Raymond sewed up its second straight Pacific League championship under third year head coach Rob Clements by dominating arch rival Willapa Valley 27-0 last Thursday night in Menlo. It was Raymond’s fourth shut out on the season.
The Seagulls (8-1) are off until November 16th when they play the winner of Wahiakum (7-2)-Naselle (3-5). The Seagulls won the league with a 5-0 record. Valley finished third at 3-2 and 4-4 overall. The Vikings take on Adna (6-3) Friday at home in a game that sends the winner to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs. The Pirates finished third in the Central League with a 5-3 record.
Clements has resurfaced the Raymond football program with three winning seasons in a row, and two undefeated league championships.
“It has always been our first goal to win the league title and earn the right to host the first round of the playoffs,” Clements added.
Raymond’s first game is tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 15 at Seagull stadium.
“In our bye week we need to get better with our complete execution, and with our fundamentals and with what it takes to do both offensively and defensively,” Clements said.
“Both teams are throwing threats and have very good quarterbacks that run the ball well,” Clements said. “I’m just going to worry about us and our process and focus on everything.”
The winner of that game takes on the winner of the Napavine-Onalaska game or Concrete.
Ratsavongsy a Force
Against Valley, Raymond halfback Darol Ratsovongsy turned in his typical big game on the ground with 133 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 16 carries.
“Darol had a great game on both sides of the ball,” Clements said.
Ratsavongsy scored Raymond’s first TD on a 21-yard jaunt off tackle. Quarterback Rayce Newman put the Gulls ahead 14-0 after a 1-yard sneak. A blocked punt by Hunter Borden recovered by RHS at the 11-yard line set up the score.
To start the second half, Valley tried to surprise the Gulls with an onside kick. It didn’t work and Seagulls drove 47 yards in 7 plays to take a 20-zip lead. Ratsavongsy bulled in from the 1-yard line.
Raymond got its final TD midway through the fourth quarter when Newman connected with Alex Sida on a 66-yard scoring play. Sida ran for 80 yards on 10 rushes.
“Valley played us tough,” Clements said. “They did a great job taking away our edge run, and forcing us to find tough yards up the middle. Overall, I thought our defense played a good game. We need to be able to execute better offensively going forward.”
Despite losing by four touchdowns, Willapa Valley HS Head football Coach Greg Wonhoff was pleased with his teams’ effort.
“Armed with a strong determination to prove to ourselves that we are capable of being able to hold our own, we cast off with a shipload of senior led, emotionally inspired Vikings,” Wonhoff said. “Our main objective was to not let a repeat of last year's game take place. I felt like we were totally intimidated last year, and I wanted our kids to believe enough in themselves and make this year totally different.
“All week the Vikes had been fired up and focused on the task at hand,” Wonhoff said. “As a coaching staff, we weren't sure if all the emotion was false bravado or actually heartfelt. Thursday's game erased away all doubt. We were ready to play, and play we did.
“We had the mindset that we were throwing the final score overboard and focusing on small "game-within-the-game" victories,” Wonhoff said. “We hoped to force them to punt, which is one thing I don't think they had to do last year. We wanted to gain more than three total first downs. That was our total last year. We hoped to create a turnover. I couldn't have been more pleased with our team's effort. From the opening kickoff, Raymond worked for everything they got. They are a big, strong, disciplined, and most of all, a well coached team, and we certainly had our hands full trying to contain their runners, especially Daryl and Alex. I thought our D-ends, Drew “Werd” Pearson and Randy “Curls” Heckard, and outside linebacker Jason “J-Flu” Fluke, did an outstanding job controlling the outside.
“I was very pleased w/our special teams, especially our punt team," Wonhoff said. “With the exception of one nice return, our cover guys did a phenomenal job. Trevor “Captain” Cook, Cody “Professor” Buchanan, and Seth “Silo” Flemetis led the way.
“We knew that one thing we couldn't do was line up as we regularly had been doing and run straight at them,” Wonhoff said. “We had been working on trying to spread them out a bit and hopefully find some open space. The speed of the Gulls made everything we tried difficult, but we kept the wind to the sails and tried to forge ahead. We were even able to pass the ball some.
“Matt “Front End” Konigsberger played the game of his life,” Wonhoff said. “Not only did he do his regular stellar job defensively, but he made some great offensive decisions while displaying great courage under fire.
“We still have a lot to improve on if we hope to advance one more game than we played last year,” Wonhoff said. “We'll just have to wait and see if we can dial up another shipload of emotionally charged play.
“As a coach, I couldn't have been more proud of the effort the boys put forth,” Wonhoff said. “At the final horn, they had left everything they had, out on the field. I wish nothing but the best to the Gulls, and I want to personally thank my son-in-law, Raymond's D-coordinator, Luke Abbott, for inspiring me to become a better coach each day I am blessed with the opportunity to call myself Coach.”
Valley’s offense was rather bleak against the Seagulls. The Vikes rushed for only 98 yards on 33 carries for an average of 2.9 yards per rush. Quarterback Matt Konigsberger was Valley’s top ground gainer with 48 yards on 12 carries. Konigsberger completed 6 of 12 passes for 39 yards, giving the Vikes 137 yards of total offense.
Ratsavongsy racked up a dozen tackles and Borden had 11.
Raymond rushed for 196 yards and Newman passed for 71 yards.
Defensively, Trevor Cook racked up 14 total tackles, including 7 solos; Konigsberger had 11 and Drew Pearson had 10 and a caused fumble.
There was only one turnover in the game, a fumble by Raymond.
Pacific League W-L All
Raymond 5-0 7-1
North Beach 4-1 7-2
Naselle 2-3 3-5
Ocosta 1-4 3-6
Naselle 41 South Bend 16
North Beach 50, Ocosta 6
Central League ` W-L All
Morton-White Pass 8-0 9-0
Napavine 7-1 8-1
Wahkiakum 6-2 7-2
Adna 5-3 6-3
Onalaska 4-4 5-4
Toutle Lake 3-5 3-6
Pe Ell 2-6 3-6
Mossyrock 1-7 2-7
Winlock 0-8 0-9
Morton-White Pass 52 Mossyrock 14
Adna 40 Onalaska 38
Napavine 56 Winlock 0
Toutle Lake 21 Pe Ell 6
Naselle at Wahkiakum
Toutle Lake at North Beach
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