CENTRALIA — Even after picking up his first win as head coach at his alma mater against Centralia, Black Hills coach Garrett Baldwin made sure to give his players the proper credit.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’m just happy for the kids. They worked hard and I’m glad they finally got one, I’m happy for them.”
The Wolves (1-3) finally got in the win column, compiling 434 yards of total offense to beat Centralia, 51-8, Friday night.
After a two-point loss to Rochester last week, Baldwin felt his team was due for a win.
“We were in them, there’s some big mistakes, some missed tackles, a lot of discipline, lining up wrong, wrong assignments,” Baldwin said. “We’re proud of them, they made big leaps and we’re hoping to keep that going.”
Black Hills got out and running early, scoring on each of its first two drives, with Jaxsen Beck scoring from 18 yards out and Xander Shepler taking another rushing touchdown to the house, and the Wolves never looked back.
By halftime, the Wolves led 23-0, and aside from one drive at the beginning of the fourth, held the Tigers (0-4) out of the end zone.
For the Tigers, who are still looking for their first win, head coach Jeremy Thibault was impressed with the improving Wolves.
“They did things offensively that they didn’t do the first three weeks,” Thibault said. “They’re line is very physical. You can tell they lift weights. They picked us apart. When they scored, our heads went down. We’ve got to regroup and regain confidence.”
Baldwin attributed the growing improvement of the Wolves to taking care of some things outside of football, like showing up on time, fixing attitudes and discipline.
“Addressing those things, the little details, you can see it got the ball rolling,” he said. Now we’re going to use this momentum to keep rolling. The leadership is just growing and growing and growing. The culture is changing, they feel it, they sense it, we keep challenging them to keep rising to the occasion.”
Tailback Johnnie Stallings rushed for 160 yards and Beck ran for 54 to lead the Wolves on the ground. Through the air, Beck completed six of his 10 passes for 181 yards. For the Tigers, quarterback Landon Jenkins was 10 of 22 for 126 yards. Gabe Seymour scored Centralia’s only touchdown, a plunge from one yard in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers take on Rochester next week, while Black Hills heads to Aberdeen for another league contest.