ILWACO — Raymond’s running game powered a 37-20 victory over Ilwaco at the Fishermen’s homecoming game Friday, Oct. 20. Tenyson Ramsey was named Homecoming King, and Ariana Bell was named Queen.
Big holes opened by their offensive line, zig-zaggy moves by running back McCartney Maden and solid performances backs Patrick Edwards and Joseph Villalpando allowed Raymond to put together long drives by churning out steady gains on the ground.
They finished with 412 yards on 58 carries. Ilwaco had a run of 75-yards from Jeb Sheldon and one of 35 from Jackson Wilkin, but was not as consistently successful as the Seagulls. The Seagulls defense also scored twice on safeties, further helping them pull away and control the clock.
However, Ilwaco got on the board first. Raymond marched downfield on the opening possession much the way it would all game, but the drive stalled out at the Ilwaco three yard-line. After an Ilwaco three-and-out, the Seagulls gave Ilwaco an extra chance by fumbling the punt. Jackson Wilkin burst through a hole for a 35-yard run on the next play, starting a 69-yard drive that ended in a one-yard touchdown run by Ethan Personius that made it 6-0 near the end of the first quarter.
Maden put Raymond on top early in the second with a spectacular touchdown run. The gain was 30 yards, but he ran at least twice that far, getting to the outside, cutting back in and scoring for a 7-6 lead. Maden was just as flashy on a 45-yard punt return that set up the Seagulls’ next touchdown.
Late in the half, Ilwaco forced a four-and-out near the goal line for the second time of the game, taking over at their own one-yard line. This time, though, the Seagulls came up with a safety two plays later. Personius faked a handoff, but the Raymond pass-rushers weren’t fooled, quickly converging on him for the sack in the end zone to make it 16-6 at halftime.
The Seagulls went 80 yards in five plays to score on their first possession of the second half. Jose Delgado made a diving interception of a pass for Parker Kaech on an inside route, giving Raymond the ball back at the Ilwaco 40. Edwards capitalized with a 35-yard run straight up the middle on fourth-and-five, making it 29-6 with 5:17 in the third quarter.
Thirty-one seconds later, Sheldon’s 75-yard run down the south sideline cut the lead to 29-12.
In the fourth quarter, Raymond scored its second safety on an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone. Maden’s 48-yard run set up the Seagulls’ final touchdown, which made it 37-12.
Desmond Diamond recovered a fumble to set up Ilwaco’s last touchdown drive. Sheldon had consecutive runs of 17 and 22 yards, scoring the touchdown on the second of these. Diamond then scored on a two-point conversion run on a misdirection play. Raymond still led by three scores at 37-20 with only 3:27 left.
With their fourth straight win, the Seagulls finished 5-1 in Pacific League play. Ilwaco fell to 4-1 with the loss. Ilwaco plays 5-0 Pe Ell/Willapa Valley next week in Pe Ell at 7 p.m.. An Ilwaco win would create a three-way tie for first place, with a three-way split of head-to-head matchups, forcing a coin-flip to determine playoff seeding. A loss next week would leave Ilwaco with a third-place finish.