Spartans nearly knock off defending champ Onalaska

By Pierre LaBossiere

Olympic Peninsula News Group

The Forks Spartans went up against defending 2B state champion Onalaska and gave them everything they could handle, taking the Loggers all the way to overtime before falling 24-16.

“It was exhilarating and fantastic to be able to compete again,” said coach Trevor Highfield.

How good might the Spartans be this year? Onalaska knocked off No. 1 Napavine 38-0 last week in its opener.

“The guys played extremely tough and extremely hard. I’m excited about where we are as a program,” Highfield said. “Our first game in 2B. What a way to start.”

He said he didn’t want to blame COVID-19 but said the difference in the game may have been that Onalaska was playing its second game while Forks was playing its opener because the area was still stuck in Phase 1 a couple of weeks ago.

Forks forced six turnovers. The Spartans took a 9-0 lead on a Hayden Baker pass to Colton Duncan and an 11-yard field goal by Luis Perez. Baker also had a 14-yard touchdown run to make the score 16-8. He ended up rushing for 85 yards on 21 carries.

Onalaska was able to come back to tie the game. The Loggers scored a touchdown and 2-point conversion to take a lead in overtime. Forks was able to move the ball when the Spartans got the ball, but Onalaska picked off a Forks pass to seal the win.

Spartans quarterback Carter Windle had 207 yards on 16-of-44 passing. Highfield said Tony Hernandez-Flores “had some huge plays” on third and fourth down as a wide receiver and had an interception. Hayden Queen had six catches for 110 yards. Highfield also said Trey Baysinger and Derrick Beebe played well on the offensive line.

The Spartans next play Pe Ell/Willapa Saturday at Montesano.