Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
In the 1B state play-in game, Taholah whipped the Rangers 52-16 at Stewart Field in Aberdeen.
The Chitwins scored all of their 52 points before Quilcene reached the scoreboard as the Rangers’ offense struggled to get going.
“We were trying to establish the run because most of our pass plays come off play-action,” Quilcene coach Nic Dahl said.
“We just weren’t going forward.”
Dahl said the Taholah defenders were attacking from different angles than they had all year, giving more pressure from the outside than from the inside.
Quilcene’s points came on a 3-yard run from senior running back Eddie Perez with Jacob Pleines running in the two-point conversion, and a 39-yard pass from Lucas Murphy to Pleines that was followed by a Josh King conversion run.
For the Chitwins, brothers Justin and Keanu Curleybear caused fits for Quilcene’s defense.
Justin, a senior running back, ran for 247 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 4 of 6 passes for 65 yards and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Keanu, a freshman quarterback.
For the game, Keanu passed for 146 yards and three scores and ran for 53 yards and another touchdown.
The loss ends a season in which Quilcene (5-5) started slow before rolling to five straight victories and a Northwest Football League South Division title.
The Rangers will have seven seniors to replace next season: Josh Steele, Perez, Murphy, Greenwood, Svetich, Brandon Collins and Andres Fuentes.
In the closing moments of the game, Dahl put all of the seniors in the game — except Fuentes, who missed most of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament early in the season — including Steele, who was hurt earlier in the game.
They lose a number of starters, but the Rangers also have a lot coming back.
Headlining the returners is quarterback Pleines, who was the South Division second-team quarterback despite missing many games due to suspension and illness. Pleines was also named first-team defensive back.
Also returning are South Division first-teamers Josh King, J.J. Smith and James Hanson.
Dahl hopes that the Rangers’ playoff run, as well as their team chemistry, will encourage more students to join the football team next year.
“There are a bunch of kids that go to this school that should be playing football,” Dahl said.
Taholah 52, Quilcene 16
Quilcene 0 0 0 16— 16
Taholah 14 8 30 0— 52
Rushing— Q: Eddie Perez 9-15, Josh King 6-31, Jacob Pleines 6-51, Devon Greenwood 3-15, Lucas Murphy 1-4.
Passing—Q: Murphy 2-2, 59; Pleines 5-7-1, 67; King 0-3-2, 0.
Receiving—Q: Murphy 3-63, Pleines 2-59, J.J. Smith 1-40.
Tackles—Q: King 15, Greenwood 9, Smith 9, Tyson Svetich 8, Murphy 6.