Tanner Myhre’s strong connection with his Nooksack Valley receiving corps was evident in the Pioneers opening win. Myhre was 19 for 22 with 322 yards passing yards and four passing touchdowns to lead Nooksack Valley to a 49-35 win over Anacortes on Friday, Sept. 5, at Anacortes High School.
Myhre also spread the passing around, hitting nine different receivers in the win.
“My receivers did it all,” Myhre said. “They did a great job. And the line did great, I’m very happy with them. I don’t even know if that’s saying enough.”
Myhre and the Pioneers started off the game with an 11-play, 71-yard drive. He punched the ball in from one yard out for the 7-0 lead after Nooksack Valley chipped its way down the field.
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But Anacortes answered quickly with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Camden McLaughlin to Ty Johnson. The Seahawks relied on the run for most of the first half, but McLaughlin came up big each time the offense called on him to pass, going a perfect 6 for 6 to start the game.
Nooksack Valley came back with a fast drive of its own. Myhre took a 13-yard run for a first down on the first play, and followed it up with a 39-yard strike to Parker Schram to set the Pioneers up on the 19-yard line. On the very next play, Myhre found his favorite target Joshua Gimmaka for a touchdown pass.
Gimmaka finished with six catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns.
“The offense clicked like we should,” Nooksack Valley coach Robb Myhre said. “They did some things only seniors do. They made some on the field calls and changed a couple of plays based on what they were seeing from the defense.”
Anacortes answered again with a drive that ended with Joe D’Amelio running in a touchdown from 27 yards out. D’Amelio was the Seahawks top rusher, going for 75 yards on seven attempts.
But Anacortes’ defense couldn’t handle the Pioneers’ attack once again. Myhre drove the Nooksack Valley offense down the field to the 18 and found Gimmaka again in the end zone to put the Pioneers up 21-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The Seahawks capitalized on good field position due to a Nooksack Valley penalty on the kickoff and easily drove down to the one-yard line. The Pioneers stood strong, stuffing two rushing attempts, but McLaughlin found D’Amelio on third down to tie the game again.
Nooksack Valley was forced to punt on its next possession, but forced a fumble on the first Anacortes play of the drive and recovered. Myhre hit Brady Wood on a screen pass and then connected with William Kingma from 32 yards out to push the Pioneers ahead again, 28-21.
Anacortes finished the half with a 28-yard touchdown pass from McLaughlin to Johnson as time expired to tie the game at 28.
In the second half Nooksack’s defense set the tone early. They forced punts on the first three Anacortes possessions of the half, which allowed the Pioneers to build a 42-28 lead.
A big part of the defense’s success was the pressure it put on McLaughlin.
“We let Lathan (Halaapiapi) go free in the second half a little more,” Robb Myhre said. “He didn’t get many sacks, but he was very physical with their quarterback and forced some rushed throws.”
The Pioneers’ secondary also clamped down, forcing McLaughlin into incompletion after incompletion. He was just 2 for 14 in the second half after going 10 for 13 in the first.
“We just needed to pick up the energy,” Tanner Myhre said.
The Pioneers scored once more in the fourth on a Myhre six-yard run, and Anacortes’ lone second half score came on a 92-yard fumble recovery in the final five minutes of the game.
Nooksack — Tanner Myhre 1 run (Ryan Gelwicks kick)
Anacortes — Ty Johnson 42 pass from Camden McLaughlin (Zachary Bowman kick)
Nooksack — Joshua Gimmaka 19 pass from Myhre (Gelwicks kick)
Anacortes — Joe D’Amelio 27 run (Bowman kick)
Nooksack — Gimmaka 18 pass from Myhre (Gelwicks kick)
Anacortes — D’Amelio 2 pass from McLaughlin (Bowman kick)
Nooksack — William Kingma 32 pass from Myhre (Gelwicks kick)
Anacortes — Johnson 28 pass from McLaughlin (Bowman kick)
Nooksack — Gimmaka 47 pass from Myhre (Gelwicks kick)
Nooksack — Gelwicks 48 pass from Myhre (Gelwicks kick
Nooksack — Myhre 6 run (Gelwicks kick)
Anacortes — Taylor Peterson-Foy 92 fumble return (Bowman kick)
RUSHING — Nooksack Valley: Tanner Myhre 16-89, Colton Kautz 4-50, Adam Mydland 5-47, Curtis Handy 5-27, Joe McNeely 6-16, Connor Beard 2-10, Ryan Gelwicks 1-8, Brady Wood 1-5. Anacortes: Joe D’Amelio 7-75, Julien Collins 8-20, Logan Sad 3-13, Ty Johnson 1-7, Jay Kiesser 2-(-4), Camden McLaughlin 1-(-5).
PASSING — Nooksack Valley: Tanner Myhre 19-22-1-4 322. Anacortes: Camden McLaughlen 12-27-0-3 192.
RECEIVING — Nooksack Valley: Joshua Gimmaka 6-108, William Kingma 2-51, Ryan Gelwicks 4-48, Parker Schram 1-39, Brady Wood 2-30, Curtis Handy 3-15, Adam Mydland 2-18, Connor Beard 1-6, Joe McNeely 1-7. Anacortes: Ty Johson 3-104, Joe D’Amelio 6-51, Jordan Neville 3-37.