SPORTS: Montesano home wreckers at Forks homecoming game

FORKS — The scheduler did the Forks Spartans few favors, and neither did the Montesano Bulldogs.

Playing before a packed homecoming crowd at Spartan Stadium on Friday night, the Spartans became the latest victims of the SWL-Evergreen Division juggernauts.

Montesano rolled for 491 total yards and eight touchdown drives on the way to a 55-8 rout of Forks.

It was the second-ranked Bulldogs’ 37th straight league victory, and eighth in a row for Montesano coach Terry Jensen against his former team.

Hardly the sort of patsy one might expect for a homecoming opponent.

“You don’t plan that one,” first-year Forks coach Mark Feasel said. “In fact, you look for every loophole in the book trying to get around that one.

“They are a great team. They are very well coached and they come at you. Those guys are a unit. They play as a unit and they never stop.”

The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Forks (2-2 in league, 2-4 overall), which could at least take solace in the fact that it was the second team to score a touchdown on Montesano (4-0, 6-0) this season.

Unfortunately for Forks, Andrew Weltz’ 10-yard scoring pass to Braden Decker didn’t come until its final drive of the game.

“The boys were up to the challenge, they felt good going into the game. I loved how they responded,” Feasel said.

“We had some big plays, some big hits. We just had a heck of a time, like everybody else does, scoring and moving the ball on them.”

Indeed, outside of that final drive, Forks had few offensive highlights.

A switch to a shotgun formation did little to help a Spartan offensive line that struggled to keep Montesano’s 3-3 defensive front out of the backfield.

The Bulldogs dropped Forks for a loss of yardage 11 times while limiting the team to just 62 total yards.

Running back Sergio Chase (five carries, 12 yards) and receiver Tyler Penn (one carry, four yards) were the only Spartan runners to manage a positive rushing total against the Bulldogs.

And Forks quarterback Brady Castellano was under pressure all game, leading to a 2-of-14 showing for 29 yards and two interceptions.

“They pressured Brady a lot,” said Tyler Penn, who led the Spartans with 51 yards of offense. “Obviously, we couldn’t really do anything because there was so much pressure on him.”

On the other side, Montesano moved the ball with efficiency, scoring on eight of 10 possessions.

Quarterback Matthew Jensen completed his first eight throws as the Bulldogs used the pass to open up running lanes for running backs Evan Truax and Stefan Green.

The junior signal caller set the tone by finding receivers Joe Benedict and Kyle Black on go-routes for 37- and 22-yard hookups — the latter for a TD — on the team’s first two offensive plays of the game.

Montesano defensive back Austin Baker intercepted Castellano on Forks’ next drive, and the Bulldogs marched 96 yards on 11 plays, overcoming 30 yards in penalties in the process, for another score.

Although Forks was able to stop the Bulldogs on their third drive, they would score on their next three possessions after that to take a 34-0 halftime lead that held up.

“We thought that they were going to try to load up the box and try to stop the run, so we thought we’d come out and throw the ball a little bit,” Terry Jensen said.

“That’s not usually our plan, but it was tonight.”

Montesano finished with 316 yards rushing on the game, with Truax accounting for 116 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Green added 58 yards and two scores on 13 carries.

Matthew Jensen racked up 175 yards through the air on 10-of-13 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Benedict had three catches for 100 yards and one touchdown as his favorite target.

“I thought they honestly were going to come out and run the ball really, really well, but they passed the ball really, really well,” Penn said.

“They spread us out and then, of course, they would give it to that really good fullback of theirs and he was a hard guy to tackle.”

Both teams emptied their benches after Montesano triggered the 40-point running clock three minutes into the second half.

Thanks to Weltz’ showing on the final drive — the sophomore completed 3-of-4 passes for 43 yards — the Spartans were able to at least come away with one positive offensively.

Weltz also completed a pass to Chase for a two-point conversion.

“I thought [the Spartans] played hard, they competed and played hard,” said Jensen, now 9-1 against Forks since taking over at Montesano.

“I think they are going in the right direction. They are young, with a new coach. Gotta give them some time and build a program.”

Montesano 55, Forks 8

Montesano 14 20 14 7— 55

Forks 0 0 0 8— 8

First Quarter

M—Black 22 pass from Jensen (Mendenhall kick)

M—Green 1 run (Mendenhall kick)

Second Quarter

M—Truax 6 run (Mendenhall kick)

M—Green 1 run (kick failed)

M—Benedict 33 pass from Jensen (Mendenhall kick)

Third Quarter

M—Baker 3 run (Mendenhall kick)

M—Mendenhall 2 run (Mendenhall kick)

Fourth Quarter

M—Bruner 10 run (Mendenhall kick)

F—Decker 10 pass from Weltz (Chase pass from Weltz)

Individual Stats

Rushing— F: Chase 5-12, WhiteEagle 7-(minus 11), Castellano 5-(minus 12), Salazar 1-(minus 3). M: Truax 14-116, Green 13-58, Mendenhall 5-39, Jensen 6-35, Baker 7-23, Bruner 2-16, Sampair 3-18, Ibabao 3-11.

Passing—F: Castellano 2-14-2, 29; Weltz 3-4-0, 43. M: Jensen 10-13-0, 175.

Receiving—F: T. Penn 3-47, J. Penn 1-15, Decker 1-10. M: Benedict 3-100, Black 2-37, Truax 3-23, Baker 2-15.

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