KNAPPA - If you like wide-open, offensive football with lots of passing, then Friday night's game at Knappa High School just wasn't for you.
But if you prefer grind-it-out, ball-control, good ol' fashioned Rumble-on-the-River football, the Loggers' home game with Warrenton was the best ticket.
The Warriors and Loggers combined for 34 first downs (33 rushing) and three ball carriers topped the 100-yard mark. And with just two penalties on the night, Warrenton needed only about an hour and a half to post a 21-14 win.
"It was just a classic Warrenton-Knappa football game," said Knappa coach Darrel Ferguson. "We felt we'd be competitive with them, and we were.
"It's a screwy league this year and we're still right in the mix," he said. "Worst-case scenario, we're in second place."
With the victory, Warrenton (2-1, 4-2 overall) jumped right back into the Northwest League title race.
A loss would have put the Warriors at 1-2, two games behind Clatskanie and Knappa.
It was "absolutely" a must-win for Warrenton, said Warrior coach John Mattila. "I don't think you can get into a position with two losses in our league. You might make the playoffs, but you're probably not going to win the league. It was real crucial for us."
The Warriors were playing Mattila's kind of football Friday, rolling up 317 yards on the ground.
There were only a combined seven passes in the game, with the only completion coming on Warrenton's first drive.
Quarterback Eric Gantenbein hit Dan Wolfe on a simple five-yard pattern, Wolfe spun off a defender and took it 21 yards for a touchdown.
The main offense came on the ground, as Shane Rudduck rushed 26 times for 160 yards, followed closely by Michael O'Casey's 156 yards on 14 attempts. Knappa's Stephen Bokor gained 108 yards on 23 carries.
Rudduck gained more yards on his first carry (16) than he did all of last week in a 7-6 loss at Corbett, when he had 15 yards on 12 carries.
"The blocking was much better this week, the running was better and everybody had their head in the game," Rudduck said. "We came out strong and played four full quarters, and that's probably the first time we've done that this year.
"This was definitely big, especially after losing last week. We really needed to win."
On Warrenton's opening drive, Rudduck ran five times for 44 yards. He finished the first quarter with 75 yards on nine carries.
O'Casey reeled off a few good runs of his own, including an 11-yard sprint up the middle on the first play of the second quarter that gave Warrenton a 14-0 lead.
"I was very pleased with our offensive line, and both running backs ran hard - much, much better than last week," Mattila said.
Meanwhile, Knappa was moving the ball in the first half as well. Unfortunately for the Loggers, a pair of fumbles by Bokor were recovered by Warrenton's Kris Collier and Rudduck.
The Loggers finally put together a sustained drive near the end of the half, capped by a 2-yard run by Mike Fulton.
Knappa picked up where it left off to begin the second half, as Sean Ferguson had carries of 22 and 8 yards, Fulton ran for 16 and 11, and Ferguson capped the five-play drive with a 9-yard scoring run.
Warrenton ended its first possession of the second half at the Knappa 9, then forced the Loggers to punt on their next series.
The Warriors took advantage of their good field position by driving 37 yards in eight plays, capped by a lucky bounce.
Warrenton fumbled at the Knappa 1-yard line, but Cody Mullins recovered in the end zone for the eventual game-winning TD.
Warrenton lost one of two fumbles, while the Loggers lost two of their four fumbles.
"The turnovers hurt us," Ferguson said. "But I felt we played a pretty good football game. Defensively we just couldn't stop Rudduck or O'Casey - they both had huge yards. We're weak up front defensively, and they just ran over the top of us the whole game."
The Loggers had one last scoring threat, but Brandon Garcia intercepted a fourth-down pass by Ferguson at the Warrenton 5.
"We started to wear out there in the second half, but we got pretty fired up in the huddle, everybody was communicating on defense, and we did what we needed to do," Rudduck said. "We studied their offense all week, and we did a good job."
Knappa attempted just two passes on the night.
"That's one thing that's tough for us going against Warrenton's defense - the way they drop their safeties makes it tough for us to throw," coach Ferguson said.
"Bokor and Mike Fulton both ran hard for us," he added. "The two touchdown drives we scored on were just 'bam, bam, bam' right down the field. And we kind of had (the Warriors) on their heels a little. But Warrenton played good and they were the better team tonight."
Mattila said, "I never felt comfortable. Knappa was moving the ball very, very well. We did a good job defensively, but they made some good adjustments. I was real impressed by Bokor and how hard he ran."
Tillamook 17, Astoria 14Astoria let a third-quarter lead slip away when Tillamook's Blaise Bennett scored on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter Friday night, lifting the Cheesemakers to a 17-14 win over the Fishermen at John Warren Field.
Astoria had taken a 14-10 lead in the third quarter on Kye Johnson's 28-yard TD pass to Andy Murray.
Outside of that, the Mooks shut down the Astoria offense, limiting the Fishermen to 78 yards rushing. Josh Ray had 52 yards rushing, including a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Tillamook's Jann Dickerson kicked a 24-yard field goal in the second period for a 10-7 halftime lead.
Seaside 41, Banks 31SEASIDE - The No. 6 ranking and undefeated record for the Banks football team meant nothing Friday night at Broadway Field, as Seaside brought the visitors back to earth with a 41-31 win over the Braves.
Seaside's Dennis Olstedt scored on runs of 46 and nine yards in the fourth quarter to cement the victory. Olstedt finished 129 yards rushing on 12 carries and also intercepted a pass.
Ed Kauffunger threw a 21-yard pass to Ryan Spivey and Brian Crago reeled off a 57-yard TD run to give the Gulls a 13-9 lead after one quarter.
Scott Lucia scored on a 1-yard run in the second period, and Spivey hauled in a 38-yard scoring strike from Kauffunger in the third for a 27-16 lead.
Spivey caught four passes for 95 yards and also intercepted two passes. Kauffunger completed 8-of-14 pass for 156 yards for the Gulls, who host Astoria Thursday.
Perrydale 64, Jewell 12PERRYDALE - Perrydale's Kyle Eichler scored six touchdowns to lead the Pirates to a 64-12 Casco League win over Jewell Friday night.
Eichler scored four rushing touchdowns, another on a pass reception and added a 70-yard kickoff return. He finished with 232 yards rushing.
Will Steinweg scored both Jewell touchdowns on passes from Lucas Spaulding and Jake Johnston, who returned to the lineup following an early-season injury.
Ilwaco 44, Napavine 26NAPAVINE, Wash. - Ilwaco's march through the 2005 season continued Friday night with a 44-26 win at Napavine.
The Fishermen improved to 6-0 overall, 5-0 in the Southwest Washington 1A League.
Ilwaco's A.J. Smith scored three touchdowns (including an 85-yard run), Eddie Knick added two more and Alex Martin returned a kickoff 80 yards to highlight the night for the Fishermen.
Three Ilwaco runners topped the century mark, as Martin led Ilwaco with 181 yards on 15 carries; quarterback Smith rushed for 135, and Knick gained 107.
Ilwaco had 409 yards rushing, and both teams combined for 821 yards in total offense (503 for Ilwaco).
Raymond 40, Naselle 6NASELLE, Wash. - Raymond built a 27-0 halftime lead on its way to a 40-6 win at Naselle Friday night.
Aoy Marion had the lone touchdown for the Comets, scoring on an 80-yard run in the third quarter.