ILWACO — Things did not go well for the Ilwaco Fishermen football team Friday night.
Coming into the game on a bit of high note after winning their week one game 53-0, it took the Columbia High School (White Salmon) Bruins mere seconds to score, as Chandler Bucklin would return the opening kick off 75 yards for a touchdown. A Dominic Raether TD catch put the Bruins up 13-0, before Bucklin added his second of three TDs, to close out the first quarter with a 21-0 lead.
That’s the way it would go for the Fishermen (1-1), as Columbia (2-0), with a sixth score in the third quarter, took a 40-0 lead, which triggered the running clock mercy rule.
“Remember how we talked about feeding the root not the fruit?” asked first-year coach Sean Cease of his team as they gathered in the end zone after the game. “If you want to grow a good plant you need a good root. Well, you know, sometimes you’ve got to put fertilizer on a root. We put fertilizer on it (tonight), now let’s start growing. Lets move on a grow a better tree.
“Losing is not fun, theres no way to sugar coat it, but we can get better from it.”
The Bruins, whom the Fishermen have not played since leaving the 1A Trico league years ago, dominated their second straight game. In total offense, the Bruins outgunned the Fishermen 330 yards to 42. CHS had 100 yards in returns alone, and had possesion of the ball for all but a minute of the running clock-assisted fourth quarter — at one point running the same inside running play seven times in a row.
And while the poor tackling of the defense led to many Bruin points, the Fishermen offense had little to be happy about either. Quarterback Ethan Personius completed only three of 11 passes for 5 yards, with an interception that led to a CHS score. Parker Kaech had the longest reception, of four yards. Jackson Wilkins led all IHS runners with 20 yards on nine attempts. The Fishermen did not have the services of seniors Alex Kaino or Brandon Duke, who were both still out due to injury.
“Here’s the deal. Adversity can be a good thing, but it’s how you deal with it,” said coach Cease while addressing his team. “We fight back as a team and be positive and get better. There’s a lot of things we can work on.”
Cease noted how the players will be able to watch game film and see the same things the coaches saw during the game. Namely one key culprit.
“Overall, as a team, we didn’t tackle very well,” said Cease. “That’s a technique we can work on and we can get better at it. But you gotta stay positive.”
The Fishermen play Chief Leschi at home this Friday.
“We’re going get better,” said Cease. “I tell you guys all the time, you don’t know how good you can be. But we have to be ready to learn.”