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Nisqually Valley News
Mozingo, Rodriguez run rampant to lead Loggers over Beavers
TENINO — More often than not in Onalaska, the game plan is simple, but effective: Get the ball into the hands of Kayden Mozingo and Rodrigo Rodriguez.
With those two at the helm, the Loggers can dream big about what the rest of their season could look like.
“I think we’re going to have some fun the rest of the year,” Mozingo said with a smile on Friday, after the duo ran for 486 of Ony’s 532 yards to lead the Loggers to a massive 62-21 victory in Tenino.
Onalaska (3-1) had its way against the Tenino (0-4) defense, as the Loggers consistently marched up and down the field.
“I thought we moved the ball well,” Onalaska coach Mazen Saade said. “The linemen played well, and (Mozingo and Rodriguez) ran really hard tonight. They ran their tails off and they rose to the occasion.”
It was clear from the first drive that the pair would have success throughout the night, as the Loggers marched 70 yards on 13 plays to take an early lead. After a Tenino three-and-out, they drove 82 yards on 15 plays to make it 16-0.
To say the Ony offensive line was dominating the line of scrimmage would be an understatement, as they consistently created large lanes for the ball carriers to run through.
“The linemen do everything for us,” Rodriguez said. “They open up the holes, we just run through them.”
The Beavers got inside the red zone on their second possession, before a holding penalty forced them into a third-and-long, where Cody Strawn was intercepted in the end zone by Samuel Pannkuk.
Two plays later, Mozingo ripped off a 68-yard run. Instead of Tenino possibly being down one score, it was 22-0 in the blink of an eye.
Strawn was able to find the end zone on the Beavers’ next drive, scampering in on a 26-yard scramble, but the Loggers needed just four plays to answer – a 20-yard Mozingo run, a 36-yard Mozingo run, a 17-yard Rodriguez run, and a 20-yard Rodriguez touchdown run.
Mozingo finished with a whopping 16.8 yards per carry, tallying 285 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. Rodriguez also finished with an incredible statline, running for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
After halftime, the Onalaska defense got in on the action. On the second play of the second half, the snap went high over Strawn’s head and began bouncing towards the end zone. While it appeared Michael Vassar jumped on it to retain possession, the ball caromed further back, and Blaze Underhill picked it up and ran it in for six.
While it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Loggers, the Tenino offense was able to find some success in the second half.
After the scoop-and-score, the Beavers went right back down the field, and Vassar capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Early in the fourth, Strawn made his best play of the game, rolling to his left before lobbing a perfect pass to Austin Gonia, who ran an excellent corner route and was open in the end zone.
Strawn finished 8-18 passing with 105 yards, the one touchdown and an interception, and he also ran for 51 yards and a score. Vassar, who left the game briefly with an injury in the first half before returning later, finished with 12 carries for 36 yards.
Saade said that while there are some things to clean up defensively, he is confident in assistant coach Wayne Nelson to make the necessary adjustments.
“We need to understand alignments a little better,” Saade said. “Little parts of the game, those little pieces that we can really shore up.”
After all, the constant chase for improvement is a big reason why the Loggers once again look the parts of a true contender.
“Our goal was to get one percent better,” Saade said. “Every single day and every single week. Get one percent better, and they’re doing it. That’s all we can ask them to do.”
Next week, Ony will look to continue to build when it hosts Toledo on Friday, while the Beavers will look to get their first win of the season in Eatonville on Saturday.