DeSales rally comes up short vs. L-R-S

By Craig Craker, Tri-City HeraldNovember 18, 2012 

SPOKANE -- Jacob Saetre had been picked on throughout the night, but especially in the fourth quarter.

The freshman defensive back had been burned on a long touchdown pass, and just had an interception negated by a pass interference penalty.

But he shook it all off and made a juggling interception to help Lind-Ritzville-Sprague hold off DeSales 21-14 on Saturday in a Class 2B state quarterfinal at Gonzaga Prep High in Spokane.

"The coaches always tell us to have short memories and get back into the next play," he said. "I bobbled it, and once I had possession I made sure I was in bounds, and then I got out."

The win sends the Broncos (11-0) into the state semifinals against Waitsburg-Prescott (11-1), with details yet to be determined.

Saetre's interception was inside the 5-yard line and ended a potential tying drive by DeSales with 2 minutes, 28 seconds to play in the game.

"The things we thought we could do to them in the secondary, they adjusted on," DeSales coach Mike Spiess said. "The kid we were kind of picking on made an interception. That was a great effort on his part."

The turnover was one of two for DeSales in the final 7 minutes of the game, and both came inside the 10-yard line.

The Irish (9-2) were driving in for the tying touchdown with 6:33 to go when Luke Fazzari fumbled while fighting for extra yards.

"We just made too many mistakes," Spiess said. "We don't deserve to move on. Championship teams finish drives in the red zone, and we didn't do it. Too many turnovers and penalties."

Lind-Ritzville-Sprague only turned the ball over once and took advantage of the mistakes DeSales made.

Connor O'Neill rushed for 107 yards, had 46 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns. He also recovered Fazzari's fumble and helped turn the game in the Broncos' favor in the second half.

"I'm glad I don't have to defend him," L-R-S coach Greg Whitmore said. "You get him on turf and he is so tough. He's athletic, he makes awesome catches. This time of year you have to get your playmakers the ball. No big thing about spreading it around and making your seniors happy."

The Broncos did that throughout the second half, and O'Neill rewarded them by scoring on a 3-yard run midway through the second quarter to put L-R-S on top 14-7. He then carried the ball seven times on a 12-play drive capped by a play-action touchdown pass from Dylan Hartz to Ryan Whitmore for a 21-7 lead.

The game seemed nearly over, as DeSales had struggled to move the ball throughout the half, but Jeremiah Cox hit a streaking Kyler Pommerening for a 51-yard touchdown pass down the sideline as Saetre missed a tackle.

But the youngster would get his revenge and help the Broncos earn a trip to the semifinals.

Hartz threw for 74 yards and the touchdown, while Cort Ruzicka added 83 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Cox led DeSales, throwing for 253 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Pommerening had four receptions for 100 yards and two scores.

DeSales 7 0 0 7 -- 14

Lind-Ritzville-Sprague 0 7 7 7 -- 21

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

D--Kyler Pommerening 25 pass from Jeremiah Cox (Ryan Baumgart kick), 8:15

Second quarter

LRS--Connor O'Neill 1 run (Matt Leffel kick), 7:35

Third quarter

LRS--O'Neill 3 run (Leffel kick), 7:38

Fourth quarter

LRS--Ryan Whitmore 14 pass from Dylan Hartz (Leffel kick), 10:50

D--Pommerening 51 pass from Cox (Baumgart kick), 10:29

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing--DeSales: Luke Fazzari 7-34, Andrew Elmenhurst 3-0, Cox 6-(-13), Paul Elmenhurst 1-(-14). Lind-Ritzville-Sprague, O'Neill 24-107, Ruzicka 11-83, Hartz 10-16, team 2-(-4).

Passing--DeSales: Cox 18-30-1--253. L-R-S, Hartz 7-12-1--74.

Receiving--DeSales: Pommerening 4-100, Baumgart 4-48, Joe Duehn 4-27, A. Elmenhurst 3-37, Fazzari 2-32, Isaiah Scheel 1-9. L-R-S, O'Neill 4-46, Whitmore 1-14, Tyler Greenwalt 1-8, Ruzicka 1-6.

Sacks--DeSales, none. L-R-S, Jarradd Morley 1-11.

Interceptions--DeSales, Reilly Roach 1-0. L-R-S, Saetre 1-0.

Fumble recoveries--DeSales, none. L-R-S, O'Neill.

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs--D 16, LRS 16. Fumbles-lost--D 1-1, LRS 0-0. Penalties-yards--D 7-61, LRS 5-50. Punts-Avg.--D 3-29, LRS 4-36.3

w Craig Craker: 582-1509; ccraker@tricityherald.com

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