AMANDA PARK — The Wishkah Loggers found great success in their running game in notching a second victory this season over Lake Quinault.
Wishkah rushed for 455 yards as a team and overcame a third-quarter Lake Quinault comeback attempt to defeat the Elks , 64-34, in a non-league football game Saturday at Fred Soth Stadium in Amanda Park.
The third quarter started with a bang. On the first play from scrimmage, Bo Barber scored from 51 yards out for the Loggers. Keigan Gardiner punched in the 2-point conversion to increase Wishkah’s lead to 30-6. Barber rushed for 153 yards in the game.
Lake Quinault (1-3) immediately got the spark it needed to get back into the game.
On the first play from scrimmage of the ensuing possession, Dylan Dorhofer scampered 79 yards into the end zone for the Elks. Kobe Kalama added the two-point conversion, cutting Wishkah’s lead to 30-14.
When the Loggers (4-2) got the ball back, they drove 41 yards down to Lake Quinault’s 13-yard line. Then Kalama intercepted a pass by Jace Anderson and ran it back 90 yards for a score.
In less than two minutes of play, the Loggers went from being up 30-6 to clinging to a 30-20 lead and trying to hold off a gritty Lake Quinault team.
“I thought the kids played great,” Lake Quinault head coach Darrin Marshell said.” They didn’t give up, even though they got a little gassed at the end. I thought the kids played really hard. We know what we have to work on now.”
The Elks, however, were not able to get any closer than that. Gardiner took over the game offensively and made a Quinault comeback virtually impossible.
After Kalama’s interception return for a touchdown, Gardiner rushed for 185 yards and scored on four consecutive Wishkah possessions.
Gardiner displayed great offensive versatility in the game. The senior running back racked up 289 total yards from scrimmage and scored six rushing touchdowns. He also completed both of his pass attempts for 35 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown to Dillon Mitchell late in the third quarter.
Kalama contributed on both sides of the ball for Lake Quinault. The junior intercepted two passes, including the one he returned for a touchdown in the third quarter. He also scored on an 18-yard run on the first possession of the game and threw two touchdown passes, the first on a screen pass that Dorhofer took 43 yards into the end zone and the second on a deep bomb to Julio Silva down the right sideline on a 77-yard fake punt play.
Despite the 30-point victory, Wishkah head coach Mike Mitchell struggled to find anything positive to say about his team’s performance.
“I don’t think anything went well, to be honest with you,” Mitchell said. “We came out pretty flat and I expected better. We have a lot to work on. We need to get better on both sides of the ball. That’s the bottom line.”
Jace Anderson scored the only other touchdown for the Loggers on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
Lake Quinault will host State Deaf on Thursday. Wishkah will host Oakville on Saturday.