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The Chronicle

Coleman's 4 TDs lead W.F. West past Black Hills


For the second straight week, the W.F. West football team took its time to get rolling on offense. But midway through the second quarter against Black Hills at home on Friday, the Bearcats started to find their rhythm, and they turned to Engine Engine No. 9 to do it.

Sophomore Connor Coleman, just four games into his career as a varsity starter, found paydirt four times in just over 15 minutes of gametime, and W.F. West rolled past the Wolves 48-8 to stay perfect in 2A EvCo play.

“We’ve been waiting for an opportunity for him to showcase his skills,” WFW coach Dan Hill said. “He’s a heck of an athlete, and we knew he was going to have these opportunities as he settled in. He showed up big-time tonight. I’m proud of the way he played.”

Coleman got on the board with just under five minutes to go in the second quarter, catching a 13-yard pass over the middle from Gage Brumfield to make it 14-0. Black Hills went three-and-out and shanked the punt, giving the Bearcats (2-2, 2-0 2A EvCo) the ball back with a short field, and two plays later, Brumfield hit Coleman again on a similar play.

W.F. West scored again in the final seconds of the half on a Brumfield run to go into the break up 28-0, and getting the ball back to start the third quarter, Hill knew he wanted to get the ball back into Coleman’s hands fast.

On the first play back, the Bearcats dialed up a reverse — their second of the game, after the first one didn’t work — and got the look they wanted.

“I was excited to get the ball, because I felt that if I got the corner, I don’t think anybody’s going to catch me,” Coleman said.

He got the corner, and 64-yards later, it was 34-0.

Coleman added one more touchdown catch over the middle late in the third quarter. He finished his night with 153 total yards on offense — 73 receiving and 80 rushing.

Brumfield went 11 for 19 for 164 yards. He started the day’s scoring with a 25-yard pass over the top to Grady Westlund to go along with his three touchdowns to Coleman, and also ran for a team-high 84 yards on six carries.

“Gage is starting to become a quarterback,” Hill said. “His ability to throw the ball accurately, his ability to read the coverage and his ability when things break down to create and use his legs and his gifts. He’s starting to figure it out, and he’s getting better every week.”

For the Wolves, Jaxsen Beck was 15 for 28 for 236 yards, with Bereket Lester leading the receiving corps with four catches for 81 yards.

Early on, the Black Hills offense moved the ball forward, but couldn’t keep itself from going backwards. On their second drive of the night, the Wolves took over at their 16-yard line and proceeded to gain 119 yards on a 12-play drive, but lost 42 on two bad snaps, a sack, a backwards rush and a false start penalty, and had to settle for a field goal attempt, which was missed.

“We’re right back to the discipline and the details,” BH coach Garrett Baldwin said. “We’re a young team, and it’s showing. But I think we’re showing a lot of good things, too.”

The Bearcats got after Beck all night long, finishing with five sacks, which combined with three bad snaps, set the Wolves back at minus-46 rushing yards on the night.

“The defense played outstanding,” Hill said. “I thought we put pressure on the quarterback all night long. We’ve still got to clean some stuff up, but I was very proud of our defensive effort.”

Still looking for its first win, Black Hills is set to host Aberdeen next Friday.

W.F. West, meanwhile, is starting to roll after starting the season 0-2. They’ll get a week to prepare for the game everyone’s got circled on the calendar: a home date against Tumwater. Last season, the Bearcats earned their first win over the T-Birds in 13 years , and all but punched a 2A EvCo title in the process.

This time around, the Thunderbirds will be the ones looking for revenge, and will come to Chehalis next Friday with a whole lot of momentum with similar stakes on the line.

“I think we definitely have a shot at beating Tumwater,” Coleman said. “I know a lot of people are against us, but I think we’ve got it.”

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