Auburn Riverside players and fans revel in the win against Kentridge on Friday night. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Auburn Riverside players and fans revel in the win against Kentridge on Friday night. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Ravens defuse Chargers in Valley play, 55-14

Auburn Riverside’s ground attack scores 7 touchdowns in rout at home

Thaddeus Umi-Tuato’o was just as surprised as anyone when the football quickly bounced his way.

Kentridge, looking to cut into a three-touchdown deficit, opened the second half with a onside kick that Umi-Tuato’o instinctively reacted with quick hands and feet. Auburn Riverside’s 5-foot-7, 150-pound sophomore – one of the smallest players on the team – played big by scooping up the ball and returning it 54 yards for a breakaway touchdown.

The play ignited a 28-point third quarter, enabling the Ravens to knock down the Chargers 55-14 in a bruising North Puget Sound League Valley Division game at Auburn Memorial Stadium on Friday night.

Given the opportunity, Umi-Tuato’o responded.

“I didn’t see that coming,” he said of the onside kick. “Matter of fact, I was going to go (run) deep, but once I saw it I decided to just take it and go.”

Kentridge was able to pull within 28-7 early in the third quarter before the Ravens pulled away behind a punishing ground game.

The Ravens picked up a vital Valley win, improving to 1-1 in the division race, a game back of Federal Way, and 5-1 overall. The Chargers dropped to 2-1 and 3-3.

Arthur Tauiliili ran for three touchdowns, Javon Forward rushed for 137 yards and two TDs and wideouts Umi-Tuato’o and Andrew Butler each swept in for six as Auburn Riverside’s spread attack covered 342 of its 358 yards of offense on the ground.

Umi-Tuato’o, who also played safety, wound up with a team-leading seven tackles.

The Ravens came ready to pick up their first NPSL win in the two seasons of the league’s three-tiered division alignment.

“Our kids had a hunger in them,” said Ravens coach Marcus Yzaguirre. “We haven’t had a league win in two years. … I just told them to go out and get it.”

A Forward interception immediately set up the Ravens’ first score – Tauiliili’s 14-yard blast up the middle at 8:49.

Kentridge came up short on fourth down plays in its next two possessions, and Auburn Riverside cashed in. Out of a rare wishbone look in the backfield, Forward plowed in from the 5 for a score, and Umi-Tuato’o took an inside-handoff jet sweep 12 yards for a TD and a 21-0 lead with 3:15 left in the half.

The Chargers – buoyed by quarterback Chance Guadiz’ 46-yard completion to Michael Faber – drove to the Ravens’ 6. But on fourth-and-goal, Cade Foster sacked Guadiz for a 10-yard loss with 4:33 left in the half.

Kentridge was undone by untimely penalties, third- and fourth-down conversion woes and four turnovers. What might have been a tighter game by halftime eventually got out of reach.

“They really did take it to us. They made some plays that caused us to make mistakes,” said Kentridge coach Brett Ogata. “It could have been a different game, but we didn’t play up to where I’m used to seeing our guys play. At the same time … they made us that way.

“We have to take this game and learn from this because they came out and smacked us in the mouth a little bit,” Ogata said. “We didn’t know how to respond to that. … We have to learn how to respond to this.”

The Ravens held the Chargers to 240 yards in offense, 67 of which came from the run. Auburn Riverside made the Chargers’ Payton Thomas, a ground-churning tailback, a priority.

“He was for sure a tough guy to (bring) down,” Foster said of Thomas. “Our game plan was to gang tackle. … You can’t let them run through arm tackles.”

Yzaguirre added: “Our kids were just locked in. We knew coming in (Thomas) was going to be good. He’s going to make a couple of big plays. We had to contain him.”

Early in the third quarter, with his team down 28-0, Thomas found the end zone from 1 yard out. But the Ravens went on a spree, adding Forward’s 33-yard TD run and Tauiliili’s scoring runs from 1 and 9 yards out.

In the fourth quarter, Butler, a sophomore, raced 51 yards for a touchdown.

Kentridge’s second TD came on George Strunk’s 20-yard pass to Paul Lam with 2:16 left to play.

Auburn Riverside plays winless Kentlake in division play at 7 p.m. Thursday at French Field. Kentridge (1-5) is at Auburn next Friday in an interdivisional game. Kickoff is 7 p.m.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Mirror file photo
                                Jerome Collins, shown coaching the Federal Way High School boys basketball team in a 2016 state tournament semifinal game.
Ex-Federal Way basketball coach returns to teaching following misconduct allegations

Jerome Collins was on two years of paid leave over 2016 incident at Federal Way High School.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

Former Kentwood High stars Voth, McGuire face off in majors

Voth retires McGuire twice at Nationals Park

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Betting surges at Emerald Downs even without fans in grandstands

Mobile, off-track wagering breaks $1 million on opening day

Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center