ABERDEEN — Neah Bay’s Rwehabura Munyagi Jr. accounted for seven touchdowns — three rushing and four passing — as the Red Devils overcame a sluggish start to beat Taholah 58-22, and qualify for the Class 1B State Quarterfinals.
Despite the wide margin of victory, coach Tony McCaulley thought his team was lackluster especially early. Taholah scored first in the game to take an 8-0 lead, and at one point, Neah Bay was ahead just 28-14 halfway through the second quarter before outscoring the Chitwins 30-8 the rest of the way to put the game away.
“I didn’t feel we played well. Our intensity was horrible. We were really flat, super flat,” said McCaulley.
“Taholah came to play, I give them credit,” he said.
“We won’t go any further in the playoffs if we play like that,’ McCaulley said. He felt Tommy Tyler played a strong game, but that the team overall needed better focus. Tyler had 16 tackles, including eight solo tackles. Nate Tyler also had a 75-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Munyagi was huge in the game, rushing for 164 yards on just 12 carries and passing for 151. He had touchdown runs of 87, 31 and 25 yards.
Cameron Buzzell caught three touchdown passes of 46, 37 and 13 yards and had 106 yards total receiving. Cole Svec also had 32 yards rushing and 43 receiving.
No. 2-ranked Neah Bay (9-1) next plays against No. 5 Tacoma Baptist (10-0) in the state quarterfinals. The Crusaders beat Crescent 69-36 to advance out of the Quad-District playoffs.
The game will be played either Friday or Saturday, likely in the Tacoma area.
Neah Bay 58, Taholah 22
Neah Bay 22 14 14 8 — 58
Taholah 8 6 8 0— 22
T—James 15 run (James run)
NB—Munyagi 87 run (Buzzell pass from Munyagi)
NB—Buzzell 37 pass from Munyagi (PAT failed)
NB—Nate Tyler 75 fumble reocvery (Svec pass from Munyagi)
NB—Buzzell 46 pass from Munyagi (PAT failed)
T—Jackson 2 run (PAT failed)
NB—Buzzell 13 pass from Munyagi (Svec run)
NB—Buzzell 9 pass from Munyagi (PAT failed)
T—Anderson 69 pass from James (Cain run)
NB—Munyagi 31 run (Munyagi run)
NB—Munyagi 25 run (Svec run)
Rushing—NB: Munyagi 12-164, Buzzell 1-28, Svec 9-32, Tommy Tyler 4-14, Nate Tyler 4-25, Logan Halttunen 4-9.
Passing—NB: Munyagi 8-15-151, 4 TDs, Greene 1-3-7, 2 INTs.
Receiving—NB: Doherty 1-9, Buzzell 5-106, Svec 3-43.
La Center 28, Port Townsend 7
WOODLAND — Port Townsend ran into a powerful La Center team on the road in the first round of the Class 1A State playoffs, staying with the 10-1 Wildcats for a while, but falling 28-7.
“We battled hard, we just came up a little short,” said Redhawks first-year head coach Alex Heilig.
Sixth-ranked La Center (10-1) came into the game with some dominating wins. The Wildcats had six games with more than 40 points and beat Forks 66-12 in the first round of the playoffs. The Redhawks did well to contain this team, Heilig said.
“We did a good job of eliminating explosive plays. We did a good job eliminating the pass. It was just difficult to get [the defense] off the field on fourth down,” he said.
La Center’s Jeffrey Mayolo, Trico Offensive Player of the year with 1,300 yards rushing for the season, had 135 yards rushing in the game. The Wildcats overall had 300 yards rushing to the Redhawks’ 108.
The Redhawks’ Detrius Kelsall scored a touchdown on a 37-yard pass from Berkley Hill in the second quarter to make the score 21-7 at the half.
Port Townend freshman Noa Apker-Montoya had three interceptions in the game to run his total to 12 on the season. Heilig said the defensive line deserves some of the credit for those interceptions by putting pressure on the La Center quarterback.
It was a successful year for the Redhawks, who qualified for state with a 6-1 finish to the regular season and finished the season 7-4, earning the second seed to state out of the Nisqually-Olympic League with a 6-1 league record.
“You never want to end the season with a loss, it’s a little rough. We have some growth we have to do if we expect to be here this year,” Heilig said.
“If we want to beat these upper-echelon teams, we have to get to work right away in the weight room,” he said.
Tacoma Baptist 69, Crescent 36
UNIVERSITY PLACE — The Loggers played the Crusaders evenly, but were hurt by three critical turnovers in a wild 69-36 1B Quad-District playoff shootout.
“I thought we played great,” said coach Brian Shimko.
The turnovers, two fumbles, including one in the red zone, and a pick-six interception were the difference, according to Shimko.
The playoff loss in some ways showed how far the Loggers have come. Crescent played its season-opening game against Tacoma Baptist and only managed six points in a 56-6 loss. This time around, the Loggers gave the Crusaders everything they could handle.
“We ran the ball down their throat. We said, ‘here it is, stop it’. There just wasn’t enough time on the clock,” Shimko said.
Late in the third quarter, Crescent was behind only 39-28. The Crusaders scored 30 straight points to put the game away late with a 50-yard defensive TD the crucial play.
Crescent’s 36 points was the most scored against the undefeated Crusaders all year. In seven of their 10 victories, the Crusaders gave up fewer than 10 points.
If Crescent (5-5) could have won the game, the Loggers would have opened up the State 1B playoffs with a game against nearby rival Neah Bay,
That would have been special, Shimko said.
“I was hoping we could pull it out, we could’ve played Neah Bay,” he said.
Crescent ends its season 5-5.