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Tomahawks win without Denton, and in stormy weather
MARYSVILLE — Siti Tamaivena proved he could do a little bit of everything Oct. 16.
In a game where the Tomahawks had to battle inclement weather, Kamiak and an injury to star fullback Austin Denton, someone had to step up, and it was Tamaivena.
"Siti had a great night to night," said M-P head coach Brandon Carson after the Tomahawks' 14-3 victory. "He had the best offensive night he's had all year."
That isn't saying much, since the junior linebacker had hardly been given a chance to run the ball all season. Nevertheless, he scored the game-winning touchdown with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter from four yards out, breaking a pair of tackles and making a second effort to score — a play indicative Tomahawks' struggles with turnovers (5) and overall offense (302 total yards).
It was the defense, however, that shined for Marysville, forcing four turnovers and limiting the Knights' offense to just 205 yards. Heading that stout defense was Tamaivena, recording 15 tackles — two for losses — and stopping Kamiak on a key fourth-and-one situation in the final quarter.
The only points allowed by the Tomahawks' defense came in the second quarter by way of a 36-yard field goal as time expired. Heading into the second half, Kamiak had a 3-0 advantage.
"I told the guys that you've got to be cognoscente of wrapping up the ball and maintaining possession," Carson said, responding to both teams not being able to hold onto the football in stormy conditions. The advice must have worked, because Marysville turned the ball over just once in the second half, scoring 14 points and remaining perfect (7-0) this season.
"This is a huge win for us against a really good team," Carson said. "I'm thrilled. They were able to get to us a little, but the fact that the guys fought through against the weather and without Austin (Denton) and A.J. (Kvangnes) — I'm proud of these guys."
For a team that averaged nearly 400 yards per game on the ground entering the contest against Kamiak, the Tomahawks had to scramble to gain yards and were without first string personnel due to Denton's neck and Kvangnes' hamstring concerns.
Marysville's second touchdown came by way of Zack Hanson's quarterback sneak with just over a minute remaining in the game, capping a 10-play, six-minute drive.
With just a pair of games remaining in the regular season — both versus teams with losing records — the Tomahawks' road to perfection just got clearer. Marysville plays at Monroe Oct. 23.