Coming off of consecutive victories against Camas and Union of the Greater St. Helens League, the Tornados (2-0) shifted their focus to South Sound Conference play as they hosted Central Kitsap (0-2) …
Coming off of consecutive victories against Camas and Union of the Greater St. Helens League, the Tornados (2-0) shifted their focus to South Sound Conference play as they hosted Central Kitsap (0-2) in their first SSC matchup of the season.
The Tornados offense took to the field first on Friday, Sept. 16 as they nearly scored a long touchdown on their first play. Junior quarterback Damian Aalona looked right and launched a ball deep to senior wide receiver Kyler Ronquillo, who lost his balance after making the catch up the sidelines. The Tornados continued to drive and Brayden Platt punched it in from four yards out, giving the Tornados an early 6-0 lead.
The Tornados defense started the game off with a quick three and out. Yelm’s special teams unit stood out early as well, with a punt block that started the Tornados offense deep in Central Kitsap territory.
It took the Tornados all but four plays to find the endzone. Aalona delivered an 11-yard strike to receiver Tre Smith, notching Smith’s first touchdown of the season. Platt then converted a two-point try, putting the Tornados up 14-0.
Yelm’s defense forced a Central Kitsap turnover on downs in four plays from scrimmage. The Tornados took the ball over in Cougar territory.
The Tornados put together a drive, which saw Aalona complete five straight passes which helped progress Yelm down the field. Then from 12 yards out, Platt found the endzone again for his second touchdown of the evening. Senior linebacker and fullback Ray Wright had a successful try up the middle on the Tornados two-point conversion attempt, putting Yelm up 22-0.
Following the kickoff, Central Kitsap secured their initial first down of the half, but the swarming Yelm defense forced a punt. Aalona had completions of nine and 15 yards to keep the chains moving. Then inside the five-yard line, Platt punched in his third touchdown of the game and converted the try, bringing the score to 30-0.
Central Kitsap nearly abandoned the run game and threw consecutive incomplete passes before punting to the Tornados 10-yard line. With their backs against the wall at their own endzone, Yelm dialed up a pass play to a wide open William Carreto for a 90-yard touchdown, but the long score was called back due to a holding penalty.
Now facing first and 17, and backed up on their own three-yard line, the Tornados turned again to Platt who took the carry untouched for a 97-yard touchdown — his fourth of the game. Carreto had a successful point after touchdown attempt, bringing the score to 37-0.
The Tornados forced yet another Cougars three and out on offense, resulting from two incompletions and an Onyx Carter sack.
Yelm then capped a quick four-play drive with a Platt touchdown from 21 yards out to bring it to 44-0 after an extra point attempt from Carreto.
The Tornados then forced consecutive sacks, which included a massive strip-sack from junior nose tackle and left tackle Landen Barger. The junior finished the game with two total sacks. Central Kitsap elected to punt.
Yelm received the ball with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Aalona completed passes of 28 yards and 18 yards to move the chains and get “chunk plays” for the Tornado offense. Eventually, he connected once again with Smith for a seven-yard touchdown, putting Yelm up 51-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Yelm switched its focus to the team’s younger players. Sophomore linebacker and running back Nathan Ford had several strong rushes, while junior running back Anthony Kiamco also punched in a touchdown.
Platt finished the game with 12 touches for 182 yards and five touchdowns.
Aalona completed 17 of 20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, and an interception. Ronquillo had eight catches for 140 yards in the game, while Smith finished the contest with two touchdowns and 25 yards receiving. The Tornados totaled 470 yards.
Defensively, Isaiah Patterson led the Tornados in tackles with seven. Ford contributed defensively with six tackles throughout the contest.
Yelm’s next SSC matchup will be against the River Ridge Hawks (0-2) on Friday, Sept. 23 at the South Sound Stadium.
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