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Trico Division Preview 2002

Bruins open league play at home against Rockets

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The new grandstand is in place and the new stadium lights are ready to be turned on.

And Bruins Coach Larry McCutcheon is hoping Columbia High is primed for its home and Trico Division opener this Friday against Castle Rock.

The Bruins are coming off a 33-14 non-league victory over Forks, while the Rockets (0-1, 1-1) are reeling after a 38-28 loss to Trico foe La Center.

In their season opener Sept. 13, Rockets Coach Tom Bate's troops knocked off Class 3A Mark Morris of Longview, 24-7.

Castle Rock, which missed the playoffs last year after winning the Trico championship in 2000 with a veteran lineup, features a balanced offensive attack led by quarterback Nathan Roubicek, running back Caleb Ledford, and receivers Scott Selby and Foster.

Roubicek ran for two touchdowns and passed for 206 yards and a score at La Center, but was intercepted four times during a 12-for-28 outing.

Bruins Coach Larry McCutcheon said the key for CHS Friday night will be shutting down Castle Rock's running game.

"We have to try to make them as one dimensional as we can," he noted. "They don't do anything fancy, but they execute very well. I would like to force them into throwing the football. That would be a good thing for us."

Offensively, McCutcheon said, the Bruins must execute their triple option better than they have in their first two games.

"It's a matter of our quarterback reading the option keys and making the proper plays. If he can do that, we're going to be extremely successful."

Following is a sneak preview of Columbia High's remaining Trico Division opponents.

Ilwaco (1-0, 2-0): beat Tenino 44-12 and Stevenson 56-14; vs. CHS Oct. 4.

Fishermen Coach Dustin Lamb's crew is loaded with talent, starting with quarterback Kevin Brown, scat back Heath Miller and receiver Andy Hudkins.

Brown directs an explosive offense that has accounted for more than 600 total yards in two games. Against Stevenson, he threw for 213 yards and three scores. To date, he has passed for 315 yards and five touchdowns.

Miller, a 5-9 senior, paces the running game. He's rushed for three TDs and 288 yards on 44 carries in two games.

Hudkins has caught 10 passes for 209 yards and four TDs. He's also scored one rushing TD.

Defensively, the Fishermen returned two interceptions and a blocked punt for TDs against the Bulldogs. In its season opener, Ilwaco held Tenino to 156 total yards.

Stevenson (0-1, 0-2): lost to Washougal 31-7 and Ilwaco 56-14, vs. CHS Oct. 11.

The Bulldogs' return to the 2A ranks has been a rough one so far under first-year head coach Phill Wendell.

They trailed Washougal 31-0 in their season opener Sept. 13 before scoring their first touchdown of 2002 in the fourth quarter on a touchdown reception by Andrew Ogle (3 catches, 86 yards, 2 TDs this season).

At Ilwaco, the Bulldogs fell behind 28-0. Their two TDs were the result of long passes from Brandon Zerr-Smith. The senior quarterback was 4 for 19, for 161 yards, against the Fishermen, but was intercepted four times.

Senior James Jefferson is Stevenson's leading rusher through two games with 74 yards on 26 attempts. Against Ilwaco, the 2000 All-Trico second-team linebacker had 19 tackles.

La Center (1-0, 1-1): lost to Hoquiam 26-21, beat Castle Rock 38-28; at CHS Oct. 18.

For the third year in a row, the Wildcats will be Columbia High's homecoming opponent.

La Center is coming off its best 2A season ever, in which it won seven games and shared the Trico Division championship with Columbia and Woodland.

Wildcats Coach John Lambert's squad boasts one of the top quarterback-tight end combinations in the league in seniors William Williams and Josh Williams.

Williams threw for 104 yards and two touchdowns in La Center's season opener, a game it lost on the last play: a 50-yard TD pass as time expired.

Leading the charge for La Center on the ground are running backs Jeremy Teel (34-270, 2 TDs in 2002), Tim Gaston (37-167) and Merle Bloyed (3 TDs vs. Castle Rock).

Ridgefield (0-1, 1-1): beat Forks 49-20, lost to Woodland 25-14; vs. CHS Oct. 25.

Woodland shut down Ridgefield's running game in their Trico showdown on Sept. 20.

Only junior back Jonny Peru found running against the Beavers, gaining 114 yards and scoring two TDs (one a 78-yard scamper) on 11 carries.

In their season opener, the Spudders rushed for nearly 500 yards.

Peru, who sat out 2001 with a broken ankle, racked up 309 yards against Forks and scored four times.

Running mates Josh Davis (10-84) and Jordan Davis (11-60, 2 TDs) were equally effective in finding the holes opened by the Spudders' line.

Defensively, Brad Puhich returned an interception 35 yards for a score against Forks.

If rookie head coach George Black's squad showed a weakness, it was in special teams play. Two of Forks' three touchdowns came on kick returns.

Woodland (1-0, 2-0): beat Montesano 48-19 and Ridgefield 25-14; at CHS Nov. 1.

By the time it comes to town, Beavers Coach Jim Sharkey's team might be looking ahead to the playoffs.

Woodland, led by running backs Sam Ritter and Vince Wilson, and quarterback Jarrod Barrow, used a balanced offensive attack to pick up wins in its first two games.

Wilson ran for 152 yards and two TDs against Montesano, while Ritter scored twice and piled up 149 yards at Ridgefield.

Barrow has scored four TDs for the Beavers in 2002: three on offense and one on defense (a 45-yard interception return against Montesano). The Beavers' senior field boss also has completed 9-of-23 passes for 107 yards.

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