WASHOUGAL — The Washougal football team might be young, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t experience where it counts.
Take quarterback Holden Bea and receiver Sam Evers. The sophomores have been tossing footballs to each other for years.
Friday, the pair connected for three touchdown passes as Washougal rolled over Woodland 41-0 on Friday at Fishback Stadium.
“Since middle school we’ve been best friends,” Evers said. “He used to throw me touchdowns in seventh and eighth grade. It’s growing. It’s just the start of it.”
Evers hauled in touchdown passes of 43 and 21 yards as Washougal sprinted to a 21-0 first-quarter lead. He added an 18-yard touchdown in the third quarter, one of four TD passes by Bea.
“We’ve known each other since third grade and always wanted to be great,” Bea said of Evers.
Washougal’s season began with two non-league losses in which the Panthers were outscored 71-12. A team made of mostly juniors and sophomores took its lumps.
Washougal approached Friday’s 2A Greater St. Helens League opener like a fresh start. The Panthers put their best paw forward, forcing seven turnovers and outgaining Woodland 333-161.
“We’re young, but we’re learning,” Bea said. “The first two games were rough, but we got better. We just proved that we can be as good as the best teams in the league.”
A bright spot for Woodland (0-3, 0-1) was its pass rush. The Beavers sacked Bea four times in the first half, including one that forced a Woodland fumble recovery.
Fast start – Liam Atkin wasted no time getting Washougal on the board. The running back broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage.
“It gave so much confidence to our team,” Bea said. “We have a really young team, so it really helps to have a big score in the first quarter. That really blossomed into the W.”
Turnovers into points – Three plays after Carson Morris hauled in an interception, Washougal made Woodland pay. Bea found Evers for a 21-yard touchdown, his second TD catch of the game, to give the Panthers a 21-0 lead.
Driving it home – Garrett Mansfield wouldn’t be denied. The Washougal running back ran over a would-be tackler after catching a screen pass, then found the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown. The score put Washougal up 34-0 late in the third quarter.
Holden Bea – The Washougal quarterback started hot, completing eight of his first nine passes. The sophomore finished 18 for 23 with 257 yards.
Jayson Graham – The defensive back had two of Washougal’s three first-half interceptions. The first came in the end zone after Woodland had driven 74 yards to inside Washougal’s 15, setting up their best scoring chance.
Carson Morris – The receiver caught a 40-yard pass to set up Washougal’s second touchdown. He also had an interception, which set the stage for Washougal’s third TD.
WASHOUGAL 41, WOODLAND 0
Woodland 0 0 0 0—0
Washougal 21 0 13 7—41
WA – Liam Atkin 61 run (Colby Johnson kick)
WA – Sam Evers 43 pass from Holden Bea (Johnson kick)
WA – Evers 21 pass from Bea (Johnson kick)
WA – Evers 18 pass from Bea (kick blocked)
WA – Garrett Mansfield 31 pass from Bea (Johnson kick)
WA – Will Cooper 6 run (Johnson kick)
RUSHING – Woodland: Dalton Beassie 27-72, Brett Martynowicz 1-0. Washougal: Liam Atkin 3-88, Holden Bea 5-(minus-13), Garrett Mansfield 4-2, Will Cooper 8-39, Team 2-(minus-40).
PASSING – Woodland: Brett Martynowicz 8-25-4-89. Washougal: Holden Bea 18-23-0-257.
RECEIVING – Dalton Beassie 2-10, Justin Philpot 4-60, Oniver Mendez 2-15. Washougal: Sam Evers 5-100, Matt Brown 5-29, Thomas Brown 2-23, Garrett Mansfield 1-31, Carson Morris 1-40, Will Cooper 1-16, Owyn Watts 1-11, Rantin Reynolds 1-5, Liam Atkin 1-3.