss cruised to a 28-0 win over Shelton on Oct. 4 at Mount Tahoma Stadium to stay in the race in the Narrows 3A.

The Falcons’ Chris Reynolds caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Littlejohn to get Foss on the board in the first quarter and also intercepted two passes – returning one 62 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. John Moore connected with Nick Burton for a 50-yard score in the third quarter, and Littlejohn hit Alonzo Jones for a 14-yard touchdown before halftime.

The Falcons ran for 217 yards, as Malik Smith led the way with six carries for 67 yards, Littlejohn had seven carries for 62 yards and Devon Clark had 12 carries for 56 yards.

Foss sits at 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Narrows 3A, a game behind first-place Wilson.

By Jeremy Helling