A Columbia-Inchelium football team that struggled with consistency and continuity early-on this football season seems to be rounding into form as the stretch run toward the 1B (eight-man) football playoffs looms.
The Timberwolves (4-2, 2-1) blasted overmatched Waterville (1-5, 1-2) last Friday afternoon at Inchelium, 62-12, in a battle of Northeast 1B North and NE 1B South teams.
C-I rolled to a 24-6 first quarter lead and increased that working margin to 44-12 at halftime.
The Wolves moved into third place in the NE 1B standings. Second-ranked Cusick is steamrolling through the NE 1B this fall, putting up points like a high-scoring college basketball team. The Panthers (3-0, 6-0) are coming off a 70-20 blasting of Republic (2-2, 3-2) last Friday night in Pend Oreille County.
Columbia-Inchelium will visit skidding Northport on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Mustangs (0-3, 2-4) are on a three-game losing streak and are in desperate need of a win. C-I is looking to avenge a costly loss to Northport last fall.
â€śWe are playing a lot better,â€ť conceded C-I head coach Chuck Wyborney. â€śI hope we can go up there and dominateâ€¦get a little momentum going for those last two league games (against Cusick and Selkirk).
â€śWe were embarrassed by Northport last year. This is a great chance to erase that memory.â€ť
For the first time all season long, C-I is healthy and at full strength.
â€śWe are really starting to gel as a team,â€ť Wyborney said. â€śWe have kids flying around on defense and we saw some nice hits from our guys against Waterville.â€ť
Wyborneyâ€™s son, Dustin, had a big game against the Shockers, rushing for a career-high 287 yards on 16 carries and scoring four times (70, 14, 48, 18 yards).
The converted quarterback said heâ€™s starting to â€śfinally feel like a tailback,â€ť his father said.
Dustin Elliott had 11 tackles on defense â€śand stuffed the middle all game long,â€ť coach Wyborney said of his senior.
â€śThe kids are really starting to rally to the ball (on defense),â€ť Wyborney said. â€śAnd on offense, we have had the same combination for two weeks in a row. I feel like we can move the ball on anybody. We have a good mix inside, outside and throwing the ball.â€ť
Wyborney says it helps that the Timberwolves are starting 13 different players.
â€śThat makes a big difference when you can do that,â€ť Wyborney said. â€śIt also picks up things in practice and makes it more competitive.
â€śNow, if we can get a little bit nasty out there and dominateâ€¦Iâ€™m starting to see a little bit of that.â€ť
Rushing: Wyborney, 16-287; Cohen, 3-15; Elliott, 8-55; Holford, 8-112; Zehetmir, 3-22; LeaderCharge, 2-23; McDowell, 4-32. Total: 44-546 yards.
Passing: Cohenâ€”5-12â€”979 yards.
Receiving: Elliott, 2-60; McDowell, 2-22; Wyborney, 1-15.
Tackles: Elliott 9, Stensgar 5, McDowell 6, E. Reynolds 5, Zehetmir 3.
McDowell and Jones both recovered fumbles.
Rushing: 22-189 and 3-13â€”20 yds. passing.
WHS 6 6 0 0â€”12
C-I 24 20 12 6â€”62
C-Iâ€”Elliott 2 yd. run (pass Holford from Cohen)
C-Iâ€”Wyborney 70 yd. run (pass McDowell from Cohen)
Watâ€”Clements 44 yd. run (run failed)
C-Iâ€”Wyborney 14 yd. run (Leadercharge pass from Cohen)
C-Iâ€”Holford 7 yd. run (Elliott run)
Watâ€”Deshazer 75 yd. run (pass failed)
C-Iâ€”McDowell 14 yd. pass from Cohen (pass failed)
C-Iâ€”Cohen 8 yd. run (pass failed)
C-Iâ€”Wyborney 48 yd. run (pass failed)
C-Iâ€”Wyborney 18 yd. run (pass failed)
C-Iâ€”Holford 18 yd. run (run failed)