By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
MARYSVILLE — Neah Bay showed they aren’t ready to relinquish the top spot in the Northwest Football League with a 44-18 road takedown of the Tulalip Heritage Hawks on Friday.
“We aren’t quite ready to lay down in our own league and let teams take it from us,” Red Devils coach Tony McCaulley said. “I figured we would play better later in the season and its starting to come around for us.”
The Red Devils, hampered by injuries all season long, suffered another when Meric Soeneke was lost for the season with a broken ankle. Soeneke is Neah Bay’s third quarterback lost to injury this season.
“We have been injury plagued this year,” McCaulley said.
Soeneke left the game after rushing for 64 yards on seven carries and throwing a 7-yard TD pass to Leroy Greene.
Greene added three rushing touchdowns and gained 99 yards on 14 carries.
Isaiah Knaus led Neah Bay with 24 carries for 154 yards. He also completed three passes for 80 yards, all of them for touchdowns.
“Isaiah was huge for us offensively and defensively,” McCaulley said.
McCaulley said he was impressed with his defense, which allowed one long TD run in the first half and a late score when reserves were playing. Tulalip’s other score came on a kickoff return.
“Our defense played outstanding,” McCaulley said.
“Daniel Kilmer played tough for us, and Leroy, Jay Brunk and Billy Parkin all played good.
Neah Bay (2-0, 4-4) can clinch the league title when it hosts Lummi (1-1, 6-3) on Friday as part of a doubleheader in Clallam Bay. Clallam Bay will play the Lummi JV in a six-man game at 4 p.m. with the Red Devils and Blackhawks following around 6 p.m.
Neah Bay 44, Tulalip 18
Neah Bay 8 14 8 14 — 44
Tulalip 0 6 6 6 — 18
NB— L. Greene 7 pass from Soeneke (L. Greene run)
NB—L. Greene 39 run (Knaus run)
NB—L. Greene 3 run (run failed)
T—Hill-Thomas 52 run (run failed)
NB—L. Greene 5 run (Greene run)
T—Lukes 67 kick return (pass failed)
NB—Lyons 39 pass from Knaus (Greene run)
NB—Swan 25 pass from Knaus (run failed)
T—Jones-Smith 33 pass from Wyatt (run failed)
Rushing—NB: Knaus 24-154, Greene 14-99, Soeneke 7-64, Croy 5-32, Swan 2-15, Konda 2-(-4), Tyler 1-2.
Passing—NB: Soeneke 1-1-7, TD; Knaus 3-8-80, 3 TDs.
Receiving—NB: Croy 1-39, Swan 1-25, Greene 2-23.
Vashon 27, Port Townsend 21; 2 OT
VASHON — The Redhawks’ playoff hopes took a hard hit for the second straight week in a double overtime defeat at the hands of the Pirates.
Dylan Tracer scored on a 32-yard toss sweep in the first quarter.
Vashon took a 12-7 lead into the fourth quarter and kicked a 22-yard field goal that narrowly missed being blocked to open the final period.
The Redhawks missed out on one goal-line opportunity in the fourth, but stopped Vashon deep in its own territory on the ensuing Pirates’ possession.
A solid punt return by Nico Winegar put Port Townsend into good field position and Redhawks quarterback Noa Apker-Montoya found Cole Crawford all alone for a 22-yard TD with 40 seconds to play. Apker-Montoya tied the game at 15-all on the two-point conversion try and the game headed to overtime.
The Pirates scored on their first overtime possession on a controversial fourth-down play that appeared to feature two forward passes and which went unpenalized.
“That’s what we thought, too, and it looked like they had somebody down the field illegally,” Port Townsend coach Alex Heilig said.
Port Townsend answered with a 20-yard pass connection from Apker-Montoya to Winegar. But Winegar’s potential game-winning extra point was blocked and Vashon’s Connor Hoisington scored the winner on a 6-yard TD run.
“They just got him back from injury last week and he’s a pretty major difference maker for that team,” Heilig said.
Port Townsend (3-2, 3-5) now needs help to reach the state playoffs for the third straight season. The Redhawks sit third in the Nisqually-Olympic League standings, behind second-place Charles Wright (4-1, 5-2).
Port Townsend must hope Vashon (2-3, 2-6) can beat Charles Wright on Friday and Bellevue Christian can take down Klahowya (2-2, 2-5), as Vashon and Klahowya hold head-to-head tiebreakers over the Redhawks.
The Redhawks host No. 6 Cascade Christian in a senior night contest Friday.
Crescent 66, Oakville 30
OAKVILLE — Robert Cox returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and the Loggers cracked the Acorns in a nonleague contest Friday.
Crescent (0-2, 4-4) was able to rest some players ahead of Saturday’s important Northwest Football League game at home against Tulalip Heritage (1-1, 5-1). If the Loggers beat the Hawks and Neah Bay beats Lummi, Crescent, Tulalip and Lummi will be tied for the second and third seeds to the Quad-District playoffs.
“We got off to a good start and put up 22 points in the first quarter and 28 in the second,” Loggers coach Brian Shimko said.
“We rested a lot of guys, Noah Leonard didn’t play at all, and we rested our center and KC Spencer didn’t play in the fourth quarter.”
Cox also ran for 187 yards on five carries, including touchdown runs of 78 and 75 yards.
“He really did well for us,” Shimko said.
“Robert is quick and Oakville has big guys, they just couldn’t keep up with him. It seemed like every time he touched the ball he scored.”
Kyle Buchanan added 84 yards on four carries, including a 58-yard TD for Crescent and Spencer ran for 31 yards and tossed a 42-yard TD pass to Eric Emery.
Emery ran seven times for 85 yards and also completed 3 of 5 passes for 45 yards.
Charles Wright 37, Chimacum 6
PORT TOWNSEND — The Cowboys fell for the sixth straight game. Chimacum (0-5, 2-6) has a chance to avoid the Nisqually-Olympic League cellar when it visits Coupeville (1-4, 3-5) Friday.