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La Center finds old form, rebounds with 48-14 win over Seton Catholic

Wildcats coach John Lambert said week 6 loss "was a poor taste in our mouths"

By Andy Buhler, Columbian Staff Writer
Published: October 12, 2018, 11:21pm
2 Photos
La Center coach John Lambert addresses his Wildcats moments after a 48-14 win over Seton Catholic at La Center High School on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.
La Center coach John Lambert addresses his Wildcats moments after a 48-14 win over Seton Catholic at La Center High School on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (Andy Buhler/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

LA CENTER—La Center insists it was a couple small happenstance plays away from voiding its first league loss since 2015 last week. And coach John Lambert would be lying if he told you the loss didn’t sting.

“I was really wanting this day to come quickly,” Lambert said. “It was a poor taste in our mouths.”

The result, which came at the hands of Stevenson, was still fresh in Lambert’s mind heading into week 7.

That the historically dominant 1A Trico League team was struggling, admittedly, how could it not be?

The loss added extra fuel to La Center on Friday night, as the Wildcats deployed its patented dominant ground game and made few errors on its way to a 48-14 win over Seton Catholic at La Center High School.

And the Wildcats did so, by football standards, to perfection.

“We didn’t have any major blown assignments—nothing major,” running back Wyatt Dodson said. “Our O-line stepped up.”

Zero turnovers. A touchdown on each trip to the red zone. A dominant run game. A sparing, yet perfect pass game.

It’s the turnovers that did the Wildcats in during week 6 and, by comparison, what stood out most about Friday.

“It’s so simple, right? There’s not a better answer,” Lambert said. “If we would have held onto the ball last week a little bit more … being able to hold onto the ball, not turn it over, limit the big plays and just execute better, that made all the difference in the world.”

La Center improves to 2-1 in league and will play the remainder of its season hoping the two previously undefeated teams (Stevenson and Columbia-White Salmon, both 2-0) slip up to force a tie.

The win, dominant in all facets, felt like a return to normalcy for a Wildcats team that sought to show themselves what they were capable of in the remainder of league. They didn’t play angry, they put forth the sturdy, boringly efficient performance that built La Center into a league juggernaut in the first place.

“We’re tired of character-building losses,” Lambert said. “We want to move forward, and we have to at this point. We felt like this was more of a typical La Center game.”

La Center’s oft-relied upon run game was, again, the bedrock of its offense. All four first half touchdowns came on the ground, two from Dodson, two from quarterback Tom Lambert. Each finished with three on the night. The team ran for 278 yards—207 in the first half—and Dodson accounted for 131 of them on 17 carries, Tom Lambert had 90 on nine attempts.

What makes the Wildcat run game so hard to stop?

“Mainly just their size,” Seton safety/receiver Mikey Silveira Jr. said. “Their tackles, their guards. They kept stuffing the tackling guard.”

The Cougars’ first touchdown came late in the first quarter. After Dodson capped a six-play, 52-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown run to put La Center up 15-0, Seton went deep.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, backup quarterback Luke Price threw a dart to Silveira in tight coverage down the left sideline. It appeared Silveira caught the ball and landed a foot in bounds—“Tony Toe Tap,” as quarterback Tyvauntae Deloney called him—but he was ruled out of bounds (though video later proved he was in bounds).

“I was like, alright, that’s cool, I’ll just try and do it again,” Silveira said. “So they gave me a shot and we made the most of it.”

The next play, price went deep, and Silveira completed a catch-and-haul for a 71-yard touchdown.

For La Center, it was the lone blemish on a complete performance. The Wildcats triggered running clock with 5:38 left in the third quarter, when Tom Lambert hit Andrew Scott for a 25-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 48-7.

After a disappointing loss, and a week of focusing on themselves, the Wildcats feel they’re in the right direction.

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“I feel like we have to momentum,” Tom Lambert said. “We can keep it going forward. It’s just execution.”

Seton 7 0 0 7 – 14
La Center 15 14 14 0 – 48

First quarter
LC—Tom Lambert 2 run (Sean Fox kick)
LC—CJ Hamblin tackled after handoff in end zone for safety
LC—Wyatt Dodson 23 run (kick failed)
SC—Mikey Silveira Jr. 71 pass from Tyvauntae Deloney (Seth Moore kick)
Second quarter
LC–Dodson 3 run (Fox kick)
LC—Lambert 20 run (Fox kick)
Third quarter
LC—Lambert 4 run (Fox kick)
LC—Dodson 3 run (kick failed)
LCAndrew Scott 25 pass from Lambert (kick failed)
Fourth quarter
SC—Elijah Volk 1 run (Moore kick)

RUSHING — Seton Catholic: Tyvauntae Deloney 6-30, Taj Muhammad 4-4, CJ Hamblin 2-(-4), Mikey Silveira Jr. 1-3, Elijah Volk 13-67, Myles McGovern 1-(-3). La Center: Nic Budke 3-55, Wyatt Dodson 17-131, Irving Alvarez 3-0, Tom Lambert 9-90, Andrew Kaysar 1-2, Makai Rivers 1-(-5), Zachary Tyler 1-1, Bryten Schmidtz 1-5, Gavin Bishop 1-(-1).

PASSING — Seton Catholic: Tyvauntae Deloney 4-13-1-30, Luke Price 6-16-0-123. La Center: Tom Lambert 4-4-0-59.

RECEIVING — Seton Catholic: Mikey Silveira 7-119, Tyvauntae Deloney 2-24, Luke Pitzer 1-10. La Center: Andrew Scott 3-40, Jayden Schmitz 1-19.

Columbian Staff Writer