GNL opener at
West Valley Friday
Colville High (2-1) turned a 12-0 halftime deficit into a 24-20 non-league football win over Timberlake last Friday night in front of the home fans.
The game marked the second in three outings that the Indians have overcome 12-0 halftime deficits with solid second halves. The Indians fell behind by two touchdowns to Freeman two weeks ago in the WIAA Grid Classic at Eastern Washington University before scoring 20 third quarter points and edging the Scotties for the second time in two seasons.
Timberlake’s Ben Austin caught two first half touchdown passes of 10 and 39 yards to help stake the Tigers to that 12-0 intermission lead over Colville.
But the Indians, behind sophomore running back Colton Vining, scored 16 third quarter points to take control. Vining, a 5-7, 165-pounder, ran for a career-high 142 yards on 24 carries.
Big second half
Colville has often been a second half team during coach Randy Cornwell’s tenure at CHS. That certainly isn’t by accident.
“I thought we kind of wore them down in the second half,” Cornwell said of the non-conference win over Timberlake. “The kids take a lot of pride in the work they do in the weight room and in how we finish.
“We played well in the second half, but we need to start faster. I thought that we kind of took a step backwards (in our progress) in the first half.”
But this veteran coaching staff has always been adept at making adjustments. So it went on Friday night at halftime.
There were adjustments on both sides of the ball that paid second half dividends for the Indians.
“We did a better job in the secondary in the second half and our blocking got better,” Cornwell said.
Cornwell said he also likes the way Vining is maturing as a running back.
“He’s finally running like we knew he could,” Cornwell said of his young running back. “He’s working hard at it…it’s paying off for him. His vision is getting a lot better. He made some good cutbacks (against Timberlake)…it takes time to see those running lanes.”
Colville’s offensive line also got props for a big second half. The Indians managed only 63 yards rushing in the first half. CHS ran for 162 yards in the second half.
Colville’s passing game was miniscule and mostly ineffectual on this night. But sophomore left-hander Ben Knight completed his only pass (one for five) to receiver Josh Hamilton on a 10-yard scoring strike in the third quarter.
Hamilton got inside position on a slant pattern and Knight hit him perfectly for the score. It was a play that assistant coach Greg Mace had suggested from the press box.
Rushing: Vining, 24-142 (1 TD); Burton, 5-19; McFetridge, 7-17, Shoemaker, 18-56.
Passing: Knight, 1-5, 10 yds (1 TD), 1 interception.
Timberlake: 122 rush; passing, 3-10-65 yds.
Colville ran off 56 plays to Timberlake’s 41.
In the second quarter, CHS ran off 21 plays to Timberlake’s four. In the third quarter, the Indians got off 17 plays to Timberlake’s seven.
Colville will visit West Valley on Friday for the Indians’ GNL opener. Game time is 7 p.m.
Colville played West Valley in a non-league game last season during the Indians’ second season in the Northeast A League. CHS, who dropped their first four games of the season before going on a five-game winning streak, were handled by the Eagles last season during that losing skid.
Cornwell knows that WV will be formidable once again. One of the GNL favorites this fall is coming off a 35-14 non-league win over Sandpoint. In that game, the Eagles built a 21-0 first half lead.
Trevor Cooper ran for two first half touchdowns for West Valley and Tyler Stavnes threw for two more scores.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge,” Cornwell promised. “They are big up front and they have big backs who look solid. Their quarterback can throw the ball…we will have to defend the whole field.
“It looks like West Valley can pound it, run wide and throw it.”
Timberlake’s opening drive came late in the first quarter when the Tigers took advantage of a Colville fumble. The THS scoring drive covered 33 yards and took only six plays. The capper was a 10-yard pass from quarterback Rice to Ben Austin. The two hooked up again in the second quarter on a 39-yard pass and run play that upped the T-lake lead to 12-0.
Colville threatened late in the second quarter after taking over at its own 48-yard-line. But Knight was intercepted at the Timberlake one-yard-line to snuff out that scoring opportunity with 1:18 left until halftime.
The Indians had a first and goal situation from the T-lake three and couldn’t punch it in.
Early in the third quarter, Hamilton got the Indians kick-started with his first career interception. The senior returned the pick 19 yards to the Tigers’ 35-yard-line.
Vining picked up 34 of the 35 yards on the seven-play drive. Vining capped the drive with a four-yard TD run. Zach Shoemaker scored on the two-point PAT and Colville trailed 12-8 with 7:04 left in the quarter.
Nine play drive
Colville forced a Timberlake punt on their ensuing series and Colville took over again at their own 37.
The scoring drive covered 63 yards and took nine plays. The score came on a Knight to Hamilton slant pattern of 10 yards. Vining tacked on the two-point PAT and Colville led 16-12.
Key play in the drive was Vining’s 30-yard run on fourth and one. The run carried to the T-lake 10-yard-line and set up the Knight to Hamilton hook-up.
A 43-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff gave the visitors good field position just inside Colville territory.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Quintin Reese burst up the middle on a counter for 30 yards and Timberlake’s final touchdown of the night. The Herring two-point PAT run gave the Tigers a 20-16 lead with 11:41 left in the game.
The three-play drive covered 47 yards.
But Colville came right back behind Vining and some solid work up front, led by Colville’s 6-3, 218-pound road grader, Cainan Holte.
Holte also came up big on defense, recording nine tackles, two sacks and blocking a punt.
Shoemaker scored from two yards out with 8:42 left. The two-point PAT run by Vining was good and Colville led 24-20.
Key play in the 65-yard drive was Vining’s 43-yard burst on an off-tackle toss play.
Colville’s defense came up big the rest of the way and was able to make some key stops.