TONASKET – The Tonasket Tigers played one of the top teams in the state at last Friday’s homecoming game and despite a 36-13 loss to Cascade came away with some positive lessons.
“From the second quarter on we played well,” said Tiger coach Jay Hawkins. “When you’re playing one of the top ten teams in the state (1A) you really need to establish yourself as a physical team and we came out and hit ‘em. I was really proud of the kids. From the second quarter on we really established ourselves as a physical football team.”
Tonasket, with the exception of their first drive, made some offensive mistakes, racked up some penalties and gave up an interception for a touchdown and quickly trailed the visitors by two touchdowns.
“Just because when we got down 14-0 right away, it is really kind of a gut check for your football team… a time to play through adversity and I felt like the kids rallied together and put a lot of fight and scrap together and put together a pretty solid game,” Hawkins said.
The scoreboard might not have reflected it but statistically the teams were close with the Kodiaks totaling up 293 yards rushing to the Tigers 256.
“That was an accomplishment for our defense to keep them under 300 yards. We out rushed them on the ground… for us to rush as we did it’s a pretty bright spot,” Hawkins said.
The Tiger’s Keegan McCormick rushed for 140 yards. “Our offensive line certainly had a lot to do with that. It just goes to show we’ve made really good progress as a football team,” he said.
Hawkins adds that quarterback Sean Timmerman, who rushed for 51 yards, was “fantastic” against Cascade.
“He made plays when we needed to make them and kept drives alive and helped us get out of holes. Sean made some great individual plays for us,” said the coach.
The coach describes Tonasket’s scrap Friday against Cascade as a “real confidence booster” that will prepare the team for upcoming opponents.
“We’ve got three really middle of the row teams coming up as far as the standings go and we’ve set ourselves up to have a nice little run. We just have to focus on one week at a time,” said Hawkins
Tonasket travels to Omak this Friday, Oct. 12 to take on the Pioneers.