Union off to fast start with three consecutive wins
Union Titans (3-0)
Week 3: Union 43, Eastlake 18
Next: at Chiawana, 7 p.m. Friday
The Union Titans allowed their fans to relax in Week 3.
For the first time this season, Union’s game did not go down to the final minute.
“We tell them every single week you don’t have to be a championship-level team in September. Just have to get better every single week,” Union coach Rory Rosenbach said. “I feel we’ve done that.”
The Titans played in an emotional, district game in Week 1. Had a bizarre trip to California for Week 2. And then came back home and cruised in Week 3.
“We just took another step and played really well,” Rosenbach said. “And we did it without one of our better players. I’m just really happy with how we played.”
Jojo Siofele was held out after tweaking an ankle. Rosenbach said he does expect Siofele to play this week.
Against Eastlake, Darien Chase had three touchdowns in the first half. Behind the Union offensive line, the Titans had another big night. The starters are: Dimitru Salogar (left tackle); Giovanny Rojo (left guard); Devon Wilson (center); Nick Kennedy (right guard); and Manaia Fuertes (right tackle.)
“They offensive line was fantastic,” Rosenbach said. “It was one of those things I could say we’re going to get five yards every run, and we did. They’ve played well all year, but this was their best performance.”
Also during this game, the head coach took advantage of the non-league schedule to get a look at another quarterback. Lincoln Victor, the starter, took a series off in the first half, and that was by design.
“One of the few good things about having a bunch of non-league games … you get an opportunity to get a bunch of guys some reps and it doesn’t hurt you,” Rosenbach said. “We’ve done a good job of getting our 2s and 3s in, in a lot of positions. Quarterback, though, I’ve done a poor job.”
This week, he told Ryan Rosumny that no matter what happens in the game, he would play the third series.
This way, if the starting quarterback goes down, for even a play, the backup has some experience.
“I’m just a believer in getting those guys meaningful reps in the beginning of the year,” Rosenbach said.
Camas looks forward to hosting state-power Bellevue
Camas Papermakers (2-1)
Week 3: Camas 62, West Valley (Yakima) 14
Next: vs. Bellevue, 7 p.m. Friday at Doc Harris Stadium
The Camas Papermakers have owned the decade among the big schools in Southwest Washington.
One state championship, seven league titles, and a win streak of 58 consecutive regular-season games that ended with a one-point loss last season. The Papermakers have reached at least the state semifinal round four times.
And this week, Camas will welcome most successful big-school football program in Washington.
Bellevue is coming to Doc Harris Stadium.
Since the turn of the century, Bellevue has nine official state championships, according to Washington Interscholastic Activities Association archives. Plus two more that have been vacated.
In other words, there will be a lot of quality history going up against each other in Clark County on Friday night.
“We are excited to host Bellevue,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “They have been on of the most dominant programs in our state’s history, and we are proud to play them at Doc Harris. If you’re a football fan this is a don’t-miss game.”
Camas opponents are likely going to have to continue to prepare for two quarterbacks. The Papermakers have scored 62 points last week. Senior Andrew Boyle and sophomore Jake Blair just keep putting up points.
“We have confidence in both,” Eagle said. “They each have different strengths. They both can play at a high level. We go with the ‘hot hand.’ The coaching manual says, if they’re close, play the younger guy. I threw that manual out years ago.”
This year’s squad might be 2-1 but the Papermakers know they were just a few plays, or a couple more minutes away from 3-0.
“We continue to improve,” Eagle said. “Maybe not as quickly as our coaches would like, but we are better and we are building depth.”
Storm ready for road challenge
Skyview Storm (1-2)
Week 3: Mount Si 52, Skyview 28
Next: at Rogers of Puyallup, 7 p.m. Saturday
The Skyview Storm will play their first true road trip in Week 4, hoping to get back to the .500 level and get some momentum toward the second half of the season.
Skyview did play a road game in Week 2, but just a few miles away from Kiggins Bowl at Columbia River. In Week 4, the Storm head north.
“It’s a good test,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer said of his team’s Saturday game at Rogers of Puyallup. “We just need to get better in these preseason games and worry about us. Just do thing correctly. We know we have a good formula if we coach right.”
In Week 3, things did not go right for the Storm when they took on Mount Si and the best high school quarterback Kizer said he has faced. Cale Millen, a University of Oregon recruit, was just too good in a 52-28 win over Skyview.
“That guy hit some windows. I don’t know too many quarterbacks who can fit them in like he did,” Kizer said.
Still, it was not all just because Millen is talented.
“We didn’t play very good technique,” Kizer said.
As far as moving on, the Storm hope to get a healthier and there will be an emphasis on defense.
On offense, the Storm scored 28 points and had other opportunities, as well, just missing out on a couple third-and-short and fourth-and-short situations.
“Our quarterback is making strides,” Kizer said. “Yaro (Duvalko) keeps getting better and the receivers are running better routes.”
Heritage looking for a complete effort against a tough opponent
Heritage Timberwolves (2-1)
Week 3: Kelso 37, Heritage 14
Next: vs. Mountain View, 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium
The Heritage Timberwolves suffered their first loss of the season in Week 3 and the schedule does not get any easier with a game against 3A Greater St. Helens League power Mountain View.
“It’s always good for us,” Heritage coach Matt Gracey said, adding that he is happy to be playing the Thunder again. “It’s definitely good preparation heading into our league.”
Win or lose, the Timberwolves just want to get back on the field soon to try to get the taste out of their mouths from last week. Gracey credited Kelso for its game plan and execution — “They were fired up and ready to play” — but was not thrilled with his team’s performance.
“We did not play well. We had a couple people out, but that’s not going to make a difference between a win and a loss. If you are the best team, you should win anyway. Clearly, we were not the best team on the field that night.”
Freshman quarterback Nikki Scott missed the game with a sprained knee.
“We don’t know when he’ll be back,” Gracey said. “This isn’t a senior fighting for a scholarship. He’s a freshman. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure he heals completely. Don’t want to rush him back.”
With or without him, Gracey said the Timberwolves need to focus on starting fast and finishing strong.
“We didn’t start fast at all, and they certainly did,” Gracey said, noting his team was down 21-0 early.
“The big issue was not doing the things we worked on all week,” Gracey said. “It was a great lesson. We need to have people doing their jobs. We’ve got to play every down. We’re not to a point we can take a quarter off, or a half in this case, and expect to win a game.”
The Timberwolves were out of synch for much of the game. The coach described it like a car engine that just won’t turn over no matter how many times one turns the key.
Which is why the Timberwolves are looking forward to Friday. They know Mountain View is a tough opponent. They just want to prove, win or lose, they can play assignment football, improve, and get ready for league play.
Battle Ground looks forward to rivalry game
Battle Ground Tigers (0-3)
Week 3: Mountain View 54, Battle Ground 7
Next: vs. Prairie, 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium
The final score was due to a combination of things. One, the opponent is super talented. Two, the Battle Ground Tigers did not have their best week of preparation.
“We had a couple good drives, but Mountain View is a good team,” Battle Ground coach Mike Kesler said. “They are well coached. Their kids play hard. Our kids need to learn how to play hard. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to play with the same caliber.”
And that starts long before Friday night.
“The kids played like they practiced,” Kesler said.
Fortunately for the program, Kesler said, the players got the message.
“We talked about it. We had a good film session today (Monday) and came out (at practice) and executed the game plan for Prairie,” Kesler said. “The kids were excited about it, hoping to get things rolling.”
Oh yes, it is Prairie week. The Battle of the Battle Ground School District.
“It’s always exciting when you’re playing your district rival,” Kesler said. “It was a good game last year. Unfortunately, we ended up on the losing end by one point. Kids play with a lot of emotion because it’s against kids from across town. Wouldn’t be a good rivalry game if you didn’t get up for it.”
As far as the Mountain View game, Kesler noted that Daniel Thompson and Trent Thompson ran hard all night. Daniel, he noted, “doesn’t have an in-between speed.”
For the most part, though, it was just a rough outing for the Tigers.
Things are looking more promising, though, Kesler said. The Tigers should have a few more players in the lineup this week after some eligibility issues were cleared up, plus all-league defensive lineman Blake Harris is expected to play. Also an offensive lineman, he injured his ankle in August and is ready for his first action of the season.
“We’re looking forward to some good things this week,” Kesler said.