RA Long changes his game plan and launches into the defense of Woodland

Dacota Haynes for Daily News

Woodland – The Lumberjacks were hoping to take on the Woodland side who have struggled against 2B Kalama at times. This is the same team that looked scrappy in a loss to La Center and was eliminated by Washougal.

Instead, they got quite the opposite as the baddest team in green and black took command from the start and never looked back to overtake RA Long 52-21.

In fact, for most of Greater St. Helens’ League 2A game, the Jacks were held scoreless by a Woodland defense that held on for three straight league wins. In a game that was a little hectic between the lines, the Beavers took a 24-0 halftime lead and continued to gas as their evolving offense found another gear.

That lead for the hosts eventually extended to 38-0 before RAL found their way to the end zone.

“We had young guys come forward, we had two starters, and we still managed to come together and play as a team,” Woodland coach Sean McDonald said.

People also read…

Going into the game, there was well-founded speculation that second starter Elijah Andersen could get some big runs, and he delivered in both impact and quantity. His biggest plays have come on touchdown passes for 40, 36 and 24 yards, and totaled 21 carries for 172 yards.

As a team, the Beavers rushed for 244 yards. Keaton Northcut had a 43-yard run and DJ Riley threw another 34-yard run. Although they only picked up 109 yards through the air, it was a well-balanced aerial offense that saw Justin Philpot, Drew Burns, Northcut and Landon Utter make big plays.

Woodland quarterback Brett Martynowicz’s only passing touchdown to Drew Burns on a four-yard shovel pass. The QB also caught a rushing touchdown on a goalie with 1:47 left in the second quarter.

After the break, Andersen would find the end zone two more times. From there, DJ Riley found the end zone on his run and Woodland’s final score came from Malcolm Karchesky, who started the game on the offensive line before executing it from four yards.

“We talked about momentum, as we continue to build that every week, growing as a team and as a family, we continue to improve,” McDonald added. “We were able to control the ball defensively, except in the fourth quarter when we started bringing in younger guys.”

For the loggers, we saw a bit of the unexpected unfold.

Quarterback Shaun Mize appeared to be off target for his receivers throughout the game, but the biggest difference was the running game as RA Long coach Jon Barker moved to a more balanced game plan .

“We are affected by the injury virus. It’s just a matter of telling the guys, ‘The next man’,” Barker said. “I’m trying to establish the run a bit more, but we need to develop the depth at this stage.”

As a team, the Jacks got away for 130 rushing yards with TraMayne Jenkins, Jaxson Pleas, Aeybel Millian and Layne Oberloh all picking up increased carries this week. Mize finished the game with 92 rushing yards.

The pleas also fell with a third-quarter interception.

Much like weeks past, the majority of scoring and long-range plays have gone through the air, with Mize tallying for 165 passing yards. Koynn Williamdyke had a rushing touchdown early in the second half, but Mize also found it for a 66-yard touchdown pass to end the game.

Jenkins added three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Millian and Azik Rothwell each caught two receptions and Lonnie Brown Jr. caught a pass for 24 yards.

“I have a lot of faith in Shaun, so we’re going to try to develop some of this triple option stuff a bit more, to give him more options.” said Barker. “Every time we pass he knows he can tuck it in and run too.”

Late in the first half and already trailing 24-0, the Jacks were rolling down the field and finally got the ball within striking distance thanks to a fake punt and pass from Layne Oberloh who went to Lonnie Brown Jr. for 21- yards.

As time expired, Oberloh attempted a 50-yard field goal and looked good off the foot, but was blown over and fell just wide.

“He shows up and does his job, never complains and wants to play defense,” Barker said of his do-it-all kicker. “We’re going to get him a 50-yarder by the end of the year, so we can own the record. We think it’s 47 and he had two at 46.

RA Long (0-6) will host Washougal next Friday night for the reunion.

Woodland (3-3, 3-0 league) will look to remain undefeated in the league when they face Hudson’s Bay in the Kiggins Bowl on Thursday.