Eastern Washington football has plenty of local ties

Eagles, with nine players from Clark County, in national title game.

 

Roldan Alcobendas was voted first team All-America and he won the Freddie Mitchell award for best kicker in the country this season at Eastern Washington University. The senior from Camas will play for a national championship Saturday. Photo courtesy of Eastern Washington University
Roldan Alcobendas was voted first team All-America and he won the Freddie Mitchell award for best kicker in the country this season at Eastern Washington University. The senior from Camas will play for a national championship Saturday. Photo courtesy of Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University has a shot at a national championship Saturday, and if the Eagles can get the upset, nine former Clark County high school football players will be national champions, too.

 

Eastern Washington (12-2) will be taking on North Dakota State (14-0) for the NCAA FCS national title at 9 a.m. Saturday. The game, being played in Frisco, Texas, will be televised on ESPN2.

Roldan Alcobendas is sure to get plenty of the spotlight. A senior, Alcobendas is the best kicker in the nation. He won the Freddie Mitchell Award for top kicker at NCAA FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA, and junior college levels.

Alcobendas, who excelled at Camas, is 15 for 15 in field goals this season. He also is a punter who has averaged 44.9 yards per attempt, plus has 21 inside the 20-yard line.

Others from Clark County include:

  • Kedrick Johnson, a defensive back from Hockinson. He has 47 tackles this season, including two sacks.
  • Zach Eagle, a receiver from Camas, caught 14 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown before suffering an injury. He has not played since September.
  • Dylan Ingram, a tight end from Camas, has one touchdown catch this season.
  • Aiden Nellor, a tight end from Union, has played in four games this season.
  • Zion Fa’aopega, a defensive lineman from Union, has played in three games this season.
  • Gunner Talkington, a quarterback from Battle Ground, has played in six games, throwing at least one pass in three games.
  • Rudolph Mataia Jr. of Evergreen (DL) and Michael Taras of Heritage (QB) are also on EWU’s roster.

North Dakota State, which has won six of the past seven national titles, is favored by two touchdowns.

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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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