After scoring just six points in the first half, Jared Tom and the Lummi Blackhawks exploded for 40 points in the third quarter en route to a 62-34 win over the Taholah Chitwhins yesterday in a state 1B quarterfinal football game at Aberdeen’s Stewart Field.
Taholah’s defense held Tom to just 45 passing yards in the first half, and the Chitwhins took an 18-6 lead into the locker room at the break. However, Tom and the Blackhawks came out strong, and scored 20 straight points in the first three minutes and 19 seconds of the third quarter.
“I think the boys got overconfident, and we came out a little flat after halftime” said Taholah head coach Donald Waugh. “We came out ready to go at the start of the game. We were foaming at the mouth. But we came out flat in the second half.”
On the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Tom hit Dimitri Sampson on a shovel pass, and Sampson took it 80 yards for a touchdown. Tom then hit Dino Williams on a fade route in the back left corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion to Taholah’s lead to 18-14.
After recovering a Taholah fumble at the Chitwhins 23-yard line, Lummi scored again on the ensuing play. This time, Tom hit Deion Hoskins on a shovel pass to the left side, and Hoskins went 23 yards for the score. Tom’s rushing attempt on the two-point attempt came up short, but the touchdown gave the Blackhawks a 20-18 lead they would not relinquish.
Lummi forced Taholah to go three-and-out on the next possession, and Sampson returned Keanu Curleybear’s punt 40 yards to Taholah’s 30-yard line. It took the Blackhawks just two plays, both rushes by Tom, to score, and increase their lead to 26-18.
Taholah managed one first down on its next drive, but turned the ball over on downs near midfield. Lummi capitalized once again.
Devin Cooper caught back-to-back shovel passes. The first one was from Tom, and Cooper took it 29 yards to Taholah’s 23-yard line. The second was from Logan Toby, and Cooper took that one 23 yards for a touchdown, giving the Blackhawks a 34-18 lead.
“We were missing some assignments, because of lack of aggressiveness” said Waugh. “They ran a lot of shovel pitches, and our linebackers needed to come up and fill and they weren’t filling. That gave them an open lane. We just weren’t aggressive enough to stop what they were running.”
A trick play by the Chitwhins temporarily made it a one-score game with 4:33 left in the third quarter. Jimmy Smith-Kramer stood near the left sideline, facing the official, while the rest of his teammates lined up in a tight formation on the right hash mark. The Blackhawks did not notice Smith-Kramer, so when Keanu Curleybear took the snap, he turned and fired the ball to the left side. Smith-Kramer caught the pass, and went 33 yards untouched for the score.
Keanu Curleybear connected with Cleve Jackson for the two-point conversion, cutting Lummi’s lead to 34-26.
Sampson returned the following kickoff 25 yards, and the Chitwhins were penalized 15 yards for grabbing his facemask, giving Lummi excellent field position once again, this time at the Chitwhins’ 27-yard line. Tom completed a 23-yard pass to Sampson to get the Blackhawks to the four. On the next play, Tom rushed up the middle, and fumbled the ball into the end zone. Hoskins pounced on it, and the result of the play was a touchdown for Lummi, putting the Blackhawks up 40-26.
Tom completed five of his six pass attempts for 227 yards during Lummi’s 40-point third quarter. During that span, he also rushed for 34 yards and a score, and threw all three of his touchdown passes. Tom passed for 290 yards, carried the ball 16 times for 111 yards, and scored two rushing touchdowns in the game.
In the first quarter, Chitwhins offensive lineman Jon Law caught a pass from Keanu Curleybear on a misdirection play, and took it 51 yards for a touchdown. That score tied the game up at 6-6.
After a Blackhawks punt gave Taholah the ball back, Justin Curleybear took a sweep to the left, broke through a couple of Lummi defenders, and dashed 66 yards into the end zone. Taholah had its first lead of the game at 12-6.
Wade Purdy also scored for Taholah in the first half. Purdy took a handoff to the left, and went 39 yards for a touchdown, giving the Chitwins an 18-12 lead.
Keanu Curleybear scored Taholah’s final touchdown of the season, when he scampered in from 10 yards out with nine seconds left in the game. He rushed 11 times for 97 yards, and also passed for 74 yards in the game.
“This team has really grown as a unit, and we have really identified where kids belong” Waugh said of his team, whose season is now over at 7-4 “All in all, we were a good core team this year. We all backed each other up. I think we did some good things coaching, and a lot better scouting, and the kids really gave it their all. Hats off to them. My seniors in particular. They really stepped up this year.”
Blackhawks 62, Chitwhins 34
Lum 6 0 40 16 – 62 Tah 12 6 8 8 – 34
Passing Yards 135 313
Rushing Yards 272 139
Total Yards 407 452
Penalty Yards 104 83
First Downs 17 15
Fumbles Lost 5 1
Had Intercepted 0 1
Passing 6-11 12-21