That was the overarching message for Kelso following a 48-13 drubbing of R.A. Long on Friday at Longview Memorial Stadium. It was the 98th meeting of Cowlitz County’s oldest rivalry, with Kelso leading the series 57-33-8.
The Scotties (2-0) left nothing to chance as Josh Webb returned the opening kickoff 90 yards, and Kelso rolled the rest of the way. Jayden Hardeman had six catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns, Marshall Coleman was 9 of 11 for 166 yards and three scores to go with his 15 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns, and Webb finished with 73 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
“Good job by our guys to be ready to go,” Kelso coach Steve Amrine. “We got to play a bunch of people tonight, and good win again. I’m super excited for them.”
The defense was equally as dominating, holding the Lumberjacks (0-2) to two first downs through the opening 24 minutes as the Scots went to the break leading 34-6 — a scoop and score by Owen Enriquez on a missed pitch by Kyle Broxton the only damage. The Scotties’ defense also picked up six sacks, including two from Webb, one from Riley Noah, one from Blake Fowler, one from Seth Sutherby and one from Cooper Lindberg.
“Defensively, we’re playing pretty darn good,” Amrine said. “Those two inside guys (Seth and Blake) are doing a good job. It allows us to have Riley (Noah), (Gage Bloomfeldt) and (Josh) Webb on the edge as a three-man rotation. That’s some good stuff.”
It was that success that led the Lumberjacks into a maddening performance offensively. Owen Enriquez was 10 of 20 for 114 yards in the air, including a 3-yard scoring strike to Jacob Thompson, and Saige Raymond had 42 yards on 12 carries. Mark Evans had four catches for 51 yards.
But RAL tallied just 25 first-half yards, and were outgained 316-127 after 48 minutes.
“We just have to get back to the drawing board,” RAL first-year coach Dave McDaniel said. “We need to hold blocks a little longer, make things quicker, shorten up our decision-making. Just make things easier.”
The Jacks don’t get a break on the calendar, though, as they travel to 2A defending champ Hockinson next week.
“It makes it easier along the way when you play the great teams right out of the gate,” McDaniel said. “We just have to have a short memory.”
Kelso will have enter next week’s home matchup against Heritage on high, after the starting unit played lights out Friday.
Using Webb’s tone-setting return score, and his relentless rushing effort behind the Scotties’ mauling offensive line, the Scotties’ offense opened up before the skies followed suit in the second quarter. Thrice on play-action passes, Hardeman slipped free unmarked as the Jacks loaded the box.
It certainly gives teams another body to think about after a breakout performance from the speedy senior.
“You got guys like Riley Noah that need so much attention, so it just opens things up for other guys,” Hardeman said. “I was that guy tonight. So it’s great.”
As for being disrespected by opposing defenses?
“Hopefully now that changes. Hopefully they cover me a little better.”