Friday, September 30, 2022
Sept. 30, 2022

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Spudders deploy Abrams to get big win over Washougal

Running back pounds out 188 yards, two TDs

By , Columbian Sports Editor
Published:

WASHOUGAL — Hunter Abrams has both the name and the physique of a tank.

Friday the 5-foot-9, 210 pound running back helped Ridgefield win a war of attrition, beating Washougal 24-21 in a crucial 2A Greater St. Helens League game at Fishback Stadium.

Abrams carried the ball on 39 of Ridgefield’s 55 offensive plays. He gained 188 yards and had two touchdowns.

Like the U.S. Army’s Abrams tanks, the senior wasn’t dented by all the pounding.

“I’m a little bit tired, but it was worth it,” Abrams said. “I’m feeling great. I’m so happy for all the guys and all the work we’ve done.”

When Abrams wasn’t churning up the turf, Trey Knight was gunning for Washougal’s ballcarriers.

The senior defensive end, in his first season of high school football, made two crucial plays to help Ridgefield hang on to its 24-21 lead.

With 6:20 to play, Washougal had driven to Ridgefield’s 9-yard line. But Knight hit quarterback Dalton Payne on his blind side, forcing a fumble that Ridgefield recovered.

Washougal mounted one final desperate drive, reaching midfield after Jakob Davis hauled in a 30-yard catch on 4th and 27.

But Knight would sack Payne again two plays later, forcing a 4th and long with 27 seconds left. Washougal’s final pass fell incomplete.

“Trey is one of my best friends,” Abrams said of Knight, who is one of the nation’s best high school track and field throwers. “It has been a blast to play with him. He’s an athlete. He makes big plays.”

Knight said the entire team feeds off of Abrams.

“That kid is crazy, he’s a freak of nature,” Knight said. “What he does is incredible.”

With the win, Ridgefield improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the tight 2A GSHL. Washougal is 2-3 overall and 1-1 in a league where all teams except Hockinson have at least one loss.

Key moments

• On Washougal’s final drive of the first half, Brevan Bea took a hard shot to the ribs while catching a pass over the middle. He would not return in the second half, leaving the Panthers without their leading tackler and dual-threat rusher/receiver.

• The eventual winning touchdown came after Ridgefield converted a third and 20 from its own 40. Luke Price found Aidan Hundt over the middle for a 37 yard gain. Several plays later, Price gave Ridgefield a 24-21 lead on a 2-yard QB keeper on 4th and 1.

• Leading 24-21, Ridgefield faced fourth and 3 at the Washougal 42 with 3:20 left. Abrams gained four yards up the middle to extend the drive. Though Ridgefield would miss a 32-yard field goal attempt, the Spudders ran the clock down to 1:43 and forced Washougal to burn its timeouts.

• In the final minute of the first half, Washougal was drove to Ridgefield’s 12 yard line. But Tanner Roberts came up with the Spudders’ second interception of the half with 13 seconds to play, allowing Ridgefield to take its 10-7 lead and momentum into halftime.

Key players

Dalton Payne — The Washougal quarterback threw for 347 yards, completing 28 of 38 passes. Payne entered Friday sixth-best among area quarterbacks in passing yardage with 746.

Gavin Multer — The Washougal running back scored both of the Panthers’ touchdowns in the second half. He broke a 44-yard run to give Washougal a 13-10 lead midway through the third quarter. Then, after Ridgefield took a 17-13 lead, he returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

Quotable

“We’ve wiped the slate clean. The years past are gone. We’re playing Ridgefield football. This is how it’s going to be.” – Ridgefield running back Hunter Abrams.

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