Tuesday, April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021

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Kalama takes out frustrations on Adna in 52-0 win

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MONTESANO — As it turned out, Napavine coach Josh Fay spoke prophecy last week, wrapping up his postgame interview after Kalama lost to the Tigers to open their season last week with a laugh as he noted, “I wouldn’t want to be Adna.”

A week after the sour first note to the season, Kalama came out angry, and Adna had the misfortune to be in the way, as the Chinooks dominated start-to-finish in a 52-0 domination.

“We did the little things right,” Kalama coach Sean McDonald said afterward. “They remembered, and they didn’t like losing, that’s for sure.”

Whatever rough spots the Chinooks had last Saturday — the run defense, the push up front, the turnover battle — were absolutely nowhere to be seen Saturday at Jack Rottle Field.

Defensively, McDonald said the coaching staff mixed up the defensive line and simplified the system, and the moves paid dividends with a shutout. The Pirates finished with 23 rushing yards on 20 carries and 82 total yards of offense, and turned the ball over three times before they got the ball past the Kalama 40-yard line.

“All practice, we had good discipline, all mad that we lost,” junior Bradey O’Neil said. “It felt good to come out here and get a W.”

Meanwhile, a week after rushing for just one yard on two carries, O’Neil racked up 55 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, forcing the Pirates’ focus away from junior quarterback Jackson Esary and letting him dissect the Adna defense from a cleaner pocket.

“I’d love to be 50-50 all the time,” McDonald said. “Obviously it doesn’t happen like that most of the time. But if we can run the ball like we did tonight, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

From the opening kick, it was all Chinooks. Adna’s first snap of the game ended up on the turf on a botched handoff, and the Kalama defense fell on it, setting up the offense just outside the red zone. Four plays later, Esary cut back across the formation on a designed run, breaking into the end zone to give Kalama a lead that would only get bigger.

Adna started to work its way down the field on its next possession with three straight passing plays and a Ryan Young quarterback run. The next time the Pirates tried to hand the ball off, though, it went about as well as the first, with the ball ending up right back on the turf in front of O’Neil.

“My teammate dove for it, and he let it go, so I was like, ‘I’ve gotta grab that,’” O’Neil said.

He grabbed it, stayed on his feet, and saw nothing but turf in front of him, taking it back 58 yards to the house.

Kalama made it three takeaways on three Adna possessions, with Max Cox picking off Young and setting Esary and the offense up with another short field. This time, it took Kalama seven plays to go 50 yards, with O’Neil punching it in from five yards out, and the route was on.

At the end of the first quarter, Kalama was up 30-0. O’Neil had three touchdowns, Esary’s only incompletion came on a deep throw downfield when two wide open receivers ran into each other in the end zone, and the beatdown was just getting started.

“We couldn’t be stopped,” O’Neil said. “They had nothing they could do against us. Jackson’s hucking it, they can’t keep him in the pocket. Our line is dominating up front again. We just played an all-around good game. One of our best games we’ve played.”

In the second quarter, Esary got into the scoring fun with his arm, floating a perfect fade over the top to Max Cox, who out-jumped his man in single-coverage to make it 38-0 after the two-point conversion.

Cox finished with six catches for 88 yards to lead the Chinooks.

“I’ve only played quarterback three years; Max has always been my go-to receiver,” Esary said. “Max is just the fastest and the most athletic kid on the field at all times. One-on-one, I’m taking Max over anybody, any time.”

For his part, Esary finished the first half on 8-of-10 passing for 152 passing yards. He only needed to throw the ball four times in the second half, wrapping up his day with 167 yards through the air before McDonald brought in Ethan Brightbill to lead the freshmen unit in garbage time .

Before that, though, Esary put one more play on the highlight reel on the Chinooks’ first drive of the third quarter, breaking through tackles just past the line of scrimmage before hitting the sideline and cutting back across the middle of the field for a 58-yard touchdown scamper.

“We came out executing fine, working on what we had been working on in all week,” Esary said. “We practiced better, so we came out and executed. We ran our stuff and ran it good.”

That score made it 44-0 Kalama, and started the running clock for the last 21 minutes of the game. The Kalama starters still had time for one more touchdown, with O’Neil getting to the corner from 17 yards out to push it to 52-0 late in the third quarter.

The running clock, combined with the younger players replacing the starters in the fourth quarter, slowed the scoring down for Kalama. But the Chinooks came off the field satisfied that after last week’s downer, they had put the C2BL back on notice.

“I’m not losing anymore,” Esary said. “We’re winning three more games.”

Kalama (1-1) is scheduled to host Toledo next Friday.

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