2A/1A football notes: La Center’s Muffett has a little extra fun in victory

Dancing and pushups part of the gameplan; plus tidbits on other teams from 2A GSHL and Trico League

Here are the weekly football notes from the Clark County teams of the 2A Greater St. Helens League and the Trico League.

LA CENTER WILDCATS (4-0)

Week 4: La Center 36, Kalama 8

This game is fun:
OK, hopefully you saw our game coverage of La Center’s victory.

Plus, we had video highlights:

But this game is more than touchdowns and tackles.

Max Muffett had himself a great night on the field, on the sideline, and even when he did not do his job, he had fun at his own expense.

La Center’s Max Muffett got a sack on this play, and he also had a lot of fun with the La Center crowd and at his own expense during La Center’s win over Kalama. Photo by Mike Schultz
La Center’s Max Muffett got a sack on this play, and he also had a lot of fun with the La Center crowd and at his own expense during La Center’s win over Kalama. Photo by Mike Schultz

He was on the sideline for a bit during a break in the action when the cheerleaders and students were doing a little dance. Muffett joined them. It was subtle, but there he was, grooving to the cheer.

“I got friends in the stands. They always tell me I’m not hearing them,” Muffett said.

On this night, he said he wanted to make sure they knew he could hear them.

“I’m just trying to pump the spirit up,” he said.

Later in the game, Muffett found himself on the wrong part of the field at the end of a play. He was on the ground. His opponent was not. 

Instead of bouncing right back up, he did a few push-ups. 

Later, he told me he was disciplining himself.

“I whiffed on a block,” he said.

Well, that was probably the only bad play of the night for this offensive lineman and linebacker. The Wildcats scored a bunch, and he also had an interception on defense. 

That’s worthy of a dance.

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN KNIGHTS (2-2)

Week 4: King’s Way Christian 67, Riverside (Boardman, Ore.) 0

Home sweet home:
The Knights played their first home game of the season … in their new home.

OK, same field, but trust me, brand new digs.

S.R. Preece Memorial Stadium was dedicated Friday afternoon. That night, the Knights won their first game played in front of a grandstand with a roof.

“Amazing feeling to see a grandstand and see people rolling in,” King’s Way Christian coach Brian Rodriguez said. “You see the smoke from the barbecue and you smell the food.”

During pregame, he usually wants his players just to focus on getting ready to play.

This night, though, he just had to break from tradition.

“I told them, “Turn around and take this in. This is awesome guys.’ It was a really cool feeling.”

Then the Knights took care of business on the field.

“The whole night was rocking,” Rodriguez said. “I could hear the band playing. Our student section was amazing. Great, great opening night. I couldn’t be happier with the culture we are shaping, to love on our community and our football players.”

Next: Another home game, this one against La Center in a Trico League matchup. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Friday. (This is a good time to remind everyone that King’s Way Christian plays its home games at 6 p.m.)

Woodland Beavers, Woodland, Class 2A Greater St. Helens League, high school football, Jason Bowman, Michael Karchesky, Isaiah Flanagan, Hunter Smith, Garrett Lutgen

WOODLAND BEAVERS (1-3, 1-1 2A GSHL)

Week 4: Woodland 55, R.A. Long 7

A relief:
The Beavers could have one of the toughest schedules in the state. There are two defending state champions on it in the first five weeks. Plus La Center, which is now 4-0, and an improved Washougal team.

So in Week 4, the Beavers let out their frustrations on R.A. Long.

Isaiah Flanagan, shown here earlier this season, had a huge night on offense and defense, helping Woodland pick up its first win of the season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Isaiah Flanagan, shown here earlier this season, had a huge night on offense and defense, helping Woodland pick up its first win of the season. Photo by Mike Schultz

It was the team’s first win of the season.

“We definitely needed it,” coach Garrett Lutgen said. “It felt great. We reset our goals and reset our focus, and we executed. What I wanted was for this team to play a complete game, and I think they did that.”

It also happened to be Lutgen’s first win as a varsity coach. Congrats!

Standouts:
“It was the Isaiah Flanagan show. Shades of his cousin from last year,” the coach said, referring to Tyler Flanagan. “Offense. Defense. Overall, a great game.”

The coach also loved the rushing attack provided by Brooks Massey and JJ Fuerst. 

Next: The schedule gets back to being a monster. Woodland hosts Hockinson at 7 p.m. Friday. Interestingly, Woodland has given Hockinson the toughest league games in recent years. However, this is a much younger Woodland team.

Lutgen said adversity will make his program stronger in the long run.

“If you look at how any championship-caliber team operates, you’ve got to get that experience. You have to understand how to win,” Lutgen said. “This team is still figuring that out.”

HOCKINSON HAWKS (3-1, 2-0 2A GSHL)

Week 4: Hockinson 56, Columbia River 9

Making their case:
The Hawks were the No. 1 seed last year, the first year that the WIAA seeded the state playoffs. 

After losing in Week 2 this season, chances are that the Hawks will not get that top seed this year. And that’s fair.

Still, the loss was to a great program and the loss was by only six points. 

The Hawks know if they take care of business the rest of the way, they still are looking at a top-four seed, if not better. 

Since that loss, the Hawks have outscored two league opponents 118-23. 

Yep, the Hawks are focused. They are still frustrated with how they played in Week 2. And they are using that as fuel. 

Next: The Hawks travel to Woodland for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

RIDGEFIELD SPUDDERS (2-2, 1-1 2A GSHL)

Week 4: Ridgefield 20, Mark Morris 13

A win is a win:
The Spudders can’t be picky. They got the league win they needed, even if they did not always look good in this one.

“We did some really good stuff offensively, but we struggled with converting,” coach Scott Rice said. “We have to clean that stuff up.”
The Spudders won by seven and lost three fumbles in the red zone.

Still, during “winning time,” the Spudders got the job done.

They had to stop the Monarchs late in the game. The Monarchs use a variation of the Wing-T. This was the first time Ridgefield had seen that offense this season.

Aidan Hundt and Tanner Roberts made some big plays, the coach said. So did Dylan Parton. 

“Some really good team defense,” Rice said. “Guys were doing their jobs, playing their responsibilities.”

He described it as a “bend-but-don’t-break mentality.” 

Next: Ridgefield travels to Washougal for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

Washougal Panthers (2-2, 1-0 2A GSHL)

Week 4: W.F. West 23, Washougal 7

The defense did fine:
A couple of things in the positive for Washougal: It was a non-league game. Oh, and the defense looks like it had a strong day.

W.F. West scored 29, 47, and 51 points in its first three games, including the 47 and 51 against Class 3A schools.

Washougal has the tools to be a second-place team in the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League. In fact, the Panthers believe they could give Hockinson a run for its money. This loss, this non-league loss, does not change any of the Panthers’ goals. 

And in a way, at least for the defense, there had to be some encouraging signs.

Next: Washougal returns home to face Woodland at 7 p.m. Friday.

COLUMBIA RIVER CHIEFTAINS (1-3, 1-1 2A GSHL)

Week 4: Hockinson 56, Columbia River 9

These things happen:
The Chieftains have a very young team, learning a new system, and they were going up against a very motivated squad that is one of the best in the state. 

Sure, the score got away from them, but the Chieftains were competing.

They did not score nine points in “garbage time.” They scored nine in the first quarter. 

The better team, the more experienced team, pulled away in the final three quarters. But River’s initial fight was there, and it is noteworthy.

The touchdown drive? It was a 10-play drive that also picked up five first downs. That’s a sustained drive against the two-time defending state champions. That’s something the Chieftains can build on … for later this season and in the future. 

Next: The Chieftains are home against Mark Morris, 7 p.m. Friday

Seton Catholic Cougars (3-0)

Week 4: Did not play

Next: The Cougars will open league play at Stevenson, 7 p.m. Friday.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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