Hoquiam edges Elma in another nail-biter

Grizzlies rush for over 250 yards, hold off late Eagles rally for 33-30 victory

CORRECTION: Due to a source error, a previous version of this article contained incorrect information. Hoquiam’s Anthony Burtenshaw scored a touchdown with 2:58 to go in the first half.

If recent history is any indication, whenever the Hoquiam Grizzlies travel to Elma to face the Eagles at Davis Field, the game is sure to be a nail-biter.

Friday’s game was no different.

Hoquiam made the plays it needed to down the stretch to hold off an Elma rally en route to a 33-30 win.

The Grizzlies (3-2 overall, 1-0 1A Evergreen) rushed for over 250 yards in the back-and-forth contest that saw a 12-point Hoquiam lead in the fourth quarter nearly evaporate in the game’s final minutes.

Hoquiam took the lead with 31 seconds to go in the first quarter on a 1-yard run from running back Jake Templer, capping a 10-play, 52-yard drive in the process.

RYAN SPARKS | THE DAILY WORLD Hoquiam running back Jake Templer (16) runs for a first down during the Grizzlies’ 33-30 win over Elma on Friday in Elma. Templer had 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the game.

RYAN SPARKS | THE DAILY WORLD Hoquiam running back Jake Templer (16) runs for a first down during the Grizzlies’ 33-30 win over Elma on Friday in Elma. Templer had 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the game.

Elma (2-3, 0-1) didn’t take nearly that long to respond, scoring just two plays from scrimmage later when quarterback Carter Studer hit receiver Kyren Hackney for a 58-yard touchdown.

Mathew Wood’s point-after kick gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead just a few seconds in to the second quarter.

Later in the quarter, Elma running back Austin Salazar plunged in from a 3-yards out to cash in on an eight-play, 73-yard drive and stake the Eagles to a 13-6 lead.

On Hoquiam’s ensuing possession, the Grizzlies went back to a rushing attack that chunked yardage and proved difficult for the Elma defense to stop.

Hoquiam running back Anthony Burtenshaw scored from 10-yards out on a run off left tackle to cap a 12-play 52-yard drive with 2:58 left in the half.

Hoquiam quarterback Zander Jump ran in the two-point conversion to give the Grizzlies a 14-13 lead.

The Grizzlies defense then forced a three-and-out from Elma’s offense and got the ball back at midfield with just over two minutes left in the half.

Hoquiam resumed picking up chunks of yardage on the ground and benefited from a critical 15-yard personal foul penalty on Elma to push the ball into the Eagles red zone.

A few plays later, Templer scored his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 4-yard run to put Elma up 21-13 at the half.

Elma then tied the game in the second half on a 7-yard run from running back Isaac Phillips.

Studer hit Salazar on the conversion to tie the game at 21-all with 4:32 left in the third quarter.

RYAN SPARKS | THE DAILY WORLD Elma running back Isaac Phillips runs for a touchdown during the a 33-30 loss to Hoquiam on Friday in Elma.

RYAN SPARKS | THE DAILY WORLD Elma running back Isaac Phillips runs for a touchdown during the a 33-30 loss to Hoquiam on Friday in Elma.

Once again, Hoquiam had an answer.

The Grizzlies scored on their following possession — aided by an Elma 15-yard face mask call — and regained the lead when Jump hit receiver Owen McNeill on a 15-yard route up the seam for a 27-21 lead at the 1:37 mark of the third quarter.

Two plays later, Hoquiam caught a break. Studer hit receiver Ethan Camus on a short pass play on the left hash. Camus was then hit, jarring the ball loose. McNeill pounced on the fumble to give Hoquiam the ball back at its own 45-yard line.

Seven plays later, McNeill caught a 24-yard pass from Jump at the front-right pylon for a 33-21 lead with just under a minute elapsed in the fourth quarter.

But with the air seemingly sapped from Elma’s sails, the Eagles began to make a comeback.

After Hoquiam defender Chance Labounty intercepted a Studer pass, Elma scored when the snap on a Hoquiam punt attempt sailed through the back of the end zone for a safety.

Elma took the next possession 55 yards, scoring when Studer hit Hackney for a 4-yard touchdown, with Wood’s PAT kick pulling Elma to within a field goal at 33-30 with 5:04 left in the game.

On Hoquiam’s next possession, Jump was intercepted by Camus with approximately 3:30 left for the Eagles to potentially complete the dramatic comeback.

Elma moved the ball to the Hoquiam 32-yard line, but on 4th-and-1 a first-down run by Studer was called back due to an offensive holding call.

On the 4th-and-long reset, Studer — who was under pressure from blitzing linebacker Burtenshaw — was off-target with a pass to Hackney on a crossing route, giving Hoquiam the ball back on downs.

The Grizzlies were able to pick up a key first down on the following drive, running out the clock for the 33-30 win.

Hoquiam rushed for 258 yards as a team and 4.6 yards-per-carry.

Templer led the Grizzlies with 28 carries for 132 yards with Burtenshaw picking up 74 yards on just 11 carries for a punishing 6.7 yards-per-carry.

“We identified Week 1 that we are going to have to run a little bit more because we have three really good running backs right now and that doesn’t happen very often,” Hoquiam head coach Jeremy McMillan said. “Elma is tough and scrappy. … I tip my hat off to them. This league is tough and I told the kids if you stay together as a team this whole entire game, you’ll come out on top and they did that. This is a great team victory.”

“We just have some dogs at running back,” McNeill said of the Grizzlies effective rushing game. “They want it more. The defense it going to bring it, but they want it more. They are going to run downhill and get yards.”

The game was the first Hoquiam has played on Davis Field since a thrilling 14-13 victory in 2018 on a blocked field goal attempt as time expired.

McNeill — who caught five passes for 55 yards, two touchdowns and had a fumble recovery — celebrated his birthday on Friday with the victory.

“I’m speechless. I can’t describe it. It’s very special,” he said. “Everybody was doubting us after Week 1 (40-0 loss to Aberdeen). Everybody just looked past us and here we are. … We’re only going up from here. I’m glad to be on the field with all my brothers out here and get that win.”

Studer led Elma with 223 yards on 16-of-31 passing with Hackney being his favorite target, catching eight passes for 133 yards.

Hoquiam will face Tenino at 7 p.m. on Friday at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.

Elma will host Black Hills in a non-league matchup at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Hoquiam 6 15 6 6 — 33

Elma 0 13 8 9 — 30


First quarter

H — Templer 1 run (kick fail), 0:31

Second quarter

E — Hackney 58 pass from Studer (Wood kick), 11:46

E — Salazar 1 run (kick fail), 7:24

H — Templer 10 run (Jump run), 2:58

H — Templer 4 run (Wonderly-Leonard kick), 0:00

Third quarter

E — Phillips 7 run (Salazar pass from Studer), 4:32

H — McNeill 15 pass from Jump (kick fail), 2:37

Fourth quarter

H — McNeill 23 pass from Jump (kick blocked), 11:04

E — Safety, 7:48

E — Hackney 4 pass from Studer (Wood kick), 5:06^

Rushing: H — Templer 28-132, Burtenshaw 11-74, Jump 7-34, Hobucket 5-14, Atwell 3-4, Standstipher 2-0. E — Salazar 10-39, Camus 2-13, Hackney 1-9, Studer 7-8, Phillips 4-8, Reeves 1-2.

Passing: H — Jump 11-18-1-101. E — Studer 16-31-1-223.

Receiving: H — McNeill 5-55, Labounty 2-22, Atwell 2-16, Wonderly-Leonard 2-8. E — Hackney 8-133, Cain 6-67, Salazar 1-13, Camus 1-10.