Columbia River’s first drive in the third quarter defined the entire game.
After driving 70 yards in almost 10 minutes and having one field-goal attempt taken away by penalty, the Chieftains settled for a field goal that stayed on the board and capped a 16-6 non-league win over Battle Ground on Friday at Chieftain Stadium.
The game was dominated by yellow flags, hard-nosed rushing attacks and gritty defense, with Remick Kawawaki and Clayton Frank leading the way for Columbia River. Both combined to run for more than 200 yards, with Frank throwing for 70 more.
Frank also helped the defense hold Battle Ground to a single touchdown with several tackles.
Both Kawawaki and Columbia River coach John O’Rourke agreed the dominance was based on pure determination.
“We had some rough penalties, but just running it over and over again was the key,” Kawawaki said. “We had two touchdowns but both were called back. Just persistence.”
O’Rourke had few complaints about his team.
“I thought we played real well,” the coach said. “We played real hard. Our effort was good. … Any time you hold an opponent to six points, it’s a pretty good deal.”
Battle Ground’s third play from scrimmage resulted in a recovered fumble by Columbia River. Kawawaki converted that into points with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Frank added a 3-yard touchdown run as time expired in the first quarter, giving River a 13-0 lead.
Battle Ground’s only scoring drive came off back-to-back huge gains immediately after Columbia River’s final score. After Jake Sachen returned the kickoff 50 yards to the River 20, Ian Humphrey completed 23-yard TD pass to Trevor Ingram.
Kawawaki said his team can perform better.
“We won but there’s still a lot to improve on,” the junior said. “We came out, we were fired up, we were ready to play, but we had a lot of penalties. We just need to make smarter choices really.”
Battle Ground coach Larry Peck said junior quarterback Ian Humphrey played well in his first varsity start.
Humphrey was 12 for 25 passing for 194 yards and a touchdown, but had several of his passes dropped, Peck said.
“Overall, we played really well against a quality club,” Peck said.
Next week: Battle Ground (0-1) vs. Fort Vancouver (0-1); Columbia River (1-0) at Kelso.
Battle Ground 0 0 6 0—6
Columbia River 13 0 3 0—16
C — Remick Kawawaki 4 run (kick good)
C — Clayton Frank 3 run (run failed)
C — 23 FG
BG — Trevor Ingram 23 pass from Ian Humphrey (kick failed)
Rushing — Columbia River: Remick Kawawaki 21-144, Clayton Frank 18-77; Battle Ground: Kevin Haynes 11-29, Juan Arrellano 3-24
Passing — Columbia River: Frank 11-23-1-70; Battle Ground: Ian Humphrey 12-25-0-194
Receiving — Columbia River: Bogart 3-33, Jacobson 2-14, Hudson 1-10; Battle Ground: Trevor Ingram 4-76, Jake Blackman 3-63, Colston Vukanovich 1-25.