ILWACO — Parker Kaech intercepted a pass and scored the only Ilwaco touchdown in a 48-8 homecoming loss to Pe Ell-Willapa Valley on Friday, Nov. 1.

With Ilwaco trailing 19-0, Kaech picked off a downfield pass and returned it about 50 yards to the Valley 17-yard line. Four plays later, Brady Vinsonhaler caught a seven-yard touchdown pass, sparking homecoming fireworks. Kaech ran in the two-point conversion, stretching across the pylon to make it 19-8 with 5:14 until halftime.

Those were the only highlights for Ilwaco (4-5 overall, 2-3 in league play) in its regular season finale against the Pacific League coastal division champions.

Max Smith, playing on the left wing of the Vikings’ T formation, powered through defenders down the sideline for 64 yards to the Ilwaco one on the game’s first play. He ran it in on the next play to put Valley up 6-0.

Ilwaco limited the big plays the rest of the half, but Valley continued moving the ball consistently. Quarterback Tyler Adkins faked a handoff and ran for 17 yards for another TD with 6:38 to go in the first quarter.

“They’re just tough as nails,” said Ilwaco’s Jackson Wilkin. “They just hit us harder — and we hit hard, don’t get me wrong… We knew they would be a tough team; they run right through you.”

On the Vikings’ first pass play of the game, Adkins found Sam Western running open for an 18-yard touchdown catch that made it 19-0 with 10:48 left in the half.

After the Ilwaco touchdown set up by Kaech’s interception, Valley put the game away by scoring on both sides of halftime. Landin Isaksen’s four-yard TD run with 43 seconds left in the half capped a 53-yard scoring drive, giving them a commanding 27-8 lead.

At halftime, Jasmine Hinojosa was named homecoming Queen, and Jack Marshman was honored as King.

Joining them in the senior court were Tristan Trudell, Sunny Kemmer, Calvin Baze and Julia Corsi.

Kiera Roush was freshman princess. Evan Brown was named freshman prince. The sophomore royalty were Logan Roush and Kaylee Barnett. Madalynn Yates and Dylan Simonson were the junior monarchs. More fireworks followed the ceremony.

The Vikings returned a fumble to the Ilwaco 15-yard line after halftime, then scored on Kollin Jurek’s TD 29 seconds into the half, making it 34-8.

Smith and Jurek each added another long touchdown run to pad the lead.

Ilwaco starts its post-season at Kalama (7-2) Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the cross-over game.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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