By Jeremy McDonald
MOUNT ANGEL, Ore.—It was a big match-up that they were looking forward towards all week long. Perhaps since the schedules were released a while back.
With St. Paul dropping to 1A and continuing to raise havoc in 8-man football after their 64-6 win over Perrydale Friday night, the Trojans-Wolverines match-up was slated to be the marque game before the emergence of Sheridan three weeks into the new season in the Special District 2 conference.
But for Santiam, who’s turned their recent history with Kennedy into the positive starting last season, left no stone unturned against the 2-0 Trojans as they made their mark from the first quarter to the final play in their 44-0 win over Kennedy Friday night.
“We just played like it was a league championship, but it’s just another one down and we got another tough team coming up in our league,” said Trevor Tinney who had two touchdowns for the Wolverines Friday Night. “Our whole league is pretty tough this year so we just have to keep our nose to the grindstone and just keep pounding and play it game-by-game and be successful and hope for the best that we can have.”
Outside of Tinney’s two touchdowns, Brody Davidson contributed two more, Colin Thurston had one and Riley Rothrock had another as they line helped give their offense an opportunity to score with their defense finding ways to slow down Rocco Carley and Emorej Lynk.
And Dustin Keys knew that with them being physical from the get-go is just a sign of things to come.
“We were just physical from the get-go,” said Keys. “Coach put in a great game plan, we executed flawlessly and we came in and nail it down their throats and they didn’t have an answer. We take every game like a State Championship game, we were there and we want it again. First step, got to get through these guys and we got to get through each league opponent.
“This isn’t our peak, yes this was a big game but we had one goal in mind and it’s come out here and win this game.”
The Wolverines saw glimpses of this potential against Regis and against against Heppner on the road last week, but Week 3 is when they pieced it all together.
With Gervais (0-3), Culver (1-2) and Chemawa (First game Saturday at Central Linn) the next three weeks before ending the season at Sheridan (3-0) and at home versus Colton (2-1), Santiam is looking to be on the track of giving themselves another opportunity to get back to the postseason and possibly make another run at the 2A State Championship Title in 2018.
“I think it was a big opener for everybody because we’ve never played this good as a team in a really long time, even last year,” “I’ve never had a team play like this and I think it just opens people’s eyes that we can do this to every team if we put our minds to it. Our team plays so good together, so if we put our minds to it we’re kind of unstoppable.”
And for the second-straight year, the Wolverines start the season 3-0 as they look to match 2017’s 4-0 start as they host the Cougars of Gervais at 7pm Friday night.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald