ILWACO - Ilwaco walloped White Salmon 33-6 in Trico-League football action at home Friday behind the 171 yards rushing and 61 receiving yards of Heath Miller and a solid defensive effort by the Fishermen.
Ilwaco, 3-1 on the season and 2-1 in League, forced four fumbles and Kevin Brown threw for three touchdowns, two to Andy Hudkins and one to Miller. Chris Lemons once again led the defense in tackles with 15 and Dan Davis contributed two sacks.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, as Ilwaco's passing attack sputtered, the first six tosses falling incomplete and the Bruins option running attack stalling due to two lost fumbles, recovered by Hudkins and Ryan Cadwell. Taking over on the White Salmon 32 in the second quarter, Ilwaco's Miller went on runs of eight, five, three, and 15 yards for the first score of the game. The blocking of the right side of the line by Justen Schaak, Randy Wiegardt, and Dan Davis helped considerably to escort Miller to pay dirt.
Later in the quarter, Bruin quarterback, Eric Crause, broke loose for a 28 yard gain on the option. Only a saving tackle by Hudkins kept him out of the end zone. To the Fishermen's credit, that was the longest run of the contest, as the defensive scheme of assistant Matt McKinstry worked exceptionally well for the second week in a row, according to Lamb.
A fumble recovery by Montez Pogue and a punt to the seven yard line by Davis after Ilwaco's drive was stymied, put White Salmon in a deep hole. Davis had two sacks and Lemons and Miller stuffed the Bruins offense the remainder of the half.
The first play of the second half was probably the most important of the game. Miller, following the right side of the line on a sweep, rambled 68 yards for a touchdown to give the Fishermen a 12-0 lead. White Salmon went on a four first-down drive that ate up much of the third quarter and half the field, only to have Tony Crete at right corner back knock down a down pass and then force an overthrow in the end zone on fourth down of another toss from Crause.
The Fishermen then punched the ball out to the Bruin 39 yard line on a 14 yard run by Miller. Brown shoveled a two yard pass to Miller, who scampered 61 yards for an Ilwaco TD. The Brown to Cadwell pass on a rollout tacked on the points after to give the Fishermen a 20-0 lead with less than three minutes left in the third quarter.
White Salmon's next possession was stopped by Hudkins tackling Crause at the line of scrimmage and then batting his pass on fourth and long to the ground. Brown scrambled for a first down and then hit Cadwell for 17 yards over the middle to put Ilwaco on the Bruin nine yard line. Hudkins then caught a lob from Brown in the left corner of the end zone for yet another score.
After Tony Kangas recovered the fourth fumble of the game by the Bruins, Hudkins again scored on a 28 yard pass from Brown, dragging two defenders across the goal line with his second effort. Rocky Mirelez, who had caught a pass during the drive, kicked the football through the uprights to give the Fishermen a 33-0 lead.
With time running out, White Salmon recovered a fumble on Ilwaco's 12 yard line and Crause hit Matt Carlock for a touchdown to make the final score 33-6.
Coach Dustin Lamb said, "I am real proud of our offensive and defensive lines. They bounced back well after a tough loss to Woodland."
The defensive line Lamb praised includes Tony Kangas, Matt Bonney, Greg Iverson, Mike Pickering, and Davis. Linebackers Lemons, Miller, and Hudkins were in the right place at the right time, thanks to McKinstry's plan against the White Salmon option offense.
"Our secondary held their passing game in check," Lamb went on to explain. Tony Crete, Ryan Cadwell, and Montez Pogue held White Salmon to four completions and the defense bottled up the Bruins to 109 yards of total offense. Cadwell had eight tackles from his safety position.
Mike Kangas, seeing his first playing time this season at fullback, provided key blocks for Miller and helped protect Brown when passing. Ilwaco was 10-23 for 166 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception through the air. Hudkins caught four balls, good for 80 yards and two scores.
White Salmon's ball-control offense was held to nine first downs to the Fishermen's 12, a telling statistic for the contest.
At halftime the Peninsula Youth Football League and cheerleaders gave fans a glimpse of the future by playing a mini-game and presenting cheers.
The Fishermen travel to perennial powerhouse, Castle Rock on Thursday (not Friday, due to state teacher in-service day). "The Rockets are a wide open team on offense. Seeing their scouting report is like looking in a mirror," Lamb said. Kickoff time is 7:30.
W.S. 0 0 0 6 6
Ilwaco 0 6 14 13 33
Ilwaco - Miller 15 run (kick failed)
Ilwaco - Miller 68 run (run failed)
Ilwaco - Brown 61 pass to Miller (Brown to Cadwell)
Ilwaco - Brown 9 pass to Hudkins (run failed)
Ilwaco - Brown 28 pass to Hudkins (Mirelez kick)
White Salmon - Crouse 12 pass to Carlock (pass failed)