PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Quilcene’s Budnek scores 7 TDs in 61-34 win over Lummi

SEQUIM — Quilcene got off to a slow start against Lummi in the Rangers’ district playoff game, doing no damage the first two or three possessions.

Then, disaster struck. Quilcene picked up a punt at the 1-yard line and tried to run with it, getting tackled at the 1.

Things changed in a big hurry. On the very next play, the Rangers’ Bishop Budnek ripped off a 99-yard touchdown run. It was the first of seven touchdowns on the ground for Budnek, who finished with 285 yards rushing on 23 carries.

“It was the play of the game,” said coach Trey Beathard. “He scored more touchdowns than I remembered.”

The Rangers went on to win easily, 61-34, to qualify for the state 1B playoffs. Quilcene is the No. 3 seed in the state and will get a first-round bye, not playing until Nov. 19 or 20.

Budnek scored on runs of 99, 50, 20, 17, 10, 6 and 1 yards. Counting two-point conversions, Budnek scored 48 points in the win. Kevin Alejo had nine carries for 30 yards and a touchdown. He also had an interception and a 64-yard return for a near-touchdown. Jayden Love also had a 17-yard run. Isaiah Reimann also kicked a 32-yard field goal.

Quarterback Nathan Keiffer was blitzed all game and only had one completion for negative 2 yards. Beathard said Keiffer did have a couple of long passes that were dropped, however.

In all, the Rangers didn’t have all that much offense, but that was because, other than the 99-yard drive, Quilcene got great field position all game, Beathard said. Lummi was penalized repeatedly after it scored for excessive celebrations, kicking off deep from the Blackhawks’ own territory. Then the Blackhawks also tried a number of onside kicks that Quilcene kept recovering, starting their drives deep in Lummi territory.

Beathard said Jeremy Allen helped the Rangers start in good position, grabbing onside kicks and making returns of 40, 30 and 19 yards to give Quilcene a short field.

The Rangers also forced a number of turnovers. In addition to Alejo’s interception, Budnek and Reimann also had interceptions, while Alejo, Ashton Johnston, Jaxon Taylor and James Miller all recovered fumbles.

Alejo and Budnek led the team with nine tackles each. Deakon Budnek had eight tackles and three sacks, while Dominic Smith had seven tackles and two sacks.

Quilcene is the highest-ranked team west of the Cascades in the 1B state playoffs, which in recent years have been dominated by teams in eastern Washington. The Rangers (8-1) will play the winner of a game between DeSales and Winlock.

Beathard gave a lot of credit to the team’s success this year to Athletic Director Mark Thompson. He said Thompson scheduled some tough preleague games (including a game against Lummi and an 11-man game against 1A Bellevue Christian).

“We’re a little better prepared for playoffs,” he said.

Lummi beat Quilcene earlier in the season 28-22, but the Rangers were missing some key players in that game.

Saturday’s game was played at Sequim High School due to muddy field conditions in Quilcene.

Naselle 54, Crescent 0

NASELLE — Crescent had trouble getting it going, having to battle both the No. 1 district seed in the 1B football playoffs and a terrible, muddy field in a 54-0 loss.

“It was the worst field conditions I’ve ever seen in my life,” said coach Brian Shimko. “It was a swamp.”

Shimko said he wouldn’t have played the game if he had known ahead of time the condition of the field.

Still, he said Crescent did manage to march the ball downfield and get inside the 10-yard line a couple of times, but could never punch the ball in for a score.

Shimko was proud of his team for making the playoffs. The Loggers finished the year 3-4 with wins over Wishkah Valley, Muckleshoot and Darrington. The Loggers faced the elite of the 1B classification all year as three of the Loggers’ losses — Neah Bay, Quilcene and Naselle — were against teams that are in the 1B state tournament.

Neah Bay No. 9 seed

Neah Bay (5-2), which won its district playoff game 50-40 over Mossyrock, was given a No. 9 seed in the state 1B playoffs and will play on the road at Wilbur-Creston-Keller (7-1) on Friday or Saturday.

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