A seemingly endless string of bumbles and fumbles for Lake Quinault was too much for the Elks to overcome as the Quilcene Rangers rolled on to State with a 58-14 playoff win Saturday in varsity 1B …
A seemingly endless string of bumbles and fumbles for Lake Quinault was too much for the Elks to overcome as the Quilcene Rangers rolled on to State with a 58-14 playoff win Saturday in varsity 1B football.
Quilcene jumped to a 30-0 first-quarter advantage in the matchup in Port Townsend’s Memorial Athletic Field.
Deakon Budnek scored four first-half touchdowns and James Miller added two more as the Rangers dominated in the opening half.
Quilcene led 44-0 and went ahead 58-0 before the Elks finally scored with 8:30 remaining in the game.
Lake Quinault’s second touchdown came with just eight seconds left to play.
The Elks were in unfamiliar territory against the Rangers, with the undefeated Lake Quinault (previously 8-0 overall, 5-0 district) moving up from 6-man football to take on Quilcene in 8-man play.
Rangers Coach Trey Beathard said afterward he wasn’t sure what to expect from the Elks.
“It was hard to predict,” he said. “I knew they had some kids that can run and throw and catch. And they do. And their kids played real, real hard.”
The Elks faced some tough sledding in playing 8-man football against the Rangers.
“We’re kind of like an inside running team and that’s not six-man football. That would be hard for them,” Beathard said.
Even so, Beathard added the Elks are a talented team that entered the contest with an unblemished record this season. Lake Quinault also came into the game with seven seniors on the squad.
“I feel like their coaches did a good job,” he said. “I didn’t even know that they were playing until at the end of the year last year. And then this year, all of a sudden, next thing you know, they’re 3-0, they’re 4-0, and they’re 8-0.”
“They’ve had a great year. I’m sure it’s disappointing, but they have had a great season,” he said.
Budnek was unstoppable for the Rangers, going untouched into the end zone for his first two scores, adding his second TD just two minutes after his first.
Miller scored the Rangers’ third touchdown at the 4:20 mark in the first quarter.
After two more touchdowns by Budnek in the first half, Miller tacked another TD on the board before the end of the second quarter.
Though the Elks had trouble handling kick returns early in the game, it took some time before the Rangers started to capitalize on Lake Quinault’s miscues.
“I thought the very first series or so, we were kind of a little bit tentative,” Beathard said. “And then the kids started playing really, really hard. In about the first 20 plays, Deakon Budnek had five or six highlight plays.”
“It’s almost like our kids kind of got confident after that. And we just got on a roll.
“Our two seniors, they want to keep playing football — and they played like it,” he said.
One of the highlight-reel plays was a caused fumble by Budnek that led to a fumble recovery by Hunter Simmons. An ensuing offsides call against the Elks gave the Rangers a first-and-five on the Elks’ 43-yard line.
Two plays later, Budnek scampered 37 yards for his third touchdown of the first quarter with 1:55 to play and a 30-0 Quilcene advantage..
Beathard also praised the performance of Miller, the Rangers’ other senior on the roster
“James Miller had some good runs and some good plays as well. I think our kids played well today,” Beathard said.
With the win, Quilcene advances to State and will face off against DeSales (8-1).
Beathard said his team isn’t ready for the season to end.
“I think they will be anxious to play,” he said. “I think we got a core group that really want to keep playing.”
“Football practice is hard, especially this time of year,” Beathard added. “It was a little blustery this week when we were out there; it’s raining and the wind is blowing and everything else. I’m like: Golly, maybe I should have coached basketball.”
“I think we got some kids who want to keep playing,” he said.