The Wahkiakum Mule football team will host the Pe Ell Trojans in a state postseason playoff game this Friday, 7 p.m.
The Mules, 7-1 overall, defeated the Trojans, 3-6 overall, 27-12 earlier this season. The Mules led 27-6 at halftime, but Pe Ell controlled the third quarter and gave the Mules a run for the money in the second half.
"We can't look past them," Mule Coach Eric Hansen said Monday. "It's the playoffs. You have to win to stay in. We have to focus on this game."
The Trojan offense relies on two workhorses, running backs Devin Topelt and Andy Pickens. Quarterback Nick Bailey is pretty athletic and needs to be contained, Hansen said.
When the two teams first met, the Trojans were running a shotgun option offense, but with the weather change, Bailey has moved up under center for a more conventional running look. "They still running the same stuff," Hansen said.
The Trojans are coming off a 6-3 overtime win at Toutle Lake last Thursday. The two teams were battling for the Central League's last spot in the crossover playoffs. The Ducks started the overtime with a drive that ended in a field goal. Pe Ell won on a fourth down play with about a foot to go, Hansen said; Topelt powered into the endzone from four yards out.
The Mules go into the game perhaps without running back Peter Weiler who had a shoulder injury. Senior tight end Kohl Bergseng will be cleared Thursday after recovering from a foot injury, but he probably wouldn't ready to play of Friday.
The winner of the will head north the following weekend to play the winner of the LaConner-Concrete game.
Notes: The Mule offense generated 1,945 rushing yards and 1,139 passing yards in eight games. Quarterback Lars Blix completed 69 of 104 passes for 14 touchdowns; five passes were intercepted.
Austin Good led the rushing attack with 544 yards on 52 carries, an average of 10.5 yards per carry. Weiler gained 456 yards on 29 carries, 15.7 per carry, and Steven Doumit gained 417 yards on 48 carries, 8.7 yards per carry.
Good was the leading receiver, catching 20 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Travis Wegdahl caught 14 passes for 275 yards and six touchdowns; Weiler caught 14 for 271 yards and two touchdowns; Doumit caught nine for 98 yards and two touchdowns, Bergseng, in three games, caught five passes for 92 yards and one touchdown; Seth Doumit caught three passes for 48 yards, and Mason Mackey caught three for 29 yards.
The Naselle Comets closed out the season with a 20-0 win over South Bend to finish with a 6-2 season record, third in the Pacific League. Raymond crunched Willapa Valley 26-0 in the battle for the league's top two spots.
The Comets entertain the 6-3 Adna Pirates on Friday, 7 p.m., in a crossover game. The Pirates have knocked the Comets out of the playoffs the past couple years; they hope this is their year. The winner of that game will 9-0 Morton/White Pass the following weekend. Meanwhile, Mossyrock is at Willapa Valley, and North Beach heads to Napavine.
Look for Wahkiakum and Naselle fall sports schedules in late August!