Prairie makes it to 2-0 to start the season
ClarkCountyToday.com reporter Paul Valencia takes a look back at Week 2’s football action and a glance ahead at the Week 3 schedule in his weekly reports of Clark County’s high school teams.
Today, the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League teams are featured. The Class 4A Greater St. Helens League team notes were posted Wednesday. The Class 2A GSHL teams will follow later Thursday and the Class 1A Trico League team reports will follow.
Prairie Falcons • Mountain View Thunder • Evergreen Plainsmen • Hudson’s Bay Eagles • Fort Vancouver Trappers
Prairie Falcons (2-0)
Week 2: Prairie 28, Washougal 21
Next: vs. Black Hills, 7 p.m. at District Stadium
The Prairie Falcons were in a bit of a jam in Week 2, in jeopardy of falling behind by two touchdowns right before the end of the first half.
A few minutes later, they were only down by a point.
A goal-line stand was followed up by a long touchdown drive, making it 21-20 at the half.
Prairie would go on to shut out Washougal in the second half to score 28-21 victory.
“The kids competed. They overcame a lot of adversity. It was cool to see them stay together as a team and stay coachable,” coach Mike Peck said. “That’s a big step for our program.”
So is another victory.
The Prairie Falcons are 2-0. That’s a big step, too.
“Defensively, we had a couple breakdowns in the first half, weren’t lined up correctly. Washougal was able to take advantage of that,” Peck said. “We made some adjustments and they executed those adjustments to a tee. That allowed us to get a shutout in the second half.”
And in a close game, it was the Falcons who got the job done.
“The biggest thing is the kids made the plays when they had to,” Peck said. “When it was do-or-die, they made plays and executed.”
Peck pointed out the play of Nolan Mickenham, for his overall game on offense and defense.
And he loved the play of his offensive linemen.
“They had a rough Week 1. They know that,” Peck said. “They came back and fixed a lot things they needed to fix. We rushed for almost 200 yards. We’ll take that any time.”
Mountain View Thunder (1-1)
Week 2: Mountain View 54, Juanita 7
Next: vs. Battle Ground, 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium
Going by the scoreboard, the Mountain View Thunder played a near flawless game n Week 2, dispatching Juanita 54-7.
The most telling part of this game, at least according to coach Adam Mathieson, came a couple days later.
“What I like about our group is they came back to work Monday and Tuesday after the Juanita game. We’ve had our best couple of practices of the year,” Mathieson said.
Because even after a 47-point victory, the Thunder players saw that they were far from flawless.
“It’s important for them to understand that even if you win by a large score that doesn’t necessarily mean you did all things right,” Mathieson said.
Assistant coaches reported to the head coach that the players knew this even before the coaches had a chance to tell them.
“Numerous kids were coming up to their coaches, saying, ‘Oh Coach, on play 12 I did this. On play 22, I should have done this.’ The ability to analyze and self correct, for this early in the season, is really good for this group,” Mathieson said.
“That’s an important step for a football team,” he continued. “When kids can self-correct on their own, it’s going to pay dividends in the long run.”
As far as the Juanita game, the coach was thrilled with the team play. Seven Thunder players found the end zone.
“We got production from a lot of areas,” Mathieson said, also highlighting the play of the offensive line.
Just before the half, Mountain View executed on a perfect 2-minute drill. The Thunder used all three timeouts, plus went out of bounds to save seconds. Then Aiden Hargrove drilled a 35-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
Defensively, Mathieson pointed out the play of new starter Nakoa Dizon. Filling in for an injury, the defensive end was instrumental in stopping Juanita’s double-wing attack.
“He did a great job, a newbie to the group,” Mathieson said.
Evergreen Plainsmen (1-1)
Week 2: Evergreen 47, Centralia 22
Next: at Lakewood, 7 p.m. Friday in Arlington
The Evergreen Plainsmen were hungry for a win, especially after just missing a victory in Week 1.
They went to work in Week 2 and got it done.
“It’s always good to get the win, whether it’s by one point or 50 points. A win is a win,” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said. “Food tastes better, girlfriends look better, and the car runs better after a win.”
The key for the Plainsmen in Week 2 was finishing on scoring opportunities. In Week 1, they left too many drives short of the scoreboard. That was not the case against Centralia as the Plainsmen put up 47 points.
“Once we settled down and focused and started to execute, then we started having success,” Hyde said.
The coach credited the offensive line. That is two weeks in a row of 400 yards of offense, Hyde noted. He specifically pointed out Kevin Munoz, who absolutely crushed his opponents when pulling on trap plays.
On defense, Hyde noted the play of Jarrin Hunter, who played well all over the field as a linebacker.
Next for Evergreen is a long trip to Lakewood. No, not Lakewood, Washington, but Lakewood High School in Arlington.
“The six-hours-away Lakewood,” Hyde said.
OK, technically, probably not six hours. But one must go through Seattle on a Friday so it can be anywhere from four to 14 hours, right?
Yes, it will make for a long trip, but there is a reason behind the trip. If Evergreen is to make the playoffs, a road trip is a distinct possibility.
“Get the playoff feel, a tough opponent on the road,” Hyde said. “You gotta learn to play a good opponent in an unfamiliar setting, which helps your team grow.”
So far, he likes the growth he has seen in his team this season.
“They just keep competing,” Hyde said. “There’s no quit in these guys. As long as we get that effort out of them and they keep learning each week, we’re going to be OK.”
Hudson’s Bay Eagles (0-2)
Week 2: Heritage 38, Hudson’s Bay 28
Next: at W.F. West, 7 p.m. Friday
The Eagles were down 24-0. They were down 31-7.
They would end up losing, but they did not stay down. That is one of the biggest takeaways of last week’s game for the Bay coaching staff. These players refused to give in, even in a tough situation.
That 31-7 deficit? It turned into a 31-28 deficit late in the game before Heritage got one final score.
“We learned that the fight and desire to win is still there. We have a lot to be proud of with our team,” Hudson’s Bay coach Ray Lions said. “We believe most people would remember a time in which Hudson’s Bay would have given up or would have started to separate themselves from a lack of success. Fortunately, this group has been a part of successful seasons and knew things could be turned around by sticking together. Players held their heads up and knew we had so much more to offer.”
After reviewing the game video, the coaches saw inconsistent play. The Eagles turned the ball over too many times to expect a different outcome, Lions said. They lost the field position battle. And in a hole all night.
“Amidst all of the reasons to quit or point fingers, our coaching staff and players remained focuses on what we can control,” Lions said.
Lions was particularly impressed with the play of the offensive line: Logan DeGrandpre, Levi Grahnert, Victor Montes, Gabriel Ortega, and Malek Mabrouk.
“They are becoming the offensive line we know they can be, and each week they are improving the little things,” Lions said.
For a combination of play and leadership, Lions pointed out Akilotoa Kaumatule and Carter Morse.
Kaumatule runs like “Beastmode,” which picks up the morale and energy of the whole team.
“He at times not only placed the team on his back but often times carried others from Heritage, too,” Lions said. “Nothing makes us more proud than seeing him fight for the extra yards and seeing his O-line join the fight for every inch we can get.”
Morse, the coach said, is a tough matchup for any opponent with his athleticism, physicality, and field awareness.
“He made all the catches look easy and worked hard to finish each one,” the coach said.
“He and Toa kept the team together even though times got tough. Both have a special bond and will give everything they have until the very end.”
Fort Vancouver Trappers (0-2)
Week 2: Ridgefield 42, Fort Vancouver 0
Next: at Mark Morris, 7 p.m. Friday
The Trappers did not score in Week 2, but did impress their opponent.
“They have some really good athletes,” Ridgefield coach Chris Abrams said. “They have a couple kids who are great competitors. They’ve got some good coaches over there, too. They’ll get there in time.”