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Montesano 42, Columbia 6

Bulldogs deal Bruins first setback

Columbia High failed its first road test of the Class 2A prep football season.

The Bruins fumbled away the opening kickoff and things only got worse after that.

Before the non-league game was five minutes old, CHS found itself down, 16-0, on the way to its first loss, 42-6, at the hands of fifth-ranked Montesano.

"I don't know if the kids believed Monte was a better team and that had something to do with how we played," Bruins Coach Matthew Whitmire said. "But the fact is, we didn't give the type of effort we needed to have to win the game, let alone compete with a team of Montesano's caliber."

The Bulldogs (3-0) outgained the Bruins (2-1), 397 yards to 185, and didn't yield a score until late in the fourth quarter.

The game's tone was set in the opening seconds.

CHS misplayed the kickoff and the Bulldogs' Jason Dierickx fell on the free ball at the Bruins' 11-yard line.

On the game's first play, Monte's Adam Bighill ran off tackle, broke two tackles and scored his first of five touchdowns and the Bulldogs led, 7-0, after just 12 seconds of action.

When it got its hands on the ball for the first time, CHS stalled out after three downs deep in its own end and was forced to punt.

Tyler Fry of Montesano blocked Josh Burrell's kick and the ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 Bulldogs lead.

Montesano got the ball back moments later on a free kick and ran the ball down the field. Bighill capped the series with a 16-yard scoring run.

"We were 4:35 into the game and before we knew it, we were down 16-0," Whitmire said.

In the second quarter, CHS's defense shut Montesano down and forced three turnovers. But the offensive unit, which started to find its footing, had two drives run out of downs deep in Montesano territory.

During the game, "we were inside their 30 four times and didn't score," Whitmire noted.

The Bulldogs put the Bruins away in the third quarter, putting together three scoring drives good for 20 points.

White Salmon's only points came on a 2-yard touchdown run by reserve back Nikolas Salas with 2:04 remaining.

"We make no excuses; Montesano was a much better ballclub and they proved it," Whitmire said.

Next up:

Columbia plays its Trico Division opener this Friday at Castle Rock. The Rockets, winners of two in a row, beat La Center, 14-6, last weekend.

The Bruins hope to have two-way starters Devin Dean (strained quad muscle) and Matt Cooley (separated shoulder) back for that game.

Two of three players injured against Montesano, Taylor Champion (elbow) and Trenton Phernetton (hand), have been cleared for action, while the status of Erik Viramontes was unknown at press time.

"The keys for us will be to everybody healthy back in uniform and to play with great emotion," Whitmire said. "Otherwise it could be another long night."

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