Having started the season 0-2, the Toutle Lake Fighting Ducks needed to come out early and set the tone against undefeated Morton/White Pass on Friday.
The tone was set early in the game but it was the Timberwolves doing so, as they dominated with their run game in the first half and took a 20-0 lead into the locker room. By game's end MWP defeated Toutle Lake 34-0 in Toutle.
Both teams attempted to get the passing game going but with a combined eight yards passing in the first half , it would be the ground game for each team deciding the outcome.
The Timberwolves dominated the running game with over 300 yards of offense, all five of their touchdowns coming via the run.
In the first half, all four of the ballcarriers for the Timberwolves had runs over 10 yards. Dylan Hamre had the longest run of the game as he went up the middle for a 65-yard run that set up Gavyn Higdon to punch it in from 2 yards out in the second quarter.
Toutle Lake would have its opportunities but could not capitalize.
“This game we had some good looks but the game got physical and we just couldn’t fight back,” Toutle Lake quarterback Chase Hadaller said.
Toutle Lake had opportunities to put together scoring drives, including the start of the third quarter when Riley Kent returned the second-half kickoff 50 yards and into Timberwolves territory. However, the Ducks weren’t able to move the ball and take advantage of the field position.
Despite the tough loss TL coach Art Walsh sees positives for the future.
“Were going to take our lumps now but down the road it’s going to pay off," Walsh said. "We started two freshmen on offense tonight and they're both going to be great players. They just have a lot to learn.”
Getting younger players experience isn’t the only glimmer of hope for Toutle.
"We're getting some guys back (from injury), and when they come back we're going to be able to reload again,” Walsh said.
Senior running back Austin Sweet also saw positives, along with areas to improve on.
“We had some good blocks and good runs but we do really need to work on our blocking," Sweet said. "We need to come together fundamentally.”
Toutle Lake travels to Rainier, Wash., on Friday.