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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Aaron Kinsey, Gavynn Bodman help Rogers keep playoff hopes alive; Pirates beat West Valley 38-14

Aaron Kinsey started his senior season at quarterback for Rogers, leading the Pirates to their first 4-0 start since 1968.

But a midseason wrist injury sidelined him for a game, and a club-like cast on the right arm necessitated a shift away from quarterback when he returned.

But even one-handed, Kinsey finds multiple ways to impact the game.

The Rogers senior leader returned a fumble for a touchdown, caught a long touchdown pass and hauled in an interception on a fake punt attempt – keeping the Pirates’ playoff hopes alive for another day.

Rogers built a big lead, generating five turnovers in total, and handed Greater Spokane League 2A leader West Valley its first league loss, a 38-14 decision at ONE Spokane Stadium on Thursday. 

“We knew that they weren’t going to be an easy opponent to face,” Kinsey said. “Our coaching staff prepared us all week. We knew it was gonna come down to this game early on in the season.”

Kinsey finished with five catches for 106 yards and four carries for 27 yards, with 11 tackles and the two turnovers on defense. Gavynn Bodman led Rogers with 22 carries for 118 yards and three touchdowns.

“With the thumb sprain, playing in the cast – this wasn’t how it was supposed to be,” Kinsey said. “But it came down to this, and this win was exactly what we were planning for. Nothing better than this.” 

“Just what a special athlete, man, and he’s just been doing it all year for us,” Rogers coach Ryan Cole said of Kinsey. “I can’t wait to see what he does next year at the next level. Whoever gets him, they’re going to be lucky to have him. He’s a great kid. He works his butt off in the classroom. He works his butt off in the weight room and obviously he works his butt off on the field.”

The Pirates (6-2, 3-2) remain fourth in the league, behind the Eagles (6-2, 4-1), Shadle Park (6-1, 3-1) and Clarkston (5-2, 4-1) with one game to play. Two teams will qualify for the postseason.

Clarkston hosts Shadle on Friday and can clinch a playoff spot with a win. Rogers’ postseason hopes hinge upon a multiple-team two-loss tiebreaker scenario.

“We came into this game talking about ‘Hey, we know that we don’t have our destiny in our own hands. We need some things to happen. But it can’t happen if we don’t win out,’ ” Rogers coach Ryan Cole said. “So we’ve got to take care of business no matter what. We prepared really hard. We had a great week of practice. We were focused, and we executed the game plan to perfection.”

“We had high hopes, high expectations to go undefeated through here,” Kinsey said. “Things happen. Things didn’t play out how it was supposed to play it out. I hurt myself. We had a lot of early on injuries and this is what it was came out to. So, we just had to deal with adversity. Get back to it. But we came out here and handled business.”

West Valley quarterback Ethan Turley’s first pass was grabbed by Rogers’ lineman Daeante Bedford, who separated from contact and went up to get the attempted swing pass.

Three Bodman runs later, the last a 14-yard TD run, put the Pirates on the board. With kicker Alex Peabody out with injury, Rogers went for the 2-point conversion, but Bodman was stuffed and the Pirates led 6-0.

West Valley got something going on offense and moved into Rogers territory. Turley tried a swing pass, but the lateral wasn’t caught cleanly, and Kinsey scooped it up at the Eagles 44 and went untouched for the score.

Kinsey took the 2-point conversion off tackle and into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with just more than a minute left in the first quarter.

WV’s Levi Barnham returned the kick to the Rogers 37. The Eagles were faced with fourth-and-10 and Turley was sacked by Reginald Barrett, who recovered Turley’s fumble at the Pirates 39.

But Riley Gilbreth knocked the ball out of Rogers QB Jacob Proctor’s hands and recovered at the 46. Two plays later, Turley hit Parker Munns on a 32-yard fly pattern for a touchdown to make it a one-score game.

Rogers took over late in the quarter at its 44. Kinsey carried for 10 and Bodman for 12 to get to the Eagles’ 30 with 21 seconds left. Proctor used a play fake and hit Kinsey in stride at the goal line for the score. Kinsey took a shovel pass for the 2-point conversion, and Rogers led 22-7 at the half.

West Valley attempted a fake punt at midfield on its first drive of the second half, but Kinsey read the play and intercepted Turley’s pass attempt at the Rogers 32.

Kinsey hauled in a long pass, broke a tackle and was dragged down at the WV 5 for a 52-yard gain. Bodman, generously listed at 5-foot-7, 165, went off-tackle on the next play for a TD and 30-7 lead early in the third.

“When I see contact, I kinda like it,” Bodman said. “You know, I like taking one for the team. Because I know every play, they’re taking one for me. I just want to return the favor.”

“You might not know it looking at him, but he’s very strong in the lower body,” Cole said. “The kid just runs for his team.”

WV got a short TD run from Austin Clark in the third quarter, but Rogers linebacker Andrew Willet intercepted Turley at the Rogers 20 to end an early fourth-quarter drive.

The Pirates used a 14-play drive, capped by Bodman’s 5-yard TD run to secure the win.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates behind my back and my linemen up front,” Bodman said. “They played a big part in it. I’m super grateful for them.”