Raymond’s dream of winning the school’s first state football championship in 20 years was stopped by a Morton-White Pass 27-14 Saturday evening at the TacomaDome. The TimberWolves showed what championship caliber teams are made of by capitalizing on mistakes and holding off a determined Seagull squad that played valiantly but just came up short. The Seagulls of head coach Rob Clements never quit and showed what they’re made of by scoring in the waning moments despite the verdict being settled.
“(Coach) Luke Abbot did a great job coming up with a game plan,” Clements told the Herald. “The kids learned it and executed it.
“They fought hard the whole game,” Clements said. ““Some of those kids played their hearts out. I think a lot of people came away believing that we were the more physical team out there.
“Neal Riley played a monster game,” Clements said. “Michael McFadden did a nice job defensively on the inside. Alex Sida (118 yds rushing on 13 carries) shut down their number one receiver. “Offensively, Darol (Ratsavongsy) and Alex ran hard and the line blocked exceptionally well. We were able to chunk down the field on ’em when ran the ball.
“You preach to the kids that you can’t make mistakes, but the kids don’t get a sense for that until you’re there,” Clements said. “When you’re playing a top level opponent you can’t beat yourself. It taught a lesson for the seniors, and for the younger players, they get a look at how they can prepare for that moment to try and be perfect at this level.”
Coach Clements said the Seagulls made a handful of mistakes that cost them the game, adding that there were “five or six game-changing plays” that were key to Morton-White Pass’s victory.
“Good teams at this level don’t stop themselves,” Clements said. “You can’t stop yourself that many times and expect to win. We stopped ourself with a penalty on the goal line at the end of the first half and didn’t score. We fumbled it away another time. They (M-WP) made three big plays. They had two long runs and the long TD pass play.”
Coach Clements paid tribute to his seniors.
“Reflecting on the overall season, I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Clements said. “When you think about this group. This is my fourth year here and third as head coach. I’ve watched the seniors coming through the program and watched those seniors grow as leaders. They’ve learned to play hard. They’ve learned to be selfless. They need to be proud. Look at what we’ve done. There is a lot more positive than to losing the game. It’s just really tough for the seniors and everybody to be that close and not be able to grab it. The seniors helped put Raymond back on the map. They’ve laid the path to what it takes. “I’m proud of our seniors, Grant Camenzind, Hunter (Borden), Neil (Riley), Alex, Darol – They led us. Those are our program guys.”
T-Wolves Score First
The Timberwolves took the lead at the 7:49 point of the second quarter on a 22-yard run by Gianni Bertucci. Bertucci ran up the gut and broke two or three arm tackles for the score. “On the Bertucci counter score, we over-flew the gap,” Clements said.
The T-Wolves got a big first down on 4th and inches when QB Rylon Kolb gained 3 yards on a keeper. Morton-White Pass also made good on a 3rd-and-4. Morton-White Pass was aided by a RHS holding call on the drive. The march covered 67 yards after a poor punt by the Gulls. Brian Reynolds booted the first of four PATs.
Raymond drove to M-WP’s 1-yard line but was called for movement by Ratsavongsy and on 3rd and 5 at the 6, Newman threw an interception gathered in by Tommy Seaman with :05 left in the first half. Marvin So gave the Gulls good field position at their own 38 after a good kickoff return. Sida and Rayce Newman both had two nice runs on the drive. The half ended with the T-Wolves on top 7-0.
So ran the second half kickoff to the RHS 46. The Seagulls moved quickly with Elliott Murcock running around left end for 11 yards, followed by Sida sliding for another 9. A facemask penalty gave the Gulls another 15 yards. Mostly by inside running by Ratsavongsy, the Gulls got to the 4-yard line where he blasted in over right tackle for the touchdown at the 8:34 mark. Andres Martinez booted the PAT to knot the score. The drive covered 54 yards in 7 plays.
Morton-White Pass came right back with a scoring drive of its own. Kolb avoided a fierce rush by RHS, and then completed a brilliant jump pass to #13 for 26 yards on 3rd and 11. Ratsavongsy had a tackle for loss for RHS during the series. On 4th and 2 at the RHS 46, Ben Powell took the handoff on an end around to the right, cut left upfield and was gone. The T-Wolves got away with a hold on Pedro Villegas who was about to make the tackle and was tackled. The PAT gave M-WP a 14-7 lead with 6:35 left in the third quarter.
“Defensively, we did a nice job pressuring Kolb, but he finds time and keeps his feet,” Clements said. “Good players find a way to execute when they have to.”
Coach Clements said he tried to call time out because his team wasn’t set right on the TD run. “The ref said he didn’t hear me. I don’t know why. They heard me all year long.”
Raymond immediately came back with Sida slashing off right end for 28 yards. But on 4th and 4 at the WP-M 37, Newman faked a punt and his pass to So was incomplete. Newman could have run for good yardage on the play as he and Ratsavongsy were in a 2 on 1 situation on the right side.
The Gulls got the ball back at the M-WP 49 after a poor punt by the T-Wolves. Raymond stalled on 4th and 17 at the 31 on the ninth play of the possession after two straight incompletions. Sida gained 11 yards around right end for the biggest play.
Three plays later the Gulls got the ball back on a fumble by Kolb at the M-WP 30. Hunter Borden caused Kolb to cough it up and McFadden pounced on it. Raymond set up shop at the T-Wolves’ 30, but gained only 3 yards and a screen pass went incomplete thanks to a great stop by Jesse Eveland.
The next time Morton-White Pass got the ball it put the game away with an 8-play, 79-yard scoring drive. Reynolds broke 4 tackles on a 21-yard burst. Bertucci gained 12 yards on a flare pass. Reynolds made a key first down when he was stopped on fourth down, but his second effort got the 6 inches he needed for the first down. Two plays later Kalen Dunlop scored on a 37-yard pass play. With 3:26 left in the game, it was all but over for the Seagulls, now down 20-7. There was a questionable pass interference call on the Gulls during the drive.
Now desperate, Newman threw one up into double-coverage that was intercepted by Kaleb Poquette, who returned it 30 yards. It took the T-Wolves 3 plays to score on an 11-yard run by Reynolds for a 27-7 lead.
Raymond showed what it was made of by driving 83 yards in 5 plays. So caught a 7-yard TD pass from Newman on a left out pattern. Martinez kicked the extra point with :15 left to go. Sida ran for 49 yards on one play and Ratsavongsy caught a pass. Raymond played hard until the end – even trying to recover an onside kick, which didn’t go the required 10 yards.
The first quarter produced a 0-0 stalemate with neither team being able to move the ball. Defensively, Raymond got a sack from McFadden and a tackle for loss by Riley. Raymond’s biggest play from scrimmage was a 7-yard run by Newman.
Raymond’s stallion of a running back, Ratsavongsy, was held in check with only 50 yards rushing on 15 carries. Ratsavongsy had run for 1,031 yards entering the game.
Newman ran for 39 yards on 10 carries and completed 4 of 13 passes for 19 yds with 2 interceptions and a touchdown.
Both teams had a dozen first downs. The T-Wolves committed 4 penalties for 44 yards, while Raymond had 2 penalties for 15 yards.
Raymond had the edge in time of possession, 26:10 to 21:50.
Kolb was 8 of 12 for 91 yards with a TD and no picks. Brian Reynolds rushed for 65 yards on 13 carries. Powell had the one carry for 46 yds. Bertucci, who was hobbled by a sore left ankle throughout the game, ran for 39 yards on 10 attempts.
Bryson Goble recorded 13 total tackles and Reynolds had 10 for the T-Wolves.
The Gulls lose some of their top players in Ratsavongsy, Sida, Riley and Camenzind, but four of five starters return in the O-line, led by Michael McFadeen and James Hamilton (both on both sides of the ball), and with Newman at QB, and So, Murdock and Koski, there’s a lot of talented athletes. Raymond’s junior varsity team lost only one game, and that was on a two-point conversion that failed.
In three years under Clements, Raymond has returned to football prominence with records of 5-4, 7-3 and 9-2 for an overall record of 21-9 – pretty darn well for a program that was buried in ashes.
Raymond closed out the season with a record of 9-2 and champions of the Pacific League.
Morton-White Pass (12-0) moves on to the state title game for the third straight year. The T-Wolves, who have lost the past two title games, plays Lind-Ritzville-Sprague for the second year in a row. The Broncos (12-0) cremated outclassed Adna 56-13.
In Class 1B Neah Bay won a laugher over Lummi 46-14, and Touchet raked Rosalia 62-36.
In Class 1A, Mount Baker got past Cascade Christian 31-28, and Freeman beat Cashmere 28-20.
In Class 2A, Lynden topped Ellensburg 21-7, and Tumwater outscored Prosser 45-40.
In Class 3A, Bellevue shellacked Shadle Park 66-0, and Eastside Catholic ousted O’Dea 28-14.
In Class 4A, Chiawana crushed Federal Way 40-7, and Camas crushed Bellarmine Prep 49-21.
Raymond 0 0 7 7 14
M-WP 0 7 7 13 27
|No Related Articles|
You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!
Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: