The Onalaska Loggers were in control here Friday night … except for a brief few spurts in which they were not quite in control.
Still, with another hefty dose of Ashton Haight and stifling run defense, Onalaska kept its record pristine with 54-22 SWW 2B League Mountain Division win over Rainier on the Mountaineers’ Homecoming night.
Haight packed the ball 35 times for 349 rushing yards and five touchdowns, leading a Logger ground game that piled up 483 yards on the ground.
“He’s a man amongst boys — the Haight train,” Onalaska senior Alex Frazier said. “I’ve seen him do it his entire life. He’s a beast.”
Frazier, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound two-way lineman, spearheaded the defense, recording a pair of sacks and a handful of big hits while helping hold Rainier to just 2 rushing yards.
It wasn’t quite a straightforward proposition for the Loggers, though; their first drive burned six minutes off the clock before stalling on the Mountaineers’ 4-yard line. Rainier, though, went three-and-out and punted out of its own end zone, only to see the punt go off-kilter and bounce back onto the goal line for a safety.
Onalaska covered 30 yards on its next drive, wrapping things up with Haight’s first touchdown. Cade Lawrence picked off a pass to end Rainier’s next possession, and five plays later Haight was back in the end zone on a 3-yard run.
The Mountaineers, though, struck back quickly. Quarterback Mikey Green, who finished 16 of 28 for 193 yards, hit Brody Klein for a 62-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to cut the lead to make it 14-6 early in the second frame.
The Loggers, though, went back to their workhorse. Haight broke off a 50-yard run to set up a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Lucas Kreger, and four minutes later Kreger intercepted a pass from Green. Five plays later Haight was in the end zone for his third score.
Rainier fumbled away the next kickoff, and Kreger quickly hit tight end Kayden Allison for a 19-yard touchdown to give the Loggers a 36-6 advantage going into the intermission.
Even that massive lead, however, wasn’t quite safe.
“We had a little dropoff after halftime there,” Logger coach Mazen Saade said. “We had to settle back in.”
The dropoff featured two quick touchdowns, first with Green finding Jake Jeske for a 9-yard score and then with Green sneaking in a 1-yard run. The scores came sandwiched around a lost Logger fumble.
“Sometimes we have a tough time in the second half coming out a little dry,” Frazier said. “We came out, and they smacked us in the mouth a little bit. But we just did what we do, running the ball.”
The running came, naturally, from Haight, who broke off a 67-yard touchdown run to put the Loggers’ lead back in comfortable territory at 42-22 with just under five minutes left in the third.
Haight added another score as time winded down in the third, and Lawrence found the end zone on a 6-yard run midway through the fourth for the final margin.
It was the first 300-yard game of the season for Haight, who had 38 carries for 270 yards two weeks earlier in a win over Pe Ell-Willapa Valley.
“The kid’s special,” Saade said. “He really is, and he’s got a great offensive line in front of him.”
Saade noted that the entire offensive line — Frazier, B.J. Cleveland-Barrera, Spencer Hamilton, Joaquin Patraca, Aidan Readman and Allison — played well.
Allison caught both of Kreger’s pass attempts for 47 yards, and Kreger finished with 54 rushing yards on nine carries. Lawrence added 55 yards on nine carries.
The win secures at least a District 4crossover berth for Onalaska (6-0, 2-0 division). Four Mountain Division teams move on to the crossover round.
“It takes a little pressure off, but we talk like we’re going to be in the crossover every year,” Frazier said. “It’s just one step closer to our goal of a state championship.”
Onalaska, ranked No. 2, hosts top-ranked Napavine on Friday. Rainier (4-2) hosts Adna the same night.