Tumwater 27, Union 20
(Tumwater, WA) Teams are probably already tired of the Noah Andrews to Cade Otton connection after 2 straight weeks of late game heroics. Last week they connected on a 26-yard TD pass as time expired to beat Bellevue 15-13. This week it was not quite as dramatic but just as effective as Andrews lasered one to Otton on a slant pass for a 6-yard TD with 1:41 left to play in the game and gave the T-Birds their 1st lead in the game that would hold up for the win.
Union would take just 29-seconds and 2 plays from scrimmage to take their 1st lead of the game. They would begin on their own 30-yard line and Coach Rory Rosenbach went to the back of the play-book for their 1st play from scrimmage that turned out to be a 63-yard completion.
QB Lincoln Victor tossed the ball to Abe Smith who was rolling to his right while Keithen Shepard was full out in a jet pattern. Smith unloaded and Shepard made the catch and was pulled down on the 7. The next play Victor hit Shepard in the endzone and the Titans were on the board in just 29-seconds. They tried for 2 but failed but jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Tumwater would take advantage of a Titan fumble on their own 38 where Otton fell on it. Andrews would then connect with Otton for 33 yards down to the 5. Jakob Holbrook would run it in 2 plays later from the 2, the PAT would be blocked and the game was tied 6-6.
Union would re-take the lead in the 2nd quarter. Tumwater’s Otton sacked Victor for a big loss setting up a 3rd and 25 when Victor hit Shepard on an underneath screen and Shepard hit a hole to pick up the 1st down. The Titans would drive down inside the 5 and Victor had to leave the game for either blood or an equipment issue. Nehru Faalevao would come in and run it in for the go ahead score. The PAT was good and with 3:51 to go in the half Union led 13-7.
Tumwater was ready to answer with a good kick-off return to their own 41. Andrews dropped back to pass and let it fly to Andrew May around the Union 30 when Kevin Peterson stepped in front and looked to have the pick when the ball went through his hands and May had a big reception but then fumbled the ball and Peterson recovered it on the Union 25.
The Titans would have time to try and add to their lead when Faalevao tried to throw the ball down field but Tumwater’s Zach Jones stepped in front of the pass and picked it off at about the 30 and ran it back untouched. Andrews booted the extra point and they would go to halftime tied 13-13.
In the 3rd quarter Union would take the lead for a 3rd time on their 2nd possession of the 2nd half. They began on their 34. After driving down to the 28 yard line, Faalevao hit Shepard who made a spectacular play to go up and take the ball away from the defender and ended up on the 1-yard line. Abe Smith would bull his way in and Connor Culp added the PAT for a 20-13 lead.
Tumwater would immediately answer beginning on their own 22. Andrews would hit May for a big 26 yard hook-up and they worked it down to the 8-yard line. Andrews then took over with a spectacular run right up the middle avoiding several would be tacklers getting into the endzone and once again the game was tied now 20-20.
Tumwater had a chance to take the lead with a long drive but would turn the ball over on downs as the Union defense held firm. Then on Union’s 1st play from their own 30 a mishandled ball between Faalevao and running back Elijah Jones saw the ball bounce to the ground and Aiden Slater came up with a huge turnover for Tumwater on the Union 23.
It was then time for Andrews and Otton again and with 1:41 left to play in the game they would give the T-Birds their first lead in the game as Andrews fired a laser to Otton on a slant right at the goal line to complete the 6-yard TD. After the PAT it was 27-20 and Union would get one last chance but turn it over on downs near mid-field.
Tumwater recorded their 4th win to improve to 4-0 while the Titans dropped to 2-2. Andrews finished the night going 20-29 for 284 yards and a TD while rushing for 17 yards and another touchdown. Cade Otton hauled in 8 catches for 132 and a TD, May had 5 catches and just missed 100 yards with 97. The usual run happy T-Birds were held to just 89 rushing yards but chalked up 373 total yards.
Union’s running game was also held in check with just 52 while Victor, Faalevao and Smith combined for 238 passing yards and 1 touchdown. Keithen Shepard had a huge night with 5 catches for 157 yards and a TD.
Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game went to Tumwater’s Noah Andrews and Union’s Abe Smith. Our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game went to Tumwater’s Zach Jones and his pick 6 interception.