Balanced Loggers blitz Elks

WISHKAH — A balanced attack produced a lopsided triumph for Wishkah on Saturday.

Keigan Gardiner scored five touchdowns as the Loggers chopped down Lake Quinault, 60-24, in a non-league football game at Addison Field.

Almost the entire second half was contested under a running clock mandated by the 40-point mercy rule. Although the Elks eventually reduced the margin to under 40, state rules require the clock to continue moving once the mercy rule threshold is reached.

Gardiner rushed for 128 yards, while Wishkah junior quarterback Jace Anderson passed for four touchdowns.

Wishkah’s eight touchdowns were evenly divided between run and pass — a distinction that was not lost on coach Mike Mitchell.

“I thought we were finally able to put together a balanced offense,” the first-year Logger coach said. “The first game, we were only able to run the ball. The second game we were only able to pass. Today, we did both.”

The first of two meetings between the Grays Harbor Class 1B rivals figured to be much closer.

It shaped up that way when the Elks (1-1) answered Wishkah’s first touchdown with a long scoring drive of their own. The Loggers, however, soon controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, nailing quarterback Kobe Kalama eight times for losses.

“We just got outplayed,” Lake Quinault coach Darwin Sharrah said. “We got beat on the line, couldn’t contain anything. We pretty much got outplayed in every aspect of the game and got outcoached.”

The Elks’ difficulties began almost immediately. Their first snap to Kalama, operating from the shotgun formation, defelcted off another back going in motion. Quinault maintained possession on that play, but Trey Berge recovered an Elk fumble on the next one, giving the Loggers the ball on the Elk 8-yard line.

Anderson promptly threw over the middle to tight end Dillon Mitchell for a touchdown. Gardiner ran in the conversion for an 8-0 lead with the contest less than one minute old.

Kalama scrambled for gains of 35 and 17 yards on Quinault’s next possession. Dylan Dorhofer finished off the 86-yard drive with a 2-yard off-tackle shot. The conversion pass was dropped.

The Loggers (2-1) retaliated by scoring the next seven times they had the ball. Anderson’s 17-yard pass to a wide-open Gardiner, who walked into the end zone with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter, triggered the onslaught.

Gardiner also tallied on runs of 38, 29 and 8 yards and on a 15-yard pass from Anderson. The latter also teamed up with Chris Thein on a 5-yard TD pass.

Reserve fullback Matt Richardson scored Wishkah’s other touchdown, on a 2-yard run. Bo Barber, Robert Rodriguez and Jacob Gardiner added conversions for the Loggers.

The Elks didn’t get untracked offensively until the mercy-rule threshold had been reached.

Kalama’s only two completions of the contest went the distance, as he tossed scoring passes of 48 yards to Dylan Lines and 59 yards to Julio Silva. Lines also had a scoring plunge of less than a yard.

The Gardiner brothers, Keigan and Jacob, combined for several of Wishkah’s sacks. Assistant coach Eric Gardiner cited the play of his offensive line — Berge, Jacob Gardiner, Gabe Quintero and tight ends Mitchell, Thein and Rodriguez.

Dorhofer led Quinault rushers with 71 yards on 10 carries.

Wishkah journeys to Muckleshoot for a 6 p.m. contest Friday. Lake Quinault is scheduled to host Mary M. Knight on Saturday, if the Owls have sufficient numbers to field a team.

LQ 6 0 6 12 — 24

W 24 20 8 8 — 60

First Downs: Lake Quinault 9, Wishkah 17.

Net Rushing: Lake Quinault 118, Wishkah 245

Net Passing: Lake Quinault 107, Wishkah 113

Total net yardage: Lake Quinault 225, Wishkah 358

Passing: Lake Quinault 2-8, Wishkah 8-14

Had Intercepted Lake Quinault 1, Wishkah 2

Fumbles Lost: Lake Quinault 2, Wishkah 1

Yards Penalized: Lake Quinault 39, Wishkah 36