By Jeremy McDonald
ONALASKA, Wash. — The first quarter of Amity’s road trip to Washington was anything outside of just bus lag and being punched in the mouth by an Onalaska squad that runs a similar run-and-pound offense the Warriors will see later this season with Rainier especially.
Coming off one of those surprising games with the emergence of Keenan Graham at quarterback coming in for Tyler Parr as the signal caller, the Amity offense and defense struggled in their 32-14 defeat Saturday when the Warriors spot the Loggers two quick scores in the opening 12 minutes.
But with such a young team, losing 15 seniors from their 3A State Semi-Final team in 2018, it was a good learning experience for them as the game entered the second quarter.
“The first quarter we weren’t ready. We were slow, we were asleep, we weren’t ready to be super physical,” said Graham, who went 3-for-6 for 79 yards and a passing touchdown. “They just woke us up and we just had to play hard, we weren’t ready for it in the first so they got two easy scores on us and from there we woke up and we played decent from then.”
During the second quarter, Amity stepped up their game and matched Onalaska’s physicality as they began to get into their rhythm entering the halftime break down 16-0.
The Warriors had their chance in the second quarter to possibly cut the lead to size on the heels of a surging energy from their defense making stops, but as Josh Wart made a circus fourth down catch to set up a Russel Brown four-yard strike to start the third quarter, their was a feeling they were in this game.
“It’s big. Just going out, playing a physical football team like this, it really gets us prepared to play against teams like Rainier who just run it down your throat,” said Cody Dyche, who finished with 59 yards on 19 carries. “I think it’s big for us. It makes us play more physical playing guys, we’re not playing down to an opponent we’re playing up. So it’ll help us in the future.”
It was 16-6 following the score with 32 seconds left in the third stanza of the contest. Each team traded scores to start in the fourth quarter, the Loggers saw Ashton Haight go in for 15 yards early in the fourth quarter for his second touchdown before Wart went 34-yards to answer back in a then 24-12 game with 11:27 left in the game.
But it seemed as if fatigue had sank in for Amity as Onalaska tacked on a Lucas Kreiger 15-yard scamper to put some insurance space between themselves and the Warriors down the stretch of the game Saturday afternoon.
A good amount of the squad Saturday played both ways, something that a Dyche isn’t use too but knows that Head Coach Joel Magill will make sure that they’ll be ready for the challenge ahead of playing both ways moving into their game against Salem Academy Friday evening.
“I was tired all game…I don’t know, there’s something about going on a long bus ride and being tired and this is my first season really playing both ways,” said Dyche. “I think all of us offensively played both ways expect for maybe a couple, it wears you down but I hope further down we get use to it a little bit more and start playing more 100-percent in the game.
“It’ll be big, McGill will make sure we’re conditioned a lot more from here on out so that we are ready for those things.”
Brown collected 40 yards on ten carries and Wart had three receptions for 79 yards. Graham rushed for 20 yards on five carries for the Amity offense.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald