POMEROY — Devin Cooper had one priority after the 7½-hour bus ride from Bellingham to Pomeroy and before the equally arduous return trek Friday: stretch his legs.
The Lummi junior halfback diced and darted for 272 yards rushing and three touchdowns as the perenially-contending Blackhawks handled Pomeroy 50-28 in nonleague football Friday at Lybecker Field.
Cooper said his legs were fresh after the long road trip from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast, crediting daily 5-mile runs. His weaving, slashing style was complemented by backfield mate Deion Hoskins, whose balance and nimble footwork in the open field belied a 5-foot-11, 290-pound frame.
“It helps to have a guy like me with stamina to run the ball down the field, and a guy like him who can power it in at the goal line,” Cooper said. “He’s fast for a big man (too). He’s a powerhouse.”
That’s a term which fits the Lummi football program, Class 1B state semifinalist in five of the last seven seasons and the 2010 state champion, and a status to which an up-and-coming Pomeroy squad aspires.
But despite improving steadily from the first quarter to the last and a gutsy defensive performance against the bigger, faster Blackhawks, the Pirates came up well short in their season opener.
Hitting like a bus but cornering like a Porsche, Hoskins chipped in 76 yards on seven carries, and Lummi quarterback Logan Toby passed for 171 yards and two scores.
“They have some good kids,” Pirates coach Sanford Bates said. “Good size as well.”
In addition to being outsized and outwheeled, Pomeroy played Friday with one Hyer brother tied behind its back. While junior Kyle racked up 113 yards rushing and a touchdown, senior sibling Wyatt, a two-way starter, missed the game after sustaining what Bates called a “shoulder stinger” at practice on Aug. 29.
Kyle’s touchdown came late in the first quarter on a dive up the middle, the Pomeroy line prying open a hole and the junior exploding through it and rumbling 58 yards for a touchdown that trimmed Lummi’s lead to 14-6.
But the visitors answered with gusto, Cooper zipping 13 yards, Toby connecting with Austin Brockie on a 31-yard pass and Hoskins inhaling a swing pass, then slipping tackles and dancing down the sideline for a 27-yard TD.
Cooper capped a seven-play, 75-yard scoring march with a 4-yard touchdown run just before halftime to make it 26-6. His first-half performance — 101 yards on five carries in Lummi’s read-option offense — earned him a steadier load in the second, where Cooper picked up 171 yards on 11 carries. He had runs of 19, 13, 48 and 17 yards before halftime and added a 13-, 20-, 46- and 19-yarder after, finishing his night with a 54-yard scramble inside the game’s final minute.
By then, the win was well in hand for the Blackhawks, but Bates’ troops had cleaned up their act and marshalled a fine second half.
“Even though we were down scorewise, we improved throughout the game,” the Pomeroy boss said. “We made some mental mistakes in the first half, but as the game went on, we got that taken care of. Our offense got us 2-3 scores and kept us close.
“We were getting better,” Bates added. “That’s a big plus going into next game.”
Junior quarterback Kade Snyder scored on a two-yard run to pull Pomeroy within 34-14 late in the third quarter, then feathered a nice fade ball to Riley Bott for a 34-yard score and 42-22 deficit early in the fourth. The final Pomeroy highlight — and the last time a jovial Lybecker crowd was treated to the pep band’s ragtimey interpretation of ‘On Wisconsin’ — came courtesy of freshman Cade Gingerich. He fielded a low, bounding kickoff and scampered 62 yards for a touchdown with 3:03 to play.
Gingerich did not have a carry in the first half, but had six rushes for 23 hard-earned yards and caught a pair of 2-point conversion passes in the second, his motor evoking an over-caffeinated hamster running the wheel.
“He was a pleasant surprise,” Bates said
Other noteworthy work was put in by Bott (three receptions for 73 yards; two sacks, one quarterback hurry) and defensive tackle Cody LaMunyan (one sack, one pass deflection).
Pomeroy hosts Lewis County at 7 p.m. Friday.
Lummi 50, Pomeroy 28
Lummi 20 6 16 8 — 50
Pomeroy 6 0 8 14 — 28
Lummi — Austin Brockie 27 pass from Logan Toby (Devin Cooper pass from Toby)
Lummi — Leo Scarbourough 25 run (pass failed)
Pom — Kyle Hyer 58 run (run failed)
Lummi — Deion Hoskins 27 pass from Toby (pass failed)
Lummi — Cooper 4 run (run failed)
Lummi — Cooper 1 run (Brockie run)
Pom — Kade Snyder 2 run (Cade Gingerich pass from Snyder)
Lummi — Cooper 46 run (Hoskins run)
Pom — Riley Bott 34 pass from Snyder (Gingerich pass from Snyder)
Lummi — Brockie 24 punt return (Cooper run)
Pom — Gingerich 62 kickoff return (run failed)
First downs 26 11
Rushes/yards 32/374 42/132
Passing yards 171 92
Passes (att-comp-int) 12-28-0 4-15-1
Punts 0 4
Fumbles-lost 4-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 9-65 8-51
RUSHING — Lummi: Cooper 16-272, Hoskins 7-76, Scarbourough 3-30, Lane 1-12, Toby 4-(-17); Pom: Hyer 13-107, Hall 6-22, Gingerich 6-22, R. Bott 1-(-24), Snyder 16-5.
PASSING — Lummi: Toby 12-26-171, Brockie 0-2-0; Pom: Snyder 4-15-92.
RECEIVING — Lummi: Cooper 1-7, Brockie 6-89, Hoskins 1-27, Scarbourough 3-30, Williams 1-18; Pom: R. Bott 3-73, Hyer 1-19.