The 107th renewal of the Hoquiam-Aberdeen football rivalry provided honors for past and present Grizzlies and Bobcats.
Hoquiam senior lineman-linebacker Ronnie Espedal and Aberdeen senior lineman Jaime Miranda received college scholarship awards as part of the national high school Great American Rivalry Series, as administered by the iHigh online service and the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Great American Rivalry series also inducted former Bobcat great Mark Bruener and Grizzly standout Rob Smith into their Hall of Fame during halftime ceremonies. Neither Bruener (who now scouts for the Pittsburgh Steelers) nor Smith (the head football coach at Humboldt State in California) were able to attend. Both were represented by family members.
For their 49-6 victory, the Grizzlies received two trophies — one from the Great American Rivalry and the gigantic Myrtle Street Trophy donated by Aberdeen entrepreneur John Yonich.
Hoquiam coach Jason Ronquillo’s pre-game goals included maintaining balance between run and pass and cutting down on the penalties they incurred in a season-opening win over Centarlia. The Grizzlies batted .500 on those objectives.
Their 302 yards of total offense included 159 yards rushing and 143 passing. But Hoquiam was also flagged for 70 yards in penalties, including some costly ones.
The Grizzlies were nailed for two infractions (the Bobcats accepting one) on Drew Bravos’ apparent 48-yard touchdown run that was called back in the third quarter.
Hoquiam’s Nolan Hoiness was the game’s leading rusher with 107 yards on nine carries. Ronquillo gave much of the credit for the effectiveness of the attack to the offensive line.
Despite the defeat, the Bobcats can take some positives from the contest, particularly the rushing of Bryceson Talley and Filipo Cournoyer. Talley topped Aberdeen’s ball-carriers with 89 yards on 15 carries. Cournoyer netted 64 yards on seven carries.
Around Southwest Washington
After forfeiting two games last year due to a lack of eligible players, Ocosta was on the receiving end of a forfeit Friday night when Chief Leschi pulled out of a scheduled non-league contest at Westport. The Puyallup school reportedly had only 13 players available for the contest. Ironically, that was the identical number Ocosta suited up for the previous weekend’s game at Concrete — and the Wildcats went through with that contest despite the shortage of numbers. … Tenino 55, Washougal 22 — Next week’s Evergreen 1A schedule (Hoquiam-Montesano and Elma-Tenino) will determine the line of success in the league, especially after the Beavers routed Class 2A Washougal at home. Quarterback Mac Shaw threw for 460 yards on 31-of-43 attempts and five touchdowns for Tenino. … Washington (Parkland) 22, Centralia 21 — The Tigers nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when a last-second field goal was just wide against the Patriots, who grabbed the lead with 37 seconds left in the contest. Justice Tasby led Centralia with 120 yards on 19 carries. … Pe Ell 40, Napavine 32 — Napavine came into this game at Pe Ell third-ranked in the state 2B rankings, but the host Trojans scored 20 unanswered points to secure this big Central League win. Andy Pickens ran for 188 yards on 30 carries and one score to lead Pe Ell. … Woodland 28, Castle Rock 20 — The Trico League power Beavers are interested parties to the fight up north in the Evergreen and are marking their territory with a big win over rival Castle Rock on the road. Eli Whitmire scored three touchdowns and ran for 211 yards for Woodland in the win. Naselle 21, Knappa (Ore.) 20 — A last-minute fumble recovery by the Comets ended the final threat of the contest by the Loggers at Knappa, Ore. Naselle’s powerful quarterback Dustin Eaton threw for 259 yards on 18-of-36 passing and two scores in the win.
Reports from the Chronicle of Centralia/Chehalis and the Daily News in Longview were included in this article.