The last time the Tenino football team won a league title, and beat Montesano in the same year, the game wasn’t played at Jack Rottle Field.
Because Monte's stadium burned down that year, the Beavers had the pleasure of beating their rivals in 2013 in Aberdeen, and later won a league championship with a rivalry win over Rochester in their final game of the season.
Fast forward nine years, and some happy Beavers stormed Rottle Field this Friday after Tenino defeated Montesano for just the third time since 2004, and the second year in a row in a 38-23 win.
Due to a scoring tiebreaker — and because Montesano had beaten Eatonville, and the Cruisers defeated Tenino earlier this season — the Beavers earned co-league champion status, and the tiebreaker as the top seed in the crossover as a bonus with a 15-point win.
“They’re super proud,” Tenino coach Cary Nagel said. “It was a business trip, they work extremely hard and they showed up to win the game today. They knew they had to win by a certain amount to be league champs and they took care of business.”
The Beavers’ game plan worked to near perfection in the first half Friday out in Montesano, limiting a potent Bulldog attack to just a field goal, and scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter to take the two-score lead into the break. The first score was a Cody Strawn plunge from short range, and the second a touchdown from Dylan Spicer.
Out of the half, Monte brought it back to within a score after a short touchdown run from Gabe Bodwell, and then the Beavers finally separated, inching closer to that coveted league crown.
Dylan Spicer scored on a 29-yard run to answer that Bulldog touchdown, and to start the fourth, a Beaver picked up a Monte fumble for a score to make it 32-10. The teams traded a few scores, with Monte scoring one in the final seconds of the fourth, but it was too little, too late.
“We started finding some creases on offense which was good for us,” Nagel said. “All of our backs were running really hard, the offensive line was really physical. Monte is really challenging because they’re so disciplined, our offensive coordinator found things that worked and the boys executed.”
Spicer ended up with 15 carries for 108 yards and two scores, and Randy Marti took the bulk of the carries, toting the rock 24 times for 92 yards and a score. Triston Whitaker added 86 rushing yards, giving the Beavers 346 yards of total offense on the night with just one pass completion.
Defensively, though the Beavers let up a bit late, an offense that scored 42 points against Eatonville two weeks ago was limited for most of the game.
“Defensively, our guys were flying around, it was pretty awesome to watch,” Nagel said.
The Beavers are scheduled to play Rochester in the Scatter Creek Showdown next Friday for their regular season finale in a nonleague contest before hosting a crossover game the next weekend on the Black Top.