In a hard-hitting game against an unbeaten opponent Friday at South Sound Stadium, Tumwater was special on special teams.
The Thunderbirds rode two kicking-game touchdowns to their fifth consecutive win, 28-12, over 10th-ranked North Thurston, which lost for the first time this season.
In a non-league game that both head coaches saw as a gauge of their teams’ progress heading down the stretch, Tumwater scored on a punt return and a blocked punt, and the Thunderbirds’ sure-tackling defense made yardage hard to come by for North Thurston’s fleet of running backs.
“From game one (a loss to Shelton) to game six, it’s 100 percent improvement,” Tumwater coach Sid Otton said. “We beat a really good football team tonight.”
North Thurston moved the ball in spurts, but never claimed the line of scrimmage for its running attack.
“Their defense has a lot to say about that,” North Thurston coach Rocky Patchin said.
“I thought our kids played well at times. The difference in the game was the kicking game, obviously.”