Goldendale football crushes White Swan 40-14 in home opener
September 12, 2018
Playing in front of the home fans at Barthlow Field for the first time this season, the Timberwolves ran away from the visiting White Swan Cougars 40-14 in a game with handfuls of offensive and defensive highlights, including a halftime lightning show.
Junior quarterback Corbin Bland and sophomore running back Lucas Black led a strong and balanced Goldendale rushing attack as the Wolves built a 20-14 halftime lead and wore down the Cougar defense throughout the second half. Goldendale's defense also forced turnovers early and often, and kept White Swan off the scoreboard over the final 22 minutes.
The game was called with 2:11 remaining in the fourth quarter due to lightning strikes right after Bland ran in from 12 yards out to put the Wolves up 40-14.
Shortly after halftime started, a handful of lightning strikes in the area forced a 30 minute delay. The lightning held off throughout the second half until the strike with 2:11 left forced the refs to call the game with the Wolves up big.
The Cougars, who used to be a South Central Athletic Conference West rival of the Timberwolves, started with the ball in the opening quarter but their first drive didn't last long. Just one minute into the game, Bland, at defensive back, soared and picked off White Swan quarterback Christian Ceballos and ran it back to the Wolves' 30. Bland also intercepted another pass later in the quarter with the Cougars threatening to score.
The Wolves struck first after Bland's initial interception. Both Bland and Black broke off some big runs to reach the redzone, and on second and goal from the 10, Black took it into the endzone to get Goldendale on the scoreboard for the first time this season. They led 6-0 after a failed two-point conversion, but the Cougs took their first lead after a touchdown pass three minutes later and went on top 8-6.
Shortly into the second quarter, Goldendale regained the lead when Bland hit freshman tight end Bodie Phillips from 14 yards out to give the home team a 12-8 advantage, but the lead didn't last long. The Cougars went up 14-12 less than two minutes later on another touchdown pass with 6:20 left before the half, but that would be the last time they scored.
The Wolves took the lead for good with just over four minutes in the half when Bland rushed in from the one yard line for the touchdown and later hit freshman receiver Bryce Waddell for the two-point conversion, making it 20-14 Goldendale.
They almost added another score before the break, but time ran out before they could get off one more snap near the endzone.
After a 30-minute lightning delay, the Wolves picked up where they left off and continued moving the ball well offensively, and limiting the Cougars defensively.
Bland rushed for another touchdown to open the scoring in the second half (28-14) and again hit Waddell for the two-point conversion, and it wasn't long before Waddell's next reception.
On second and goal from the 12 with 5:20 in the third left, Bland picked up muffed snap and fired it to Waddell, who broke a couple of tackles before getting into the endzone and putting the Wolves up 34-14.
Goldendale's defense remained stout, and forced another turnover when senior Chris Mersch recovered a fumble which led to another score. After the fumble, freshmen running back Caleb Smith had a couple big runs, Waddell caught another pass, and Bland ran it to the endzone from the 12 on what would be the last play of the game. Before Goldendale could get off a play for the two-point conversion, another lightning strike forced the refs to end the game.
After playing a former SCAC school last week, Goldendale will match up with a team that joined the league shortly after White Swan exited, the La Salle Lightning.
The Lightning are off to a 1-0 start after beating East Valley 50-9 on Aug. 31. They trailed Selah 14-7 late in the first half before the game was called for lightning.
La Salle quarterback Kieran Kershaw was named a WIAA Athlete of the Week for his week one performance of 106 rushing yards, 164 passing yards, and five total touchdowns.