Napavine tops B.C.'s Carson Graham in 'meat grinder'

Sep. 16—Box Score

At Tiger Field


Carson G. 0 0 0 0 — 0

Napavine 14 8 0 8 — 30

Scoring Summary

NAP (Q1) — Ashton Demarest 10-yard run, two-point good

NAP (Q1) — Caleb Von Pressentin 3-yard run, two-point failed

NAP (Q2) — Demarest 10-yard pass to Karsen Denault, two-point good

NAP (Q4) — Cael Stanley 1-yard run, two-point good

Team Stats CG NAP

First Downs 9, 16

Rushing Yards 41, 242

Passing Yards 154, 124

Total Yards 195, 366

Comp-Att-Int 25-45-0, 12-24-2

Fumbles/Lost 2/2, 0/0

Individual Stats

Rushing: CG — Kai Nickle 11/31; NAP — Cael Stanley 9/97

Passing: CG — Liam Marshall 25-45/154; NAP — Demarest 12-24/124

Receiving: CG — Eric Town 8/57; NAP — Denault 5/61

NAPAVINE — It was far from the usual dominant outing for the Napavine football team on Friday.

Carson Graham Secondary School of North Vancouver made things difficult for Ashton Demarest and company on offense, forcing two turnovers and holding the Tigers to their lowest scoring output in a regular season game since the COVID spring season.

Even so, the Tigers (3-0) were able to salt away the final minutes and celebrate a 30-0 victory over the Eagles, one that extended their win streak to 16 games.

"That was a meat grinder," Napavine coach Josh Fay said. "Physically, it was one of the tougher games we've played."

Early on, that didn't seem to be the case. On the game's opening possession, the Tigers marched 65 yards on 15 plays, nine of them being run plays, with Demarest running in a 10-yard touchdown for the game's first score.

On the Eagles' second offensive play, they fumbled the ball away, and two plays later, the Tigers were back in the end zone. Six minutes in, and it was already 14-0.

Napavine did punt on its next possession, but found itself at the nine-yard line facing fourth and goal moments later. Demarest lobbed up a jump ball in the far corner of the end zone, and Karsen Denault came down with it to extend the lead.

Everything seemed to be clicking offensively.

"Coach (Tyson) Wilson did a nice job mixing in the run a little bit and we were pretty balanced moving the ball," Fay said. "The offensive line executed and gave us some running lanes."

From that point on, things got murky for both offenses.

The Eagles had already been struggling, as quarterback Liam Marshall and receiver Breylon Mcculler couldn't connect on multiple attempts deep downfield.

After the deficit grew to three scores, the Eagles shifted to a quicker passing game, peppering the Tigers underneath and matriculating the ball down the field.

Eventually facing a fourth and goal at the one, Kai Nickle took a handoff and had a hole to burst through at the goal line, but he collided with a motioning receiver in the backfield and fell short.

It was the closest the Eagles got to scoring, even as they later turned back to go routes and deep posts.

The Tigers defended those plays perfectly, not allowing a single completion more than 15 yards downfield, despite missing defensive backs Cal Bullock and Conner Holmes.

"We just know we have athletes back there," Fay said, giving credit to Cayle Kelly, James Grose, Denault and Demarest specifically. "Our athletes are on the back end. That's where they're at, and they did a nice job."

While the Tigers continued to dominate, the Eagles defense made some adjustments as well, holding Napavine to just eight points in the second half.

"I would give them credit for forcing us to stall out," Fay said. "We really had to work tonight, there was nothing easy."

Fay also gave credit to Riley Griffith and Tyler Watson, two players who stepped into bigger roles as others battled injuries.

At the start of fall camp, Fay said that he was looking for about a half-dozen or so players to cement themselves as contributors in camp, and on Friday, Griffith and Watson proved to be more than capable.

"These are guys that we're forcing into a role and it's nice to see them go be successful," Fay said. "It's a couple of guys that we hoped would get there, and this is a big step in the right direction."

Cael Stanley led the effort on the ground for the Tigers, rushing for 97 yards on nine attempts, while Demarest added 54 yards on 16 attempts.

Through the air, Demarest finished with a modest 124 yards and one touchdown, and he also threw two interceptions, though one was on a Hail Mary to end the first half. Denault was his leading receiver, hauling in five receptions for 61 yards and the lone touchdown.

Napavine was able to hold Carson Graham to just 41 yards rushing, and Nickle tallied 31 of those on 11 attempts.

The Tigers will look to win their 17th straight game next Friday when they host PWV at 7 p.m.