For Nick Mullen, it was two long years away from football at Timberline High School.
And he has enjoyed his return as coach immensely.
His team has made that very easy.
The eighth-ranked Blazers tallied touchdowns in all three phases, and blanked Shelton, 62-0, in Class 3A South Sound Conference action Thursday night at South Sound Stadium in Lacey.
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Four different players scored rushing touchdowns, including Michael Barnes’ 3-yard scamper that capped an opening 75-yard drive that ate up 3 ½ minutes to give Timberline a 7-0 lead.
“Getting off to fast start has been our main focus all week,” Mullen said.
That set the tone for Shelton’s long night.
Hunter Campau’s 38-yard scoring strike to J.J. Bryant gave the Blazers a 21-0 advantage with 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Timberline’s special teams got into the scoring act just a minute into the second quarter.
Jamin Faalogo crashed through the line to get his paw on a Shelton punt. Conner Warick picked it up and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, and the Blazers led 28-0.
Barnes later added a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second half.
Campau led the Blazers through the air and on the ground, completing all four of his passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. He added another 69 yards and a score on five carries.
Of Timberline’s 321 total yards, 293 came in the first half. Meanwhile, the Highclimbers were limited to 1 yard of total offense.
“The last two weeks have not been good, and who we are,” Mullen said. “That was the first time we played four full quarters this season.”
The Blazers are off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 2009 when they won the Olympic/Western Cascade League title over Capital.
“You know, I just missed the guys … and being around them,” said Mullen, who stepped down at the end of the 2014 season to become the school’s athletic director. “There was a hole in my heart.”