The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline

Some bright spots for Wolves in loss to Zillah

Goldendale forces three turnovers, but falls 49-0 to the No. 8 ranked Leopards


Brittany Allen

DROPPING BACK: Junior quarterback Alex Mains scans the field for an open receiver against Zillah on Friday at Barthlow Field.

Less than two minutes into its South Central Athletic Conference West matchup against the Zillah Leopards on Friday night, the Goldendale High School football team already had taken the ball away from the No. 8 Class 1A team in the state.

With 10 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter, the Timberwolves forced Zillah running back Ryan Slack to cough the ball up, and Brian Waddell jumped on the ball, giving Goldendale possession moments after they kicked off.

However, from that point on, it was nearly all downhill for Goldendale (1-3 overall, 0-1 SCAC West) against The News Tribune's No. 8 ranked Class 1A team in the state.

Less than two minutes after Goldendale gained possession, Slack made up for his fumble and picked off quarterback Alex Mains and returned it to the house, and the Leopards never looked back on their way to a 49-0 win.

Slack added another touchdown in the first quarter and Zillah led 21-0 early in the second quarter before the Wolves forced another fumble, this time it was Colton Ward jumping on the loose ball, sparking some life into the Timberwolves. Justin Wells recovered another Zillah fumble late in the second quarter, the third forced turnover for Goldendale.

"That was absolutely huge to see them get that success (on defense) early," first-year Goldendale head coach Alan Hale said. "Anytime you can get a great team to turn the ball over ... that's a big confidence booster."

However, for all the success the Wolves had in coming up with huge turnovers, the Leopards doubled in big plays. They returned two more interceptions for touchdowns and were constantly in the backfield on defense shutting down Goldendale's run game.

The Timberwolves ran for 13 yards as a team, led by nine yards on three carries from senior tight end Cameron Read. Mains churned out a ten-yard gain on the ground, but lost yardage on his other two carries.

Despite the three interceptions, Mains had one of his best games of the season throwing the ball. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 82 yards and looked more comfortable in the pocket, according to Hale, and has cut back on some of the mistakes he was making earlier in the year.

"The big thing was developing his confidence," Hale said, noting the change of offense when he took over this season. "I think he has improved big time."

Last week at Lyle-Wishram, Mains completed just four of 20 passes, more than doubling his completions against a Zillah team that has allowed just 13 points this season other than a 40-7 loss to Royal on Sept. 9, the state's top team that's nearly always in a league of its own on the gridiron.

Hale continues to see growth in his young, inexperienced team which is comprised of only three seniors and seven juniors, and excited to see what the young Wolves bring to the table on Friday against Naches Valley.


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