3A GSHL football notes: Prairie Falcons off to fast start

Evergreen puts up some huge numbers; plus notes on Mountain View, Hudson’s Bay, and Fort Vancouver

Here are the weekly notes for Class 3A Greater St. Helens League football:

PRAIRIE FALCONS (2-0)

Week 2: Prairie 36, Washougal 6

This game featured two programs on the rise, but this one was all Prairie.

Prairie quarterback A.J. Dixson has helped Prairie to a 2-0 start to the season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Prairie quarterback A.J. Dixson has helped Prairie to a 2-0 start to the season. Photo by Mike Schultz

Coach talk:
“Our kids can play fast and physical. They really rose to the challenge of playing a really good offense,” Prairie coach Mike Peck said. “It was really fun to watch them fly around and make plays like that.”

The Panthers scored 40 points in Week 1.

“Washougal is a very good football team. The kids know that. They worked hard all week,” Peck said. “To be able to do that to a team of Washougal’s magnitude was awesome.”

The Falcons have scored 88 points in the first two weeks, too.

That does not necessarily mean Prairie has “arrived,” though. Peck said the Falcons just want to improve every week. For now, it’s just 2-0. A good start. But nothing more than that has been accomplished.

Peck said he loved how Dustin Shelby played. A running back on offense, he scored two touchdowns. Shelby also shined on defense.

The coach also noted his big guys.

“The O-line and D-line combined really set the tone for the entire game,” Peck said. “Just a complete team effort.”

Next: Prairie travels to take on Black Hills at 7 p.m. Friday. Black Hills reached the Class 2A state quarterfinals a year ago.

“It will be fun to go up there and play another quality opponent,” Peck said. 

MOUNTAIN VIEW (1-1)

Week 2: Mountain View 47, Juanita 0

The Thunder, after holding Union to 20 points in Week 1, got the shutout in Week 2.

Defense first, then offense:
With pretty much a new team this year — 21 new starters — the Thunder are progressing. The defense is ahead of the offense so far, but the offense took big strides in Week 2.

“Offense always takes more rhythm and timing. Defense comes down to effort, hustle, and trust. The defensive guys are running around, doing a great job,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said.

Interestingly, the game against Juanita perfectly represented what Mathieson was talking about. The Thunder had two first-quarter turnovers. It took some time. But once the Thunder figured something out, it was ball game. 

“In the second half in particular, our offense started to find a groove a little bit,” Mathieson said.

Every year, he says one of his favorite times of the season is the coaching period between the first game and the second game. Then he looks to see if the coaching worked.

“When you analyze the 120 snaps from both games, you want to get better, and I feel we did get better,” he said. “We’re a better football team for having played two games than having played one game.”

Va Ili had four sacks for the Thunder defense. “I stopped counting,” Mathieson said. “He did a great job.”

He pointed out the play of linebacker Malikiah Batties,  too.

And in the secondary, Isaiah Johnson and Zack Gable had to come in due to injuries and performed at a high level.

“Those two guys got three quarters of experience. That builds depth,” Mathieson said. 

Next: Mountain View travels to Battle Ground for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

EVERGREEN PLAINSMEN (1-1)

Week 2: Evergreen 62, Centralia 50

If fantasy football existed in high school football, it would have been wise to have Evergreen players in your starting lineup. 

Wow numbers:
Carter Monda completed 14 of 21 passes for 319 yards and threw five touchdown passes.

Carter Monda, shown here in Week 1, threw five touchdown passes and for more than 300 yards in a win over Centralia. Photo by Mike Schultz
Carter Monda, shown here in Week 1, threw five touchdown passes and for more than 300 yards in a win over Centralia. Photo by Mike Schultz

Zyell Griffin had seven receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns, plus he rushed for 41 yards and a score. 

Tyvauntae Deloney rushed 16 times for 167 and three touchdowns.

“We’ve got playmakers on offense,” Evergreen coach Christian Swain said in the understatement of the season. “It was a fun night. One of the more impressive offensive outings I’ve had as a coach. They were pretty sharp.”

While the defense did give up 50 points, this game was in Evergreen’s control midway through the third quarter, the coach said. The Plainsmen have had a tough time stopping the Wing-T in consecutive weeks. This week, though, the offense was up to the challenge: Just outscore ‘em. 

Next: Evergreen will host Lakewood at 4:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

“Thank God we don’t have to see the danged Wing-T this week,” Swain said with a laugh, noting Lakewood beat Evergreen handily a year ago so it will be a good challenge for the Plainsmen. “We had significant improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. We’re trying to do the same thing this week.”

HUDSON’S BAY EAGLES (0-2)

Week 2: Heritage 8, Hudson’s Bay 0

The Eagles did not score, but there was a lot of improvement from Week 1 to Week 2.

Getting defensive:
In Week 1, the Eagles gave up 40 points. In Week 2, Heritage opened with three consecutive first downs.

Then the Eagles got a stuff for no gain, then stopped the Timberwolves for a gain of a yard, and then intercepted a pass. 

Right away, the Eagles knew this game was going to be different.

The second drive, the Eagles forced a fumble and recovered.

Third drive? Yep, another fumble recovery for the Eagles.

The Eagles have an inexperienced team this year. That first game could have sent them reeling. Instead, they battled back in Week 2 and were competitive all night against a Class 4A opponent. 

That’s progress. 

Next: The Eagles host W.F. West at 5 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl.

FORT VANCOUVER TRAPPERS (0-2)

Week 2: Winlock 47, Fort Vancouver 6

The independent schedule for Fort Vancouver has not yet produced a victory, but there were some positives in Week 2.

The Trappers avoided the shutout with a touchdown pass from Kaeleb Cvitkovich to Aryen Kumar. Also, Niko Liufau rushed for more than 60 yards.

Next: Fort Vancouver hosts Seton Catholic at 8 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl.

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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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