ILWACO - Eddie Knick ran for 170 yards and two long touchdowns, but White Salmon wriggled past the Fishermen 46-15 in the homecoming game at Pederson Field Friday. Knick scored on a 52 yard jaunt to begin the second period and then scooted for a 57 yard score with just over three minutes to play in the game.
White Salmon took a 33-7 lead into the locker room at halftime as Taylor Champion scored five touchdowns before intermission. He scored early in the fourth period to put the Bruins up 40-7 and then scored with 44 seconds remaining to post the final tally. It was that final score that drew the ire of local fans, coaches, and players as White Salmon coach Matt Whitmire reinserted his starting lineup the final three minutes in an effort to run up the score and his try for a two-point conversion confirmed his intent, but the pass went awry.
Coach Kevin McNulty had praise for his offensive line, saying, "Tyler Starks, Scott Simons, and Hayden Blake did a good job on their blocking assignments and Ikaika Thomas and Dylan Short were outstanding at center in orchestrating our single-wing offense."
Unfortunately Knick was about the only offense the Fishermen were able to generate as the passing attack managed only one completion for a six-yard loss and yielded one interception. Michael Sanchez was the only other back to gain positive yardage on the ground, as he had eight yards in two carries. Knick now has 846 yards in 148 carries for the year on the senior running back's quest for a fourth consecutive 1,000 yard season.
"Every time we seemed to get things going on offense, we'd shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty," McNulty lamented. Ilwaco had 65 yards marched off against them on 10 yellow flags, while the visitors were penalized once for five yards.
The Bruins gained 441 yards on the ground on 42 carries for an average of 10.5 yards per try and they completed their only pass for another 17 yard pickup. The Fishermen garnered 173 yards on the ground and were one of seven in the air for minus six yards. Devin Deans gained 107 yards in 15 carries and Champion rushed for 300 yards in 22 carries for the visitors, including both getting substantial gains against Ilwaco's reserves during the final three minutes of the game.
Ilwaco punted five times for an average of 26 yards and White Salmon punted once for 27 yards. The first down total was a resounding 17 to three in favor of the Bruins. Turnovers were even at two apiece as Adam Bundy and Zach DeSimone each recovered a fumble for the Fishermen. Ilwaco starters Nick Morrison, Steven Hilton, and Dan Beierle sat out the game and only Morrison, with an Achilles injury is likely to return this season.
White Salmon is now 2-2 in the Trico and 3-3 overall with two league leaders still on their schedule. Ilwaco is now 1-5 for the season and they face the daunting task of playing Castle Rock and Kalama, both state ranked teams, in their next two contests.