Thursday, September 14, 2006
Columbia High got a pair of touchdowns from an unexpected source in last Friday's 20-14 non-league road victory at Medical Lake.
Senior fullback Nick Reeves, filling in for sidelined starter Devin Dean (injured ankle), scored on runs of 2 and 5 yards to help lead the Bruins (1-1) past the Cardinals.
"Thank goodness Nick decided to turn out this season," Bruins Coach Matt Whitmire said. "I'm not sure what we would've done without him."
Reeves carried the ball only five times (for 16 yards) during the game, but two of his "touches" resulted in touchdowns.
His most important carry of the night came on the final play of CHS's last scoring drive. Reeves went into the end zone untouched from 5 yards out to cap the 13-play series. He followed that with a run for the 2-point conversion to put CHS on top, 20-14.
Medical Lake (0-1) made it close at the end, however, driving from its 32 to deep inside Columbia's territory with time winding down.
But junior defensive back Rees Stevenson's first interception of the year, at the 6-yard line, closed out the threat as the Bruins hung on for their first win.
"The team effort we got Friday night was among the best I've seen in the five years I've been here," Whitmire said, "and the first come-from-behind win I've been associated with here."
Whitmire said Columbia was no match for Medical Lake physically but made up for what it gave up in size with sound execution of their game plans and better conditioning.
"We basically wore them down," he said. "From the beginning of fall practice, we've emphasized conditioning. That should be a tremendous source of pride for our kids because all that conditioning work they've put in paid dividends Friday night."
The Bruins, who finished with 297 yards of offense (all on the ground), got a big game from junior Taylor Champion, who ran for a career-high 213 yards (including 29 in the second quarter on his first TD run of the season) and recorded 16 tackles, nine unassisted.
"Taylor's efforts offensively were tremendous but they wouldn't have been possible if not for the play of our offensive line," Whitmire said. "Those guys blocked their butts off and made it happen for us."
Columbia put together two scoring drives of more than 60 yards in the second quarter to take a 12-7 lead.
"From the first series of the second quarter on, we ran three different offensive plays and got back to what we preach: `It's not what we run, it's how we run them,'" Whitmire said.
Still, the Bruins went into the halftime break down 14-12.
After Reeves scored to put CHS ahead with 7:49 remaining in the first half, Medical Lake's Joe Wilson broke loose for a 58-yard TD run on the ensuing series. It was his second big scoring play of the first half.
"That kid was a monster," Whitmire said. "But before the second half, Coach (Jeff) Lindstrom made some adjustments in our base defense and those slowed Medical Lake down."