Yelm football lights up passing game in 56-6 victory over Central Kitsap
Yelm football’s Aalona twins, Damian and Marius, picked up against Central Kitsap right where they left off one week prior against Union as the duo connected for 220 yards through the air and three touchdowns en route to a 56-6 Tornado victory over its South Sound Conference opponent.
The Yelm Tornados football program added to its winning streak on Sept. 15, moving to 17 consecutive victories after defeating the Central Kitsap Cougars. Damian Aalona passed for 383 yards and five touchdowns on the evening, continuing Yelm’s hot streak through the air.
“Our methodology with our quarterbacks is to get the ball to your athletes. A lot of our offensive designs are putting our athletes in position to get the ball, sometimes it’s easier said than done,” Yelm’s head coach Jason Ronquillo said. “But Damian has been doing a great job of putting the ball where we want it, and Marius has been on the receiving end of that.”
Marius, who now totals 20 catches for 358 yards and six touchdowns in his last two games, has found his groove as a playmaker in the Tornados’ offense.
“The preparation between (Damian and I) has led to our production early in the season. We stay connected, always having the twin mentality. That twin mentality is huge,” Marius said. “This week, the team will keep up with the preparation and intensity leading up to Friday, and we’ll keep on practicing hard.”
Brayden Platt, who led Yelm in rushing in the evening with 80 yards, scored the Tornados’ first touchdown of the evening on a 24-yard rush in the first quarter. After a successful point after touchdown (PAT) from kicker Jameson Patin, Yelm led 7-0. Patin finished the evening 8 for 8 on PAT kicks.
Following Yelm’s first touchdown, kicker Sterling Temple dribbled a 10-yard onside kick that caught Central Kitsap off guard, as he recovered his own kick. On the Tornados’ second play of the drive, Damian connected with Marius from 42 yards out for a touchdown to give Yelm an early 14-0 lead.
On the Tornados’ following defensive drive, senior defensive back AJ Henderson caught his second interception of the season and set Yelm’s offense up in strong field position. After stringing together several plays, the Tornados marched within the Cougars’ 10-yard line, and Damian connected with senior Onyx Carter for an 8-yard passing touchdown. Yelm led 21-0 to conclude the first quarter.
After the Tornado defense forced a punt, the Aalonas connected on their second touchdown of the game, this time from 63 yards out to lead 28-0 in the second quarter. The duo completed their touchdown trifecta on Yelm’s next offensive drive on a passing touchdown from 29 yards out, giving the Tornados a 35-0 lead.
After the Tornados forced another three and out, Central Kitsap was forced to punt yet again. Henderson set up Yelm’s offense with strong field position after a 45-yard punt return. Three plays into its offensive possession, the Tornados scored a 33-yard rushing touchdown by senior running back Anthony Kiamco. Yelm led 42-0 in the second quarter.
Central Kitsap connected on its only touchdown of the game just before halftime. Cougar receiver Tristan Hall caught a 22-yard passing touchdown, but the Cougars trailed 42-6 after a missed field goal.
Yelm’s only third quarter touchdown was a 20-yard Damian Aalona pass to his 6-foot-6 receiver Jacob Tracy, who caught his first touchdown of the year. Yelm led 49-6.
Marius Aalona said Tracy’s score was one of his favorite moments of their victory against the Cougars.
“I honestly get more happy when our other receivers get receptions and touchdowns,” he said. “I love seeing them with the football in their hands.”
Yelm’s final score of the blowout conference matchup came from backup sophomore quarterback Parker Myers, who threw his first varsity touchdown pass to sophomore Sterling Temple in the fourth quarter. Yelm ultimately defeated Central Kitsap 56-6.
“I thought things were clicking well in all phases on Friday, particularly the offense to start. The defense did really well, and all phases executed as we got that onside kick in the second series,” Ronquillo said. “It seemed like everything we thought CK would do, they did, and we took advantage of it.”
The Yelm Tornados (3-0) return home to host the River Ridge Hawks (0-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 in both team’s second South Sound Conference matchup of the year. The Tornados look to extend its conference winning streak to 22 consecutive wins, dating back to Oct. 25, 2019.
“River Ridge has a lot of skill players, and their quarterback is probably their most dangerous player on the field for them. They’re going to try to spread us out vertically and horizontally with the ball. Containing the quarterback will be an important challenge for us,” Ronquillo said. “Offensively, they’ve been able to score points in the air and on the ground.”
Tickets to the game can be purchased at GoFan.co.