(AARON VAN TUYL/Centralia Chronicle)
The third-place team in a five-team league traditionally finds itself in tight situations when the postseason rolls around.
For Adna, though, the first two weeks of the playoffs have felt more like a cool-down lap.
The Pirates, the No. 3 team in the SWW 2B League Mountain Division, followed up a 54-14 crossover dismantling of Ocosta with a 51-7 win over Davenport last Saturday afternoon to advance to the State 2B quarterfinals.
“It’s been nice. We played such a tough division and schedule anyway, and we play that for a reason,” Adna Coach K.C. Johnson said. “We know we might get beat early in some games, but look at Toledo (which beat No. 7 Colfax) today. You play in this league, in this division, and it makes a difference.”
The difference was clear from the outset. Despite giving up a few pounds on the line, the Pirates held Davenport to 37 rushing yards in the first half and led 27-0 after a quarter.
Cole Fay was a big part of that, capping Adna’s first drive with a 20-yard touchdown — the first of four on the day for the senior running back — on a screen pass from Braden Thomas.
“We knew they were big up front, and they had some pretty slippery running backs,” Fay said, “but I felt like our D-line really stepped up tonight.”
The opening score wasn’t Fay’s most impressive touchdown of the afternoon, however. That came a few minutes later, when he fielded a Gorilla punt, read the field, and carted it 65 yards to the end zone.
“I’ve got to feel it out a little bit,” he said of punt returns. “We have a call for what side it’s supposed to go to, but if I don’t see it I’ll go the other way. But I let it develop, and it worked.”
He added a 22-yard scoring run four minutes later, and Thomas broke free on a 36-yard run to wrap the first-quarter scoring.
Fay added his fourth score on a 39-yard run to open the second quarter, and Thomas tossed a 45-yard touchdown to a wide-open Ryan Young midway through the second frame that put the Pirates up 39-0 at the break.
Fay finished with nine carries for 113 yards, and added three catches for 30 yards. Thomas went 6 of 10 passing for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and ran five times for 60 yards with two scores.
Thomas added a 30-yard run in the third quarter to put Adna up 45-0 and activate the 40-point running clock.
With the subs in shortly thereafter, Tristan Ridley added a 4-yard touchdown run for Adna, and Davenport backup quarterback Evan Gunning connected with sophomore tight end Jarrett Jacobsen for a 67-yard touchdown with eight minutes left to play.
Davenport (6-5) finished second in the Northeast 2B League North Division, and beat Liberty 36-14 in the crossover round to reach the state playoffs, where they were given the No. 12 seed.
Adna (7-3), the No. 5 seed in the state playoffs, will now head across the mountains to face No. 4 Chewelah (7-4), the NE2BL North champion. The Cougars beat Tonasket, 36-7, in the opening round on Friday.