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Bruins Shut Out T-Wolves To Retain Klickitat County Cup

Junior Chandlor Bucklin touches the ball on the goal line for Columbia’s second touchdown in its season opener. Bucklin accounted for 38 yards of combined offense in only a handful of touches.

Junior Chandlor Bucklin touches the ball on the goal line for Columbia’s second touchdown in its season opener. Bucklin accounted for 38 yards of combined offense in only a handful of touches. Photo by Sverre Bakke.

It was the same opponent and same result for Columbia High football in its 2017 season opener last Thursday.

The Bruins dominated on both sides of scrimmage in routing Goldendale, 47-0, there in the annual Klickitat County Cup game.

Columbia’s offense racked up 425 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, and added 19 yards and one TD through the air.

Junior Trenton Howard ran for a career-high 198 yards, with one touchdown, on 10 carries.

Senior Tylan Webster posted a career-high 130 yards on 16 attempts, and found the end zone three times.

Junior Chandlor Bucklin and sophomore Bowen Durkee each ran for one TD, and senior Adam Goodwillie hooked up with senior William Gross on a 7-yard scoring pass.

Junior linebacker Cesar Isordia totaled eight tackles overall, and senior linebacker Shad Curtis had a pair of interceptions in the third quarter that set up CHS touchdowns. All told, the defense made four takeaways.

“I was very pleased with our opening game, especially due to the fact that we had no summer football practices or camp this past summer,” Bruins Coach John Hallead said.

The game proved to be a mismatch from the opening drive, though the Bruins began their first possession in hole, after Bucklin muffed the opening kickoff and fell on the ball at his own 15.

No matter. On the first play of the game, Howard ran around right end and down the visitors’ sideline for a 56-yard gain down to the Timberwolves’ 29-yard line.

The drive almost stalled after a 1-yard loss, a 5-yard procedure penalty, and an incomplete pass. But, on fourth down, Bucklin took the snap from center out of the shot gun, cut it outside, and dove for the first down. An ensuing measurement confirmed Bucklin had pick-ed up the first down by inches.

Webster tallied the game’s initial touchdown with a 25-yard run up the gut. Isordia kicked the first of five point-after tries to make it 7-0.

“We had nine explosive plays, ignited by Trenton’s first play of the game,” said Hallead. “I was very impressed with Trenton’s running, as well as Tylan’s,” and the play of the offensive line that enabled CHS to average 8.4 yards per play.

CHS’s player of the game award for Week 1 went to sophomore starting left tackle Stanley Hylton. Hallead said Hylton graded out the highest in his unit and “also contributed to the win playing linebacker and on special teams. A breakout for him and questions answered for me.”

The CHS defense held the Goldendale offense in check all game, save for one series of late in the first quarter, on which the Bruins committed four major penalties: one for roughing the quarterback, one for grabbing a face mask, and two for pass interference.

Those penalties helped move the chains from Goldendale’s 45-yard line to Columbia’s 10, where the Timberwolves had the ball first-and-goal.

The drive ended with a lost fumble on the ensuing play; Gross fell on the loose ball at the CHS 5 with a minute left in the opening quarter of the season’s inaugural game.

“Defensively, I was very happy with our team speed in swarming to ball carriers all night, as well as our strength on the defensive line,” Hallead noted. “I truly feel that this year’s version of our Bruin Defense may be the best athletically and physically, and the most intelligent I have had in the past six seasons.”

After Gross’s fumble recovery, the Bruins set off on a 95-yard scoring march that culminated in Goodwillie’s TD pass to Gross midway through the second quarter. It followed a 92-yard scoring drive in the first quarter that Webster capped with a 29-yard run.

The halftime score stood at 27-0.

Next up: The Bruins are at Elma on Friday. The Eagles lost their season opener to 2A Eatonville, 55-7.

CHS won last year’s meeting in Bruin Stadium, 54-49, on Howard’s 90-yard kickoff return TD with 46 seconds remaining.

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