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QUILCENE — The Quilcene Rangers won their Northwest Football League division championship by pounding Evergreen Lutheran 68-28 at their homecoming game Saturday.
The Rangers won their fifth game in a row after opening the season at 0-3, and captured the South Division by going 4-0 in league. They are 5-3 on the year.
“It was an all-around great game for us,” Quilcene coach Nic Dahl said.
They were also nervous going into the game that would determine the division crown in front of their homecoming crowd, Dahl added.
But that nervous energy didn’t last long when on the very first play of the game, all-around star Jacob Pleines intercepted the ball and ran it back 60 yards for a pick-six and a quick 6-0 lead.
The Rangers easily rolled after that, leading 44-12 at halftime and never looking back.
Evergreen Lutheran fell to 2-2 in league and 2-5 overall.
Now Quilcene has a bye week and then will take on Lummi in a playoff game in two weeks on Nov. 2 of Nov. 3.
The winner of that game earns an automatic No. 2 seed into the state playoffs while the loser will be in a playoff game against either the No. 1 or No. 2 team from District 4.
The Rangers should be completely healthy by the Lummi game with senior running back and defensive back Josh Steele expected back by then.
Quilcene has been playing without Steele the past three weeks because of a fractured rib.
Steele was supposed to miss four weeks and could be cleared to play against Lummi in two weeks.
“Steele is a big part of our team,” Dahl said.
Scoring in Saturday’s game was spread out between three players with Pleines a part of five touchdowns, Josh King a part of four scores and Eddie Perez running for three touchdowns.
Besides his interception return for a score, Pleines also caught two scoring passes from King, threw a TD pass to King and ran the ball in once.
King, meanwhile, threw the two scoring strikes to Pleines, caught one and he also ran the ball in for another score.
The longest scoring play of the game was a 68-yard bomb thrown by Pleines to King that made the score 14-0 after Perez ran the ball in on the two-point conversion.
Both of King’s TD throws to Pleines came on running plays, according to Dahl.
“We have different type of formations that we use to do what is best for that situation,” Dahl said.
Pleines lines up as a tight end on running plays, and is available to catch the ball in some situations, or he can block in others.
Evergreen Lutheran’s defense played right into Quilcene’s offensive hands for those plays.
“Evergreen’s defense was attacking the ball so hard that we knew [the King to Pleines pass plays] would work,” Dahl said.
The Rangers also made many good defensive plays.
Devin Greenwood had a game-high 14 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack while Pleines had 11 total tackles with the interception return for a score.
King ended up with nine tackles and a sack, while J.J. Smith contributed with eight tackles.
Now the Rangers can use the bye week to celebrate their five-game winning streak and prepare early for one of the top 1B teams in the state in the Lummi Blackhawks, who are 6-2 after losing to Neah Bay and a 1A team this season.
“It’s exciting,” Dahl said about the season.
“The kids are excited.”
Evergreen Lutheran 28
Evergreen 6 6 8 8— 28
Quilcene 22 22 16 8— 68
(Quilcene scores only)
Q—Jacob Pleines 60 interception return (run failed)
Q—Josh King 68 pass from Pleines (Eddie Perez run)
Q—Pleines 38 pass from King (King run)
Q—King 8 run (Perez run)
Q—Perez 42 run (King run)
Q—Perez 49 run (run failed)
Q—Pleines 21 run (Lucas Murphy run)
Q—Pleines 48 pass from King (King run)
Q—Perez 29 run (Devin Greenwood run)
Rushing— Q: Josh King 9-130, Eddie Perez 7-67, Jacob Pleines 5-57, Lucas Murphy 2-25.
Passing—Q: Jacob Pleines 4-10, 100 yards; Josh King 2-2, 86 yards.
Receiving—Q: Jacob Pleines 2-86, Josh King 2-86, Lucas Murphy 2-13, Tristan Williams 1-9.
Clallam Bay 40, Tulalip Heritage 30
MARYSVILLE — The Bruins snapped a four-game losing streak against the top teams in the Northwest Football League by beating the Hawks on the road Saturday at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Clallam Bay improved to 1-3 in league and 3-4 on the year while Tulalip fell to 3-4 overall.
The Hawks led 22-20 at halftime but the Bruins outscored them 20-8 in the second half to walk away with the league win.
“We started out quickly but our blocking let up on the line later in the first half,” Clallam Bay coach Cal Ritter said.
Ritter had a thing or two to say to his team at halftime.
“I told them that we have three seniors on the tam who have only six quarters of football left, and you have put in too much hard work all year to go out like this.
“The front line I want you to block at the start of the play and block, block, block until you hear the whistle.”
The line played much better in the second half to get the victory before having to face all-world Neah Bay in the final game of the season Friday night.
It will be Clallam Bay’s homecoming game against No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Neah Bay.
Standout running back Matt Mohr ran for three touchdowns and had 214 yards on the ground on 29 carries.
Mohr was back after missing last week’s Lummi game with an elbow injury.
The Bruins had two backs with more than 100 rushing yards as Calvin Ritter, the coach’s son, ran for 109 yards on 15 carries.
Also earning touchdown runs for Clallam Bay were Calvin Ritter, Casey Randall and Evan Messenger.
Clallam Bay 40, Tulalip 30
Clallam Bay 14 6 6 14— 40
Tulalip 0 22 0 8— 30
(Clallam Bay scores only)
CB—Matt Mohr 1 run (Kelly Gregory pass from Ryan Willis)
CB—Mohr 4 run (run failed)
CB—Evan Messenger 39 run (run failed)
CB—Casey Randall 17 run (run failed)
CB—Mohr 39 run (Calvin Ritter pass from Willis)
CB—Calvin Ritter 17 run (run failed)
Rushing— CB: Matt Mohr 29-214, Calvin Ritter 15-109, Casey Randall 11-76, Ryan Willis 6-45, Evan Messenger 1-39, Austin Ritter 214.
Passing—CB: Ryan Willis 5-6, 55 yards.
Receiving—CB: Matt Mohr 2-27, Austin Ritter 1-25, Calvin Ritter 1-8.