By BEN ZIMMERMAN
of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
POMEROY — The pass came out of Lewis County quarterback Tanner Wahl’s hand at a low, diving trajectory, like a snub-nosed paper airplane.
It all but begged to be intercepted.
Pomeroy senior Cody LaMunyan, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound defensive lineman and one of the principal architects of the 62-0 manhandling well under way here Friday, loomed in its path. With a vast, empty swath of real estate between he and a pick-6, LaMunyan squared to the ball.
It hit him between the numbers, “5” and “2,” and fell harmlessly to the grass.
The crowd groaned along with the Pomeroy sideline as LaMunyan turned to face the grandstand at Lybecker Field and shrugged.
“It scared me,” he yelled.
That’s why they call games like these “laughers.” The winner — in this case, a Pomeroy squad fixated on atoning for the football sins of last week’s opening-night loss to Lummi — is entitled to a bit of levity.
“It came so fast. It hit me right in the chest,” LaMunyan said. “I wasn’t ready.”
Sure, for that one second.
But for the other 47 minutes, 59 seconds on Friday, LaMunyan and posse were ready, relentless and ruthless. A frisky week of practice with a focus on tackling yielded a wire-to-wire clinic on physical, bully football. The offense connected on big, hairy punches and the defense swarmed to the ball, gleefully oblivious to Lewis County players in the way.
“I’ve got to be pleased with both sides,” said Pirates coach Sanford Bates, referring to the 62 in the “home” column on the scoreboard and the “0” glowing to its right. “We got more physical in the second half last week. It was good to see that carry over.”
Pomeroy junior quarterback Kade Snyder hit Aidan Dixon in stride on a post route on the final play of the first half, the halftime siren wailing while the pass was still in the air. Dixon whisked into the end zone for a 40-0 lead, which invoked a running clock for the entire second half — and helped expedite Lewis County’s inevitable demise.
The visitors from Craigmont, Idaho, dressed just 15 players, and their NezPerce School District No. 302 bus arrived at Lybecker just 35 minutes before kickoff.
Fewer than seven minutes into the game, the Eagles trailed 16-0, and that was as good as it would get.
Snyder, who kept the ball on an option play and scampered 33 yards for the Pirates’ first touchdown, capped Pomeroy’s first two second-quarter possessions with touchdown passes.
Tight end Riley Bott caught the first, grabbing a quick pass over the seam, bolting into the open and getting a nice downfield block from Dixon en route to a 53-yard score.
Kyle Hyer caught the second, turning up field on a screen pass and following a wave of black jerseys to paydirt.
Jackson Hall returned Lewis County’s only punt of the game 42 yards for a touchdown moments later, and the Snyder-to-Dixon connection just before half capped the carnage.
Snyder put the finishing touches on a masterpiece of quarterback efficiency with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dixon on Pomeroy’s opening possession of the second half. He holstered the cannon there, having completed 4-of-5 passes for 131 yards and four touchdowns.
“Whatever coach calls,” Snyder said. “You have to have a running game. It set us up tonight. It gave me time to pass.”
A few offensive fireworks remained — rising freshman Cade Gingerich broke a 28-yard TD run, backup quarterback Havin Heytvelt tallied on an option-keeper from 54 yards out — but the second half gave the Pirates’ stop troops a chance to flex.
Pomeroy’s ‘D’ held the visitors to minus-21 yards rushing after halftime and intercepted a pair of passes — one apiece for Gingerich and Bryan McGreevy.
It allowed the Eagles to cross the 50 just once.
“Our ‘D’ stepped up,” LaMunyan said. “We took practice a little more seriously this week. We kind of got after each other.”
“The number one thing tonight was to improve on our tackling. No extra yards,” added Snyder.
Pomeroy gained 298 of its 450 offensive yards before halftime.
Gingerich led all rushers with 68 yards on just five carries, Hall rushed for 67 yards, Snyder 61 and Heytvelt 55. Hyer chipped in 37 yards — all in the first half — and Memo Morfin added 31 as six different Pirates averaged at least five yards per carry.
Snyder also forced and recovered a fumble and had a sack. Heyvelt and LaMunyan each had two tackles for losses, and Gingerich, Bott and Taylor Lewis stopped Lewis County rushers for negative yardage.
The best one-liner belonged to LaMunyan.
“When we’re up,” said Snyder, “we have a little bit more fun.”
Pomeroy 62, Lewis County 0
Lewis County 0 0 0 0 — 0
Pomeroy 16 24 14 8 — 62
Pomeroy — Kade Snyder 33 run (Snyder run)
Pomeroy — Jackson Hall 25 run (Snyder run)
Pomeroy — Riley Bott 53 pass from Snyder (run failed)
Pomeroy — Kyle Hyer 22 run (pass failed)
Pomeroy — Hall 42 punt return (pass failed)
Pomeroy — Aidan Dixon 28 pass from Snyder (run failed)
Pomeroy — Dixon 28 pass from Snyder (run failed)
Pomeroy — Cade Gingerich 28 run (Memo Morfin run)
Pomeroy — Havin Heytvelt 54 run (Morfin run)
Lewis County Pomeroy
First downs 10 16
Rushes/yards 33/54 29/319
Passing yards 62 131
Passes (att-comp-int) 8-21-2 4-6-1
Punts 1-23 0-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-44 10-97
RUSHING — Lewis County: Haight 10-10, Weber 7-54, Wahl 4-(-8), McIlvane 2-0, N. Beauchamp 10-(-2); Pom: Gingerich 5-68, K. Hyer 5-37, Hall 6-67, Morfin 6-31, Snyder 5-61, Heytvelt 2-55.
PASSING — Lewis County: N. Beauchamp 3-6, 19, Wahl 5-15, 43; Pom: Snyder 4-5, 131, Heytvelt 0-1, 0.
RECEIVING — Lewis County: Heideman 6-59, Haight 1-(-5), Wahl 1-8; Pom: Dixon 2-56, K. Hyer 1-22, R. Bott 1-53.