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La Center shows off defense in 42-0 win

Wildcats clinch share of Trico title with victory

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The La Center Wildcats enter the field carrying the United States national flag at a football game in La Center Friday October 20, 2017.
The La Center Wildcats enter the field carrying the United States national flag at a football game in La Center Friday October 20, 2017. (Photo by Natalie Behring/ The Columbian) Photo Gallery

LA CENTER — A junior stole the show on Senior Night for the La Center football team.

Collin Namanny ran for 90 yards and a career-high three touchdowns Friday as the 10th-ranked Wildcats rolled to a 42-0 victory over Columbia-White Salmon to clinch a share of the Trico League championship.

Namanny stepped into the breach when the Wildcats’ leading rusher, Wyatt Dodson, went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter.

“I wasn’t expecting to get even close that amount of playing time,” said Namanny, who also had a sack in the third quarter. “But when times get hard, you fill in and do what you’ve got to do.”

La Center (6-2, 3-0 Trico) has won six straight after opening the season 0-2. The Wildcats, who have won or shared the league title six of the past seven seasons, can wrap up a second straight outright championship and the No. 1 playoff seed with a win next week at Castle Rock.

“I feel like if we keep the pedal down the way we’ve been doing, I don’t think there’s a team out there that can stop us,” Namanny said.

Senior Wyatt Siebert had a pair of sacks among his four tackles for loss to lead a Wildcats defense that held the Bruins (4-3, 2-2) to just 105 yards of total offense and had more takeaways (five) than first downs allowed (four).

“We wanted to stop the run early,” said Siebert, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound defensive end who now has 29 tackles for loss–including 12 sacks–this season. “We felt that they’d try to dominate us with the run game, and we wanted to make them try to beat us through the air.”

La Center coach John Lambert praised his team’s defensive effort as a whole but singled out Siebert. “Wyatt is really coming into his own this season,” Lambert said. “He’s playing with tremendous confidence right now.

Namanny got the Wildcats on the board on the game’s opening drive, capping a six-play drive with a 25-yard touchdown run on fourth down.

La Center, though, was stopped on fourth down on each of its next two possessions as it adjusted to Dodson’s absence. The junior went over 1,000 yards for the season before leaving the game when he was taken down inches short on a fourth-down run.

La Center finally took control midway through the second quarter. Namanny’s 6-yard TD run with 5:54 left in the quarter broke the ice, and the Wildcats scored on four of their next five possessions to build a 42-0 lead after three quarters.

“We had some near misses on passes, and our running game wasn’t as clean as we’d like it to be,” Lambert said. “But we want to work on all aspects of our game, and we thought this was a good game to do some different things.”

LA CENTER 42, COLUMBIA-WHITE SALMON 0

Columbia 0 0 0 0– 0

La Center 7 14 21 0–42

First quarter

LC–Collin Namanny 25 run (Sean Fox kick)

Second quarter

LC–Namanny 6 run (Fox kick)

LC–Namanny 3 run (Fox kick)

Third quarter

LC–Thomas Dreyer 12 run (Fox kick)

LC–Jackson Leslie 19 pass from Hayden Williamson (Fox kick)

LC–Tanner Rooney 8 run (Fox kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–C, Tylan Webster 8-35, Adam Goodwillie 4-(minus 14), Chandlor Bucklin 3-7, Trenton Howard 2-(minus 1), Dominic Raether 1-(minus 12), team 1-(minus 1). LC, Namanny 15-90, Wyatt Dobson 6-30, Th.Dreyer 5-49, Tom Lambert 6-13, Williamson 4-(minus 1), Bryce Campbell 4-9, Rooney 3-36, Evan Honore 1-10, Jack Hiller 1-(minus 2), Dayton Erickson 1-0, Nicolas Budke 1-4, Tucker Harrington 1-4, team 1-(minus 1).

PASSING–C, Goodwillie 6-15-3-79, Raether 0-3-1-0, Cesar Isordia 1-1-0-12. LC, Williamson 10-16-0-145.

RECEIVING–C, Bucklin 4-29, Howard 2-50, Bowen Durkee 1-12. LC, Th.Dreyer 4-36, Leslie 2-53, Honore 2-42, Tanner Dreyer 1-17, Namanny 1-(minus 3).

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