East County Civil War to be at Elma this season

The East County Civil War will be staged in Elma for a second consecutive year.

The Montesano-Elma football game on Nov. 1, originally scheduled for Montesano, has been shifted to Elma’s Davis Field, Montesano athletic director Tim Trimble announced Monday.

Montesano’s Rottle Field will be out of commission for the varsity football season due to delays in rebuilding the grandstand destroyed by fire last year. The Bulldogs have been playing their varsity home games at Aberdeen’s Stewart Field, but that stadium is booked Nov. 1 for the Aberdeen-Ridgefield contest.

With the fate of ancient Davis Field uncertain for the near future (a public meeting on the facility is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Elma School District office), athletic administrators at the two schools agreed to switch this year’s East County Civil War to Elma, with Montesano hosting the game for the next two seasons.

Montesano will observe its Senior Night at the contest (Elma’s Senior Night will be at a previous game), but the Eagles will be considered the home team, with their personnel staffing the contest.

“We’re treating this as an Elma home game,” Trimble affirmed.

Elma-Tenino game notes

Elma owed its remarkable 36-35 football victory over Tenino on Friday to the running and receiving of Todd Swinhart, the clutch passing of Ryan Collin, the running and kicking of Steven Persell and a strong showing by its offensive line.

A judicious use of timeouts also helped.

Trailing 35-33, the Eagles fumbled on the Beaver 3-yard line with 3:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. Then Tenino quarterback Calvin Guzman scrambled 10 yards on a third-and-eight situation with 2:23 left.

That would have been fatal for the Eagles, had they not entered the possession with a full complement of timeouts. They wound up using all of them on defense, but still had 1:16 remaining when they got the ball back via a punt.

Collin then engineered a drive to the Tenino 4-yard line and Persell kicked the winning field goal with 5.9 seconds on the clock.

Had the Eagles used even one of their timeouts earlier in the half, they almost certainly would have less than 30 seconds to play with on their final drive.

While Persell’s contributions were somewhat overshadowed by Swinhart’s and Collin’s, the junior running back had a fine day even prior to the winning kick. He finished with 97 yards rushing.

Tenino, meanwhile, specialized in quick strikes. Three of the Beaver touchdowns came on one-play “drives,” via long touchdown runs by Guzman, Thomas Pier and Zach Chamberlain. A fourth long scoring play, Guzman’s 65-yard pass to Brayden Hisaw, came on the second play of a series.

While that suggests that Elma spent much of the contest on offense, an unusual set of circumstances kept the Eagle offense off the field for more than 40 minutes .

The Eagles took a 21-14 lead on Swinhart’s 45-yard TD run with 2:01 remaining in the first half. Tenino struck back on Guzman’s 63-yard scoring run, then maintained possession for the remainder of the half thanks to two consecutive fumbled kickoff returns sandwiched around Guzman’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Zeb Chamberlain.

With several penalties included, the final two minutes of the half took more than 10 minutes to play. Following the 18-minute halftime (a 15-minute intermission, plus a required three minutes of mandatory warm-ups), Tenino received the second half kickoff and kept possession for four minutes before punting.

The Beavers, incidentally, were penalized for not returning to the field at halftime until the warm-up period was under way. Most in attendance assumed that would be a 5-yard delay of game penalty, but it actually constitutes a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct infraction. The Beavers wound up incurring 111 yards in penalties — 105 of which occurring in the final 25 minutes.