NAPAVINE — Kalama wanted revenge, senior Hunter Griggs said.
Sean McDonald added; “Any time a team comes out and drops 40 on you twice in a row, you’re going to have a chip on your shoulder.”
Consider it a challenge met.
The Chinooks’ defense stymied a potent Napavine attack for 47 minutes Saturday night, and then when it needed to step up again in overtime, it put its cards on the table and had its best moment in what was nothing short of a spectacular night.
Alex Dyer punched in a run from 3 yards out and then Griggs intercepted a Dawson Stanley pass in the first overtime to seal the No. 2-ranked Chinooks’ 14-8 win over the No. 1 Napavine Tigers.
“I just dropped back and picked it,” Griggs said. “It was unreal. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Kalama’s defense came up with four interceptions, Dyer threw for 226 yards and a score and Tucker Wetmore caught five passes for 83 yards in the battle of Class 2B’s top two teams.
As expected, the game was filled with tension. Kalama lost to the Tigers 49-6 and 41-6 a season ago. Saturday night was an entirely different story.
And it showed early, as the Chinooks’ limited Napavine to just 126 yards in the first half, as Tucker Wetmore picked up the game’s first interception and Alex Dyer found Jacob Herz wide open for 21 yards with 2 minutes, 25 seconds left in the half to give the Chinooks an 8-0 lead at the break.
KC Larranaga grabbed an interception when Sutton Moon batted a ball up in the air and Brennon Vance made a diving pick in the third quarter.
“I can’t explain how much I’m proud right now,” McDonald said. “We just played our game, stuck to our base rules and we just have a bunch of dudes that can play defense really well.”
But the Chinooks also squandered chances to take a bigger lead, with penalties biting them once they reached the red zone on three separate occasions.
So when Napavine got the ball with 3:04 left in the game, the door was open for the top-ranked Tigers to tie the game.
An eight-play, 52-yard drive ensued, as Stanley found Jordan Purvis down the sideline for a 28-yard score on fourth down. Needing a conversion to tie, Stanley scrambled to his right and was taken down, or so it appeared. As he was falling, he shovel passed to Cole Van Wyck in the end zone to make it 8-8 with 59 seconds left.
Alex Dyer crafted a five-play drive culminating in a 3-yard scamper to put the Chinooks ahead in the first overtime period, which gives both teams a chance from 25 yards out.
“He threw the ball really well,” McDonald said of his quarterback. “I can’t commend him enough. That last quarter was all him. He was calling the offense, which is huge as a coach.”
Then the defense got its chance to shine once again. Shine it did.
Griggs made his read, dropped into the flat and caught the ball straight into his chest to seal the win and likely a place at the top of the statewide rankings this week.
Kalama 14, Napavine 8 (OT)
K — Jacob Herz 21 pass from Alex Dyer (Corbyn Byrnes pass from Dyer)
N — Jordan Purvis 28 pass from Dawson Stanley (Cole VanWyck pass from Stanley)
K — Dyer 3 run (pass fail)
RUSHING — K: Corbyn Byrnes 5-14, Alex Dyer 7-34, Max Ross 2-1, Elijah Haynes 4-5. N: Dawson Stanley 19-86, Noah Lantz 9-63, Cole VanWyck 10-29, Randy Kinswa 1-4, Draven Riddle 1-12.
PASSING — K: Alex Dyer 19-36-2-226. N: Dawson Stanley 3-16-2-21, Randy Kinswa 4-7-1-50.
RECEIVING — K: Jordan Purvis 4-62, Noah Lantz 1-15, Alex Goana 1-6.