First things first: Get a stop on Archbishop Murphy’s running quarterback, Hans VanderWel.
The Tumwater Thunderbirds achieved that, more or less, after the first quarter. But the T-
Birds didn’t account for the passing quarterback VanderWel or the sticky pass-defending VanderWel, and the rest of the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats followed the lead of their junior standout en route to a 41-6 victory against defending Class 2A champion Tumwater in a first-round playoff football game at Tumwater District Stadium.
The game was a startling reversal of the 2010 2A title game, when Tumwater handled Archbishop Murphy, 34-14. This year, Murphy dominated from the opening kickoff.
“That’s probably the biggest whipping we’ve had on that field in a long time,” a weary Tumwater coach Sid Otton said afterward.
On the first offensive series of the game, the 6-foot, 200-pound VanderWel had carries of 16 and 8 yards on a seven-play, 57-yard drive capped by a 17-yard touchdown run by junior running back Ricky Gordon.
Tumwater stopped the Wildcats on downs on their next possession, which reached the T-Bird 20, most of the yardage coming on a 40-yard burst by junior Alex Galgano.
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