Titans Upset Rival Ravens in South Bend


SOUTH BEND — Taking two completely different paths to Saturday evening’s contest at Millam Field, a tough start to the season for the Pe Ell-Willapa Valley football team seems like a long forgotten part of the past after the Titans unseated No. 3 and previously unbeaten Raymond-South Bend, 28-14. 

Though the Titans are carrying those narrow defeats to 1A No. 8 Tenino and 2B No. 9 Adna in Weeks 1 and 2 with them this season, they have since moved forward to win four of their last five, with the latest their biggest win of the season against their biggest rival from Pacific County. 

“We knew we were a better team than that,” Titans coach Josh Fluke said. “The last couple of weeks we’ve been playing good ball. We knew RSB was a great team, they run the ball so hard. They’re awesome athletes. We just wanted to play straight-up football, try to grind it out, and the kids got jacked up good for this game.”

Though the Titans weren’t the first on the scoreboard, a huge second quarter helped them to dominate the line of scrimmage and gut out a win against the Ravens in South Bend. 

After the Ravens busted a long catch and run loose in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead, the Titans responded on the next drive with a one yard Kolten Fluke plunge. A play later, RSB’s Austin Snodgrass fumbled the ball away after running right through the PWV line, and PWV converted that turnover into six more points when Fluke found Kannyon Clements for a 35-yard score. 

A play after that, Snodgrass made up for his mistake with an 81-yard jaunt up the sideline to give the Ravens a 14-12 lead midway through the second quarter. 

Just like the adversity the Titans faced after the first two weeks of the season, PWV’s players didn’t hang their heads, and marched down the field and scored on another Fluke touchdown pass to Derek Fluke with 30 seconds to go in the half. Another RSB miscue led to a last second field goal from Garrett Keeton, helping the Titans to a 21-14 halftime lead. 

It was a lead PWV would never relinquish, squashing the Raven offensive attack for the rest of the night, and scoring one final touchdown in the third quarter after a blocked punt, with Blake Howard finding the end zone on a 7-yard scamper. 

No team this season had been able to hold the Ravens’ vaunted offensive attack to under 20 points, until the Titans on Saturday. 

“We didn’t do anything special,” Josh Fluke said. “What we went over all week was just focusing on tackling their big guys. We knew they were going to get their yards, but if we can bring him down in space for most of the game, we were going to be okay.”

On offense, the Titans moved the ball with efficiency and versatility. Kolten Fluke had 118 yards passing at the quarterback spot with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and added a rushing touchdown and 42 rushing yards. Blake Howard was the workhorse back, racking up 50 yards on 18 carries with a score, and Wil Clements added a change of pace with 69 rushing yards on eight carries. 

The key, all night, was the work the Titans put in throughout practice in the last week. 

“We worked on our line all week, we had no game on Friday so we had an extra practice, got to work with our line and they had a huge role in this win,” Kolten Fluke said. 

If Saturday night’s game was any indication, the Titans are planning on plugging, and plugging, and plugging away, keeping their heads down and seeing where they shake out when its all said and done. Both player and coach said Saturday evening’s game was circled on their schedule as the biggest game of the season, and the Titans showed up big against an upstart RSB program that was previously 6-0.

The win puts the Titans at 4-3, and moves them into second place in the Southwest Washington North league behind Napavine. 

Next week, the PWV will look to keep chugging away against Forks in Menlo. 

“We don’t hang our heads, we keep them up,” Kolten Fluke said. “Next week is always a new game, and whatever happens, happens. We’re going for that dub every week.”