WOODLAND — They found inspiration in a loss the previous week.
And in their seniors’ final game on their home field.
And in the opportunity to take their school to the state football playoffs for the first time since 2005.
So when the Woodland Beavers came away from their Class 1A district playoff Friday with a 28-3 victory over Tenino, there were several levels of satisfaction to be found.
“It was motivation from a lot of little things,” senior Cy Whitmire said after scoring three touchdowns — a 24-yard run, a 28-yard pass from Hunter Huddleston, and a 54-yard run.
Among them was a loss in last week’s regular-season finale against La Center. Woodland (8-2) missed out on a chance to capture the Trico League title, but it knew it had bigger games ahead.
“At first, we were a little sad,” lineman Zach Lacey said. “Then we turned angry. Then we had that drive to get to the state playoffs.”
Lacey demonstrated that drive on the first possession of the game, when his tackle for loss helped stop a long Tenino drive. Tenino ran 18 plays, moved 69 yards, took 8 minutes off the clock … and came away with a field goal.
“You just can’t get frustrated,” sophomore Eli Whitmire said. “Everybody needs to keep their head in the game and stop them on the next play.”
Early in the second quarter, the Whitmire brothers combined for a lightning-quick drive that put Woodland on top for good.
Eli had a 31-yard punt return to the Tenino 24-yard line; Cy ran in for a touchdown on the next play.
From there, it was a matter of Woodland slowly tightening its grip on the game.
Eli Whitmire made it 14-3 with a 3-yard run later in the second quarter, capping a 25-yard drive that followed a fumble recovery by Lacey.
Cy Whitmire’s TD reception on the first possession of the third quarter put Woodland firmly in control, and his 54-yard scoring run in the fourth period put the game away.
In between, Tenino had another 18-play drive, this time coming away with no points.
“We told the kids we needed to execute and not turn the ball over like we did in our last two big games,” coach Mark Greenleaf said of regular-season losses to La Center and Montesano. “Offensively for us, we had to get a rhythm and find out what we could execute in this muck.”
They found enough to advance to the 16-team Class 1A state playoffs. Woodland will face Mount Baker of Deming at 7 p.m. Friday at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
WOODLAND 28, TENINO 3
Tenino 3 0 0 0– 3
Woodland 0 14 7 7–28
T — Kendall Caldwell 23 FG
W — Cy Whitmire 24 run (Beckwith kick)
W — Eli Whitmire 3 run (Beckwith kick)
W — Cy Whitmire 28 from Hunter Huddleston (Beckwith kick)
W — Cy Whitmire 54 run (Beckwith kick)
RUSHING — Tenino — Mac Shaw 27-76, Devante Harris 9-29, Zack Chamberlain 6-13; Woodland — Cy Whitmire 8-103, Hunter Huddleston 10-48, Eli Whitmire 13-44, Levi Leach 4-16, Team 3-(minus-34).
PASSING — Tenino — Mac Shaw 10-17-1-85; Woodland — Hunter Huddleston 3-5-0-67.
RECEIVING — Tenino — Justin Conklin 4-26, Dustin Hammond 2-23, Gabe Egge 1-21, Devante Harris 3-15; Woodland — Eli Whitmire 1-38, Cy Whitmire 2-29.