NAPAVINE — The Tigers absorbed a punch early on, then found their offensive stride to drop Winlock, 48-13, here Friday night in a District 4 crossover football game.
Gavin Parker ran 11 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns, and Tanner Low packed the ball 12 times for 130 yards and two scores to pace the Tiger ground attack, which racked up 383 yards.
The Cardinals, though, took an early 7-0 lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Cline to Coleson Richendollar.
“I thought Winlock played really well,” Napavine coach Josh Fay said. “It’s a little bit of a kick in the gut. Fortunately, we were able to respond and move the ball down the field, but the first quarter was a grind for us.”
Low notched his two touchdowns — on 3- and 10-yard runs — to tie the game and then give Napavine the lead, and Lucas Dahl scored the next two. The first came on a 75-yard reception from Laythan Demarest, with the second on a 33-yard run.
Parker found paydirt on 8- and 60-yard runs for the next two scores, before Dahl wrapped things up with his third touchdown on a 4-yard run. The receiver finished with four catches for 75 yards and 51 rushing yards on five carries.
Cline and Richendollar connected on a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The quick start from the Cardinals should serve as a learning experience as the Tigers enter the State 2B playoffs, Fay noted.
“There’s always stuff you can learn from. I don’t know if we underestimated them,” Fay said. “I think Winlock just came out and played really sound to start off the football game.”
Richendollar caught four passes for 44 yards, and Cline passed for 133 yards.
“Winlock deserves a lot of credit for that,” Fay added, of the Tigers’ slow start. “Cline was tough the whole time. He’s a great athlete.”
Napavine (8-1) enters the State 2B playoffs next week for the 12th straight season. The state playoff brackets will be released on Sunday afternoon.