Washougal can move to 3-0 with win over Columbia River


Panthers look to avenge last season’s loss to the Chieftains

Washougal Panthers (2-0)

Week 1: Washougal 54, West Seattle 0

Week 2: Washougal 41, Castle Rock 14

Next: Columbia River at Washougal, 7 p.m. Friday

The Panthers, who started 0-3 last year with the same schedule, look to go 3-0 this season. Yes, things are looking good for Washougal.

Setting the tone:
Washougal’s first drive of the game showcased its experienced, talented offensive line. At one point, the Panthers ran the ball on six consecutive plays.

They would end up in the end zone for a quick lead.

Washougal’s offensive line stood out in the Panthers’ win over Castle Rock last week. Photo by Paul Valencia
Washougal’s offensive line stood out in the Panthers’ win over Castle Rock last week. Photo by Paul Valencia

Fullback power:
On Washougal’s second touchdown drive, fullback Nathan Tofell got a lot of the work, picking up 41 yards on his first three carries of the series.

Later in the game, he had a 24-yard run to the 1-yard line, just missing out on a touchdown.

And even later, he had a 29-yard run to the 1-yard line. Again, so close. Only this time, the coaches called his number again and he found the end zone on a 1-yard plunge.

Pancake blocks usually are great. Usually:
Washougal offensive lineman Mason Armstrong pulled and went in search of someone to block. He found his man, zeroed in on him, and destroyed him. The defender fell to the ground.

Unfortunately, his great block was too great. The defender fell directly in the path of the Washougal ball carrier and made an “excuse-me” tackle.

Still, my guess is the Washougal coaches will take this every time. Probably 99 out of 100, that defender is simply out of the play. This was the one time he wasn’t.

That quarterback can hit, too:
Ryan Stevens, known more as the quarterback of the Panthers, had one of the biggest hits of the game while playing defense. It was still a one-touchdown game at the time, Castle Rock had a third down. The pass was there. The receiver appeared to be gaining possession of the ball. Then Stevens struck. The ball fell to the ground, incomplete. Castle Rock would punt.

Coach Speak:

What did David Hajek learn about his team in Week 2? “We have a ways to go to be a playoff contender. I think we are headed into the right direction and we will get there.”

Coaching staff’s pick for MVP on offense: Nathan Tofell with his 134 yards rushing.

Coaching staff’s pick for MVP on defense: Brendan Brock, a defensive lineman, had 10 tackles. He is only a sophomore, too.

Thoughts on Week 3 vs. Columbia River:

“Tough, tough, opponent,’’ Hajek said. “Columbia River is tough and athletic with a great coaching staff. Don’t let their record fool you. They are much better than any team we have played.” (Columbia River defeated Washougal 35-21 last year.)

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