Sean McDonald wins in his debut with Woodland, against his former team
KALAMA — One player said it was a happy and sad night.
Another player called it special.
The coach? He said it was awkward.
Taking away any of the emotion surrounding this season-opening football game between Woodland and Kalama on Thursday night, it was a shutout victory for the Beavers.
Elijah Andersen rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns, and the Woodland defense kept Kalama out of the end zone all night in a 22-0 victory.
But one cannot take emotion out of the game of football.
Beyond the score, beyond the stats, the heartbeat of this specific football game came from Woodland’s new coach. Sean McDonald got his first victory for the Beavers, and it came at the expense of the team McDonald coached to three state titles.
“I think there is some happy in it and some sad in it,” Andersen said. “I’m happy for him that he could come here and get a win against his old team.”
Linebacker Daeton Lofgren called it a “very special” night. While there will be more important games this season, there is only one opening night, and only one game that featured his coach against the coach’s former team.
“It’s pretty riveting. I don’t think we’ve beat Kalama in years,” Lofgren said.
It was 2018 when Woodland last topped Kalama.
“For this new group to come in and shut them out like that, it’s a pretty amazing feeling,” Lofgren added. “I don’t know if there is a better feeling than that. We’ve got lots to work on still, but we’ll take the ‘dub.’”
Oh, and the result was not a surprise to the Beavers. Even if Kalama is the defending state champion in Class 2B.
“They beat us pretty bad last year,” Andersen said. “It definitely feels great to get a shutout win on them. We were expecting this.”
McDonald used one word three times while describing his feelings from Thursday’s night’s opener at his old school.
“It was awkward,” he said. “An awkward night. A lot of emotions. I love Kalama. I love everything about it. I grew up here. And I love my new team, too. A lot of mixed emotions, a lot of awkward, mixed emotions. I was proud of how my guys played.”
Woodland quarterback Brett Martynowicz found Keaton Northcut on a 5-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play in the final minute of the first half to open the scoring.
Andersen had two rushing touchdowns in the second half, finishing with 131 yards on 20 carries. He played some last year as a freshman but he believes this is his first 100-yard game of his career.
He thanked his linemen.
“They’re a big deal,” he said.
The Woodland defense was superb. When counting the losses for bad snaps and sacks, Kalama ended up with negative-35 yards rushing.
“I’m really proud of the defense. They really played lights out,” McDonald said. “I think they can do some great things down the line.”
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