Tenino Ground Game Blows Past Elma


TENINO — The Tenino football team did the thing it loves to do most Friday at will: run.

The Beavers ran hard, they ran fast, they ran sentimentally, and they ran Elma off the Black Top from the get-go, dominating their 1A Evergreen matchup against the Eagles 66-26.

“The boys prepared extremely well. It was a good night for senior night,” head coach Cary Nagel said. “The boys were emotional; they wanted to take care of business, and they did.”

That business started off a bit different than normal. After the Beavers held the Eagles to a three-and-out on their opening possession, Nagel sent senior backup quarterback Brody Noonan out to start on his senior night to drive the offense down the field. The senior punctuated the possession accordingly, keeping it and hitting the corner on an 8-yard touchdown.

“Brody is the ultimate guy for our team,” Nagel said. “He’s been a grinder since Day 1, and it was nice to get him some snaps in there.”

From there, the Beavers didn’t so much drive as struck. Their second possession lasted one play, with Dylan Spicer running straight up the gut and hitting the goal line after 38 yards. After another Elma punt, Spicer went 20 yards on Tenino’s first play, and Cody Strawn went the final 24 for another touchdown.

All of a sudden, it was 22-0, and the Beavers were just getting started.

“We like getting momentum,” Nagel said. “The boys feed off of it, and I think we’re tough to beat once we get that momentum.”

That momentum only continued when Randy Marti opened the second quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run — which at that point was the Beavers’ shortest carry of the night. Then for good measure, Spicer went 75 yards to the house on the very next possession.

“Everything was working tonight,” Spicer said. “The offense just dominated.”

Spicer finished with a season-high 282 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns. His final rush of the night put him over 1,300 yards on the year; so far he’s averaging 187 yards per game.

“Dylan does Dylan things,” Nagel said. “Dylan had a good night… Once he starts rolling, he does some special things.”

Strawn added 73 yards, while Marti went for 51.

As a team, the Beavers rolled to 454 yards on the ground, behind an offensive line that bullied Elma’s front off the ball for four straight quarters.

“That’s our goal: 10 yards per carry, every play,” offensive lineman Andreas Zumidio said. “That’s what we want.”

The Beavers eclipsed even that lofty goal, averaging 13 yards on each of their 34 rushes. Tenino had more runs go for 20 yards (six) than under 5 (five).

And the one time Strawn aired it out, he found Max Craig wide open in the end zone for a 31-yard score.

On defense, the Beavers held the Eagles to under 1.5 yards per carry. Elma turned to its passing game found enough success to find the end zone multiple times against Tenino’s backups, but the hosts still held their guests to 13 of 29 passing.

“Our boys are doing a good job of stopping the inside run,” Nagel said. “We’ve got to clean some things up a bit on the back end, but our boys were flying to the football. I’m just really impressed with the speed and how fast they closed to the football.”

Tenino (6-1, 2-1 league) will get its second crack at a top-10 team this season, with a rivalry matchup at Montesano next Friday.

“It’s a good confidence booster, going into Monty,” Spicer said. “But next week we’ve got to lock in, because Monty is a very good team. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good game.”