By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Spartans spoil Goldendale Homecoming football game with 56-0 win


October 18, 2017

John Longfellow

The Timberwolves, led by senior Joseph Randall, No. 77, take the field prior to Friday's Homecoming contest against the Granger Spartans.

The Goldendale gridiron team was faced with one of its biggest challenges yet for its annual Homecoming game, matching up with the undefeated Granger Spartans last Friday at Barthlow Field.

The Spartans entered the game at 6-0 overall, and behind a strong running game left town with a 56-0 win.

"Granger's game we knew was going to be tough," Goldendale head coach Alan Hale said. "They have a really good running back and they have a really big offensive line

They ran the ball well behind their big offensive line, with the majority of their guys up front weighing in at 240 pounds and above.

Granger scored on their first play from scrimmage on a 55 yard run, led 30-0 after the first quarter, and cruised the rest of the way, taking advantage of a handful of Goldendale fumbles and interceptions.

They've been playing better and improving each week, but there's just not a lot of error in the tough South Central Athletic Conference.

"It's frustrating for the boys when they're still making the mistakes," Hale said. "But, honestly, on the whole year, we've made fewer mistakes than we did last year."

Goldendale had trouble moving the ball and stopping the Spartans on defense, but didn't stop battling all night.

Freshman defensive back Tanner Mersch and the rest of the Wolves kept competing late in the fourth quarter with the game already decided. Mersch, at 5-foot-4 107 pounds, took a big hit from huge Granger tight end Kevin Solis, who caught a pass and rumbled forward. With the Spartans passing on the last play of the game, Mersch made a great play on the ball and batted it down incomplete.

It wasn't just Mersch, but the whole team showed that grit and effort that Hale and the rest of the coaches love to see.

What's next

The Timberwolves are on the road and up north Friday in Cle Elum for a 7 p.m. meeting with the 1-5 overall Warriors.

The team was in the film room Monday afternoon, getting a look at Cle Elum's schemes.

"Cle Elum is very similar to us as far as being a spread team. A young team," Hale said.

The Warriors run a 4-3 and 4-4 on defense, and run the spread offense, which scatters players wide all across the field. It's designed to be distribution-friendly and forces defenses to worry about every eligible ball carrier on the field.

It is the same offense that Goldendale runs, so the team will be somewhat familiar with what the Warriors are running on Friday.

"A lot of our preparation this week is going to be checking out how they compare," Hale said. "We're going to do a lot of practice against ourselves."


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