JOYCE — Tobias Croy piled up 296 rushing yards and scored on explosive plays from 71 and 66 yards out to lift Neah Bay to a 54-14 nonleague football win over Crescent.
Croy added two fumble recoveries and three tackles on defense.
“He worked hard in the offseason,” Red Devils coach TJ Greene said of Croy. “He started right at the end of that state loss to Odessa [in 2018] and he hit the weight room and did speed training.
“He’s reading the holes better this year. He has a couple of years of experience and he’s not second-guessing his front line. He has a good front line in front of him and he has a lot of faith in those guys [O’Shea Wachendorf, Malcom Lovik, and Aric Lyons].”
A close game through the first quarter — the Red Devils and Loggers each picked up early defensive stops inside the red zone — the momentum of Monday’s contest swung when Crescent senior quarterback/linebacker and captain Eric Emery dislocated his knee while intercepting a Neah Bay pass.
“Eric was a key player in that game and I think if he had played the full game it would have been a different outcome,” Loggers coach Brian Shimko said. “It was a defensive battle early in the first quarter when he got injured.”
Emery has dislocated his knee before, including in Crescent’s 2018 season opener. He returned after missing some games.
“He was taken to the ER and they popped it back in place. There was no swelling and they were surprised how easily it re-set,” Shimko said.
“He called me this morning and said ‘Hey, I’m putting weight on it, I’m good to go,’ but I told him, ‘No, you should stay home from practice today.’ We hope to get him back later on this season.”
Neah Bay came into the game with injuries to the first two quarterbacks on its depth chart in Meric Soeneke (shoulder) and Zandel Aguirre (broken arm), both of whom were hurt in practices.
Injuries have bitten the Red Devils the past few seasons, and hit the quarterback position especially hard.
“We were on our third QB again before starting the first game,” Greene said.
“Tyrone Chambers our third QB took care of the ball, did what he needed to do and made a couple of plays on his own,” Greene said. “A couple of good passes and a first-down run that was pretty important for us.”
Greene said Soeneke should be back soon.
“Meric Soeneke is healing nicely, he suited up against Crescent but didn’t play,” Greene said. “He was more of a game-time decision. Zandel, that’s a tough loss. He was working hard and looking good for us.”
Greene said junior Robert Richardson played well at fullback and linebacker. He totaled eight rushes for 60 yards and three TDs and led the Red Devils in tackles with 12.
“Robert Richardson, that was his first time at fullback,” Greene said. “He’s more of a tailback, he has a little bit of speed on his own. Defensively, at linebacker he had a real solid game and led us in tackles.”
And freshman Julian Carrick was impressive at cornerback for Neah Bay.
He picked off a pass and scored on a 54-yard interception return.
“Julian had a great week of practice and got that starting spot at the corner position,” Greene said. We hope to build on that game, it was a good performance as a freshman.”
Crescent shifted gears when Eric Emery went out, moving his younger brother Brayden to quarterback and Wyatt Lee to tailback.
Lee totaled 105 rushing yards on 29 carries, Shimko said.
Brayden Emery scored two touchdowns for the Loggers, a 25-yard run and a 40-yarder.
“Wyatt Lee was our guy running the ball,” Shimko said. They couldn’t stop us down the middle those two drives [late in the game]. “The biggest thing for me in [non-league] is figuring stuff out and then learning and adjusting.”
Neah Bay has a new offensive coordinator this season and he may look a little familiar.
After a one-season break from the Red Devils’ sidelines, former four-time state champion head coach Tony McCaulley has re-joined the team as offensive coordinator.
Neah Bay piled up 397 rushing yards in Monday’s game — the power run game a staple of McCaulley’s championship tenure.
“It’s great to have him back,” Greene, who served as McCaulley’s defensive coordinator on the title teams said. “He came in the offseason and said he was available to volunteer as a coach and I said I had a perfect spot for him as our offensive coordinator.”
Too bad for Crescent and it’s coaching staff.
Loggers coach Brian Shimko said he ran into McCaulley this summer after Shimko learned McCaulley was coming back to coach at Neah Bay.
“We had a good talk and I joked with him, ‘Your parents live right by me out in Joyce, you could have come out and coached with us if you wanted to get back out there,’” Shimko said.
“He just laughed and said, ‘They’d kill me.’”
No Neah Bay/LC game
Neah Bay was scheduled to play an 8-man/11-man combo game against Class 1A Lynden Christian this week, but injuries to important Red Devils caused a cancellation of the game.
“We didn’t feel that it’s safe to play 11-man with only 15 or so healthy players,” Greene said.
“It’s too bad, we were looking forward to a good challenge. They have a number of good athletes.”
Neah Bay 54, Crescent 14
Neah Bay 8 16 22 8 — 54
Crescent 0 0 0 14 — 14
NB—Richardson 20 run (Tyree run)
NB—Richardson 1 run (Tyree run)
NB—Croy 66 run (Bowechop from Chambers)
NB—Tyree 9 pass from Chambers (PAT failed)
NB—Carrick 54 interception (Croy run)
NB—Croy 71 run (Richardson run)
NB—Richardson 28 run (Bowechop run)
C—B. Emery 25 run (B. Emery)
C—B. Emery 40 run (PAT failed)
Rushing—NB: Croy 18-296, Richardson 8-60, Chambers 1-0, Tyree 7-26, Bowechop 6-11, Carrick 1-4. C: W. Lee 29-105, B. Emery 16-121, E. Emery 3-8, Treadway 2-1.
Passing—NB: Chambers 3-6-15, TD, INT; Tyree 1-1-20. C: B. Emery 4-7-73, INT, E. Emery 1-1-15.