KNAPPA - Let's hear it for the OSAA's new Endowment game - one more week of high school football! And let's hear it for the Knappa Loggers, who endowed a few yards to the Rainier Columbians Friday night, but not much else.
Quickness beat size in the season opener at Knappa, as an undersized Logger team used their team speed to post a 21-14 nonleague win over the Columbians.
Rainier racked up 231 rushing yards, but the Logger defense was solid as a rock when push came to shove.
The Columbians - coached by former Knappa assistant coach Thor Ware - were unable to pick up key first downs late in the game.
"The defense was our big question mark coming in," said Knappa coach Darrel Ferguson. "The size of the kids (Ware) has, they didn't run over the top of us like he thought he was going to.
"And I don't know if we have a team on our schedule that's going to have the size that Rainier does. Maybe Clatskanie. And that will be a good test next week, to see what Clatskanie can do against these guys. The Tigers host Rainier Friday.
Knappa quarterback Sean Ferguson threw just three passes, but two went for touchdowns. Ferguson and Brian Montgomery hooked up from 25 yards out for the first score, with 9:39 left in the second quarter.
Rainier bounced back with a 25-yard scoring run by Austin McGlone, and McGlone ran for the two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.
The Loggers responded with one of their biggest plays on the very next snap.
From their own 26-yard line, Steven Maki ran left and took it 61 yards to the Rainier 13.
"Maki broke that long run with the new offense we're trying to run," Ferguson said. "It's kind of like a 'wide T.' We started with a wing T, then moved it out to a double-wing basically.
"We're a much faster team," he said. "You don't see a Knappa team with guys running like Maki did."
Both teams also kept mistakes to a minimum.
"Neither team had a turnover," Ferguson said. "But penalties (including two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties) hurt them in the first half."
The Columbians were called for an unsportsmanlike penalty following Maki's run, and then jumped offsides on a fourth-and-one play to give the Loggers a first-and-goal at the 2.
As coach Ferguson said later, "If they wouldn't have jumped, we would have called time out and kicked a field goal."
Stephen Bokor punched it in from the 2 and Ferguson converted the two-point conversion for a 15-8 lead.
Rainier's freshman quarterback, Andrew Allen, reeled off a 45-yard TD run in the third quarter, but the Loggers stretched their lead to seven when Ferguson found Pitts for a 59-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 9:54 left in the game.
"We were looking for our fullback in the flat," coach Ferguson said, "and I think their corner saw the fullback coming out and stepped up to take him, and nobody picked up Pitts."
The Loggers were unable to run out the clock on their next-to-last possession, but a 50-yard punt by Knappa's Gary Aho pinned the Columbians at their own 5-yard line with 2:45 left and no timeouts.
Allen completed two short passes, but his next two fell incomplete.
Knappa's Gary Newberry and Robert Rankin typified the night for the Logger defense - not much size, but they pack a powerful punch.
"Gary Newberry was in their backfield all night," Ferguson said. "He's our littlest defensive lineman (5-foot-7, 171 pounds), but going against the big kids, he can out-quick them. Robert Rankin played tough, too."
Allen threw seven passes, and saw pressure on every attempt.
"With a little defensive line like we have, we've got to send everybody," Ferguson said. "Defensively we're doing a lot more stunts. It helps having (assistant coaches) Jeff Sully and Ronnie Kelly."
The Loggers host Morton Friday.
Warrenton 54, Neah-Kah-Nie 8WARRENTON - Warrenton racked up 54 points and 428 yards in total offense in their season opener, a 54-8 win over Neah-Kah-Nie.
Shane Rudduck gained 122 of Warrenton's 300 yards rushing, while Dan Wolfe compiled 137 yards in total offense (84 receiving, 53 rushing). Wolfe caught touchdown passes of 20 and 17 yards from Eric Gantenbein.
Rudduck returned an interception 60 yards for his second touchdown, and Michael O'Casey added scoring runs of 15 and five yards.
Ilwaco 21, Hockinson 16ILWACO, Wash. - A seven-yard touchdown run by Ilwaco's Eddie Knick with 10:18 left gave the Fishermen a 21-16 season-opening win over Hockinson Friday night at Ilwaco.
Hockinson had taken an 18-13 lead following a safety in the third quarter, before the Fishermen rallied after Mooch Smith blocked a Hockinson punt.
Knick rushed for 166 yards on 23 carries, and helped set up Ilwaco's first touchdown with a 63-yard run in the first quarter.
Smith scored on a 4-yard run in the second period, then capped the scoring with a two-point conversion run following Knick's game-winning TD.
Naselle 28, Vancouver Christian 7NASELLE, Wash. - After losing their last two season openers 21-0 and 48-0, the Naselle football team opened 2005 on a positive note with a 28-7 win over Vancouver Christian.
Comet quarterback Kyle Burkhalter threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another, as the Comets racked up 242 yards on the ground. Aoy Marion led the attack with 125 yards on 13 carries.
Naselle held a 20-0 halftime lead on scoring tosses from Burkhalter to Jason Gradt (nine yards) and Nick Hines (15 yards). Burkhalter ran for another touchdown.
Robert Torppa capped the scoring with an 18-yard run in the third period.