A victory delayed is still a victory cherished.
That was Columbia River’s outlook after Friday’s 16-7 win over Woodland at Kiggins Bowl.
Despite starting their season 0-3, or perhaps because of that, the Rapids were all smiles after their first taste of victory this season.
“All the work we put in during the offseason is finally paying off,” River quarterback Adam Watts said. “We shot ourselves in the foot and started off slow this season. We should be 2-2 or 3-1 right now.”
Watts ran for a 15-yard touchdown and led an offense that, while amassing just 172 yards, committed no turnovers.
Defensively, the Rapids allowed just 181 yards and forced two turnovers.
“We were just going hard and flying around,” said River linebacker Kaden MacDonald. “We had 11 hats on the ball every play. It was an aggressive mentality on defense. That’s why we were so successful.”
MacDonald also rushed for a 26-yard touchdown with 4:33 to play. It gave River a 16-7 lead one drive after Woodland pulled within 9-7.
Now 1-1 in the 2A Greater St. Helens League, River can look to build momentum after its first win.
“We have to limit mistakes, especially on offense,” Watts said. “The defense played very well tonight. I’m proud of them.”
Woodland (0-4, 0-2) was led by Dalton Beassie, who rushed 23 times for 97 yards and a 9-yard touchdown.
Threat denied — Columbia River’s defense turned Woodland away at the end zone in the final minute of the first half. With the ball at the 7, the Beavers tried two passes inside the final 12 seconds – one was caught out of bounds and the other was broken up by Victor Flores. That led to a missed 23-yard field goal on the half’s final play.
Crucial catch — Watts’ 15-yard touchdown run, which put River ahead 9-0 in the third quarter, might not have happened without a big conversion on third-and-nine. Watts found sophomore Thomas Blau, who made a 32-yard catch along the sideline while falling backward at Woodland’s 23 yard line.
“We worked on that all offseason, just a back-shoulder throw,” Watts said of the game’s longest play. “He made a great catch and came down with it.”
Costly penalty — Woodland tried an onside kick after Beassie’s touchdown cut River’s lead to 9-7 with 6:22 to play. The Beavers were flagged for a personal foul for a late hit after the Rapids recovered. That allowed River to start at Woodland’s 40 and score soon after.
Jacobi Fobbs — The River junior had two big plays to set up the only points of the first half. First, he intercepted a tipped pass at Woodland’s 30 yard line. Shortly after, he caught a 14-yard pass on fourth-and-eight to retain the ball for River. Gage Newman would then hit a 36-yard field goal.
Kaden MacDonald — River retook control when MacDonald broke loose down the left sideline for a 26-yard touchdown. It put the Rapids up 16-7 with 4:33 left less than two minutes after Woodland pulled within 9-7.
“We were feeling like we had to pick ourselves up, get back after it and punch them in the throat,” MacDonald said. “I had some great blocks from my line on the left side.”
COLUMBIA RIVER 16, WOODLAND 7
Woodland 0 0 0 7—7
Col. River 0 3 6 7—16
CR – FG, Gage Newman 36
CR – Adam Watts 15 run (kick failed)
W – Dalton Beassie 9 run (Jacob Potts kick)
CR – Kaden MacDonald 26 run (Newman kick)
RUSHING – Woodland: Dalton Beassie 23-97, Elijah Andersen 3-8, Brett Martynowicz 4-2. Columbia River: Victor Flores 9-13, Kaden MacDonald 5-28, Levi Hongel 2-(minus-2), Adam Watts 5-46, Aiden Miller 3-(minus-4), Lukas Otoupal 2-1, Chris Parkin 1-12.
PASSING – Woodland: Brett Martynowicz 9-15-74-2. Columbia River: Adam Watts 6-10-78-0.
RECEIVING – Woodland: Dalton Beassie 4-12, Drew Burns 3-47, Ignacio De Jesus 1-7, Daeton Lofgren 1-8. Columbia River: Jacobi Fobbs 4-48, Casey Struckmeier 1-(minus-2), Thomas Blau 1-32.