PURDY, Wash. — One by one, the top-ranked Class 3A Yelm tornadoes took the best beatings from their opponents. And they emerged with barely a scratch.
Here are the results over seven weeks: 44-14. 46-6. 58-0. 65-7. 63-0. 71-0. 56-14.
And the South Sound Conference’s toughest test, the Peninsula Seahawks, still fell short. Yelm lined them up and also toppled them 58-14 on Friday at Roy Anderson Field.
The dominating win sealed the 3A SSC Championship for Yelm (8-0), but it’s only a stepping stone to this season’s ultimate prize.
And at this point, it’s fair to ask the rest of the state: Can anyone challenge the Yelm Tornados?
Because the Tornados have already answered all the questions about the quality of this year’s squad.
“We worked all summer,” Yelm running back William Carreto said. “We were angry after the loss to Marysville (Pilchuck in the playoffs last year) so we had to come back and be champions again.”
The Tornados scored on eight of 10 possessions on Friday, amassing 446 yards. With Brayden Platt, a standout two-way player with a sprained ankle — he says he’ll be fine for the playoffs — the Tornados have turned to one of Evergreen State’s top athletes.
Portland State University commitment Kyler Ronquillo rushed for 126 yards on seven carries. His 54-yard sprint to the end zone opened the scoring just three plays into the night. He added a 20-yard touchdown catch from behind the end zone and an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
But the Tornados have shown they have depth too. Carreto, Platt’s backup, rushed for 95 yards on eight carries, including 4 and 49 yard touchdowns.
“I was a little nervous at first, but I got in the zone and I was going,” Carreto said. “All cylinders.”
Damian Aalona passed 9 of 10 for 103 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to Aden Schaler to start the clock. Anthony Kiamco added a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Peninsula (6-2) couldn’t come up against a stiff Yelm defense, led by four sacks from Isaiah Patterson. Payton Knowles completed 13 of 22 passes for 134 yards and a late 50-yard touchdown pass to Jones Stalker. Aiden Lester also scored on a 61-yard rushing touchdown.
The Seahawks will be looking to bounce back in a battle for second-place SSC against Timberline on Thursday.
Yelm returns to Roy Anderson Field in Week 9 for a Thursday reunion with Gig Harbor.