KALAMA — Woodland wasn't known for it's ability to run the ball last season.
But on Friday against Kalama, last season gave way to this season, and the Beavers ran the ball to their hearts' delight in a 48-33 victory over the Chinooks.
Woodland brothers Cy and Eli Whitmire racked up 302 yards and four scores on a whopping 60 combined carries. Eli, a freshman, torched Kalama for 170 yards and three touchdowns, while his junior sibling tallied 94 yards and a score.
"We worked harder in the off-season on establishing the run," said Cy Whitmire, who also had two interceptions and returned a fumble 58 yards for a score on defense. "We worked hard. Our line got in the weight room. Everybody was just working hard all summer."
"I came out thinking we were going to have a struggle," Eli Whitmire added. "But we came out first drive and just smashed it down their throats."
The Spitfire Whitmires owed much of the credit to the Beavers' massive offensive line, which victimized a much smaller Chinooks defensive front all game.
Woodland's line five averages 225 pounds. Kalama's defensive line averages 204.
"They were a lot bigger than us," said Chinooks' first-year coach Eric Boswell. "We tried everything, putting eight or nine guys in the box. We just could not stop their running. They were just bigger than us, a little more physical than us."
Woodland had the size, but Kalama had the speed. The Chinooks averaged 45 yards per scoring play, including jaunts of 55 yards (Jake Clizbe), 56 yards (Ethan Oomittuk) and 67 yards (Austin Johnson).
To counteract that speed, Woodland coach Mark Greenleaf relied on the run game to eat up both yards and clock. It achieved both, gaining a whopping 24 first downs.
"We had to control the clock," Greenleaf said. "That was our whole deal. Slow down the clock and make them try to beat us with the big plays. And they almost did."
But the big plays ran dry for Kalama in the second half. Despite never leading, the Chinooks' electrifying offense kept them within one point at halftime, trailing 28-27.
The Chinooks actually outgained the Beavers on the ground, running 30 times for 359 yards and five scores. But Kalama squandered crucial scoring opportunities in the second half.
After Oomittuk took a quarterback keeper 33 yards to the Woodland 13 midway through the fourth quarter, Kalama seemed poised to overcome a 48-33 deficit. But the Chinooks found a way to turn it over on downs, falling half a yard shy of the first down marker on another Oomittuk sneak.
On Kalama's next drive, Oomittuk evaded the rush to unleash a bomb for wide receiver Tanner Vossen, only to see it drop through his hands.
"(Against Woodland,) we've got to score every time we get the ball," Boswell said. "The last three possessions, we just didn't."
With the Beavers running so much, some may wonder what happened to 2010 all-league receiver Nick Fuller. Austin Johnson certainly did.
"I expected them to pass a lot more with him," Johnson said.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Fuller still got his, however, pulling in a pair of 25-yard touchdown catches from senior quarterback Adam Shoup.
"Now he's waiting his turn," Greenleaf said. "We're trying to go ahead and establish our running game, which will open up other things down the road."
That road looks to be different than the painful one Woodland traveled in 2010, when it went 0-9.
"It's a lot of redemption as far as ourselves getting those wins that escaped several times last year in the fourth quarter," Greenleaf said.
Beavers 48, Chinooks 33
Woodland 7 21 13 7 - 48
Kalama 7 20 6 0 - 33
W - Eli Whitmire 1 run (Malthe Barrett kick)
K - Jake Clizbe 28 run (Tanner Vossen kick)
W -- Nick Fuller 25 pass from Adam Shoup (Barrett kick)
W - Cy Whitmire 6 run (Barrett kick)
K - Ethan Oomittuk 56 run (kick failed)
K - Austin Johnson 19 run (run failed)
W - Eli Whitmire 8 run (Barrett kick)
K - Johnson 67 run (Clizbe run)
W - Eli Whitmire 25 run (kick failed)
W - Cy Whitmire 58 fumble return (Barrett kick)
K - Clizbe 55 run (kick failed)
W - Fuller 25 pass from Shoup (Barrett kick)