MENLO — Once the shock of facing a junior varsity team that is a part of a 135-player roster had faded, Willapa Valley did what it does best — run the football down the field.
Hosting Olympia’s junior varsity team in a non-league contest, the Class 2B Vikings adjusted and led by as much as 29 points to secure a 35-20 victory at Crogstad Field.
Senior running back Markus Eastham led Valley (2-0) with 106 yards rushing on 18 carries and two touchdowns. David Rockett added 57 yards on nine carries and one touchdown for the Vikings, who led 14-6 at halftime and 35-6 just over one minute into the fourth quarter against the Class 4A Bears.
“We were a little bit bright-eyed at the start, a bit overwhelmed playing a school with 135 players on their team,” Willapa Valley head coach Greg Wonhoff said. “We had to work for what we got tonight. The kids proved they can do this. They just need to believe in themselves.”
Coach Wonhoff credited assistant coach John Peterson for offensive adjustments that got the Vikings off and running in the first half.
Quarterback Matt Konigsberger started the scoring midway through the first quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run. Following an Olympia touchdown that made it 7-6, Rockett added his touchdown, a 20-yard sprint, early in the second quarter to take the lead for good.
Three straight touchdowns, two in the third quarter, put Valley up for good. Konigsberger got his second touchdown, another 4-yard scamper, with Eastham scoring his first from 1-yard out and his second from 4 yards out with 10:59 left in the fourth quarter.
Valley sent in its junior varsity players and Olympia finished the game with two rushing touchdowns to end the scoring.
Zack Friese was credited with 11 tackles to lead the Vikings. Anthony Sagen added nine tackles and an interception and Seth Flemetis also plucked one interception on defense. Rockett added to his game-wide totals with five tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Defensive ends Neal Riley and Drew Pearson were cited for shutting off Olympia’s outside runs to help Valley slow down the Bears.
On Sept. 15, Valley will start up Pacific League play by hosting Ocosta.
O 6 0 0 14 — 20
WV 7 7 14 7 — 35
First Downs 5 10
Rushing Totals 32-193 48-273
Passing Yards 31 9
Total Offense 224 282
Passing 4-19 1-6
Had Intercepted 2 0
Fumbles Lost 2 2
Penalties 5-30 3-40