Napavine edges Morton


RANDLE - It was one of those nights that left both coaches feeling uneasy, but at least Napavine's Bob Hunt walked away from a Central 2B League football matchup with Morton with a victory Friday night.

The Tigers held on for a 12-6 victory at White Pass High School.

"Overall, it was a great, great football game," said Morton coach Keith Coleman. "We had a couple of bad breaks, but that's football. I'm proud of the kids for the effort they gave tonight."

Napavine outgained Morton 2-1 (328-162), but the Tigers didn't cash in on the chances early.

"They were pretty much doing what they wanted in the first half," Coleman said.

Justin Grace put Napavine on top with a 21-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but Morton answered as Taylor Weist hit Travis Merriman on a 10-yard pass to tie the game in the first quarter.

Jake Potter put the Tigers back on top with a 4-yard run in the second quarter, but the Huskies turned Napavine away at the 1-yard line on the final play of the first half.

"That was a big momentum swing," Coleman said.

The second half was a battle of missed opportunities.

Napavine had a solid drive at the end of the third quarter, but it stalled and the Tigers tried a field goal. The Huskies blocked the kick and Mikhael Tran picked it up and raced for a touchdown only to find out an inadvertent whistle stopped the play.

The whistle happened before anyone had possession so the play was redone. Napavine decided to pass on the fourth-down play and failed to convert.

Morton drove late in the fourth quarter to the Napavine 10, but a pass was picked off in the end zone. The Tigers tried to run out the clock, but a fumble gave the Huskies the ball back with 1:41 to play.

Weist hit Merriman, who pitched to Tran, who had nothing but green grass in front of him. But Merriman's knee was on the ground when he made the catch.

Napavine's Potter rushed for 108 yards while quarterback Tyson Hunt threw for 90 yards and had a solid game. Grace and Jason Keller also played well for the Tigers, who evened their record at 2-2. The Tigers are at Adna Friday.

"Morton is much improved," said Napavine coach Bob Hunt. "It was good to get out of there with a win."

Morton slips to 1-3 on the year and faces Life Christian at Clover Park High School next Saturday.

"Our guys played hard," Coleman said. "I'd like to thank White Pass for letting us use their field. They had a lot of fans stay home tonight (WP played in Camas against Vancouver Christian) and root for us. That was really nice."