ILWACO — The homecoming fireworks exploded above Peterson Field after Ilwaco running back Ryan Morris strode across the goal line, giving the Fishermen an early 6-0 lead against North Beach.

The sun had barely set, yet it seemed the rout was on for the Fishermen (2-3) against the hapless Hyaks (0-3).

Instead, however, the game turned into a dogged defensive battle, with Ilwaco barely escaping with a narrow 6-0 victory over the school from Ocean Shores.

It took a couple heroic defensive stands by Ilwaco late in the game against a shifty North Beach quarterback deep in the red zone to deliver the emotional homecoming win.

Ilwaco (2-3) will next host Pe-Ell/Willapa Valley (4-3) at home, a rematch of the season opener that Ilwaco lost 40-6.

Homecoming royalty At halftime, Noah Cherry and Gabby Bell were crowned as the 2021 Ilwaco homecoming king and queen.

The court included 2024 homecoming representatives Hailey Hightower and Florian Berani; 2023 representatives Natalie Gray and Zach Jewell; 2022 representatives Krissy Aebi and Austyn Taylor and 2021 runner-up nominees Matthew Do and Violet Boulton.

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