Thompkins plays big for W-P

By Craig Craker, Tri-City HeraldNovember 18, 2012 

SPOKANE VALLEY -- Give James Thompkins some space as a defensive back, and you are going to be in trouble.

The Waitsburg-Prescott speedster scored two long touchdowns, utilizing his game-breaking speed as the Cardinals defeated Reardan 39-12 on Saturday in a Class 2B state quarterfinal at West Valley High in Spokane Valley.

"There is only one person who can catch me, and he ain't here no more. He graduated," Thompkins said. "Can't no one catch me."

Certainly not anyone on Reardan. And now Thompkins and the Cardinals face a semifinal matchup with Lind-Ritzville-Sprague next weekend.

On the first play of Saturday's game, Thompkins caught a Stirling Eastman pass in the left flat and raced by the defense scoring from 72 yards out for a quick 7-0 lead.

"Our coach told me if they are 10 yards off the ball like they were, to go ahead and run a screen pass because James is too quick for these guys," Eastman said. "He is just good in open space. Makes little moves, stutter steps and has speed to go with it.

"I don't think anyone can catch him once he gets past the secondary."

Thompkins flashed his speed again in the second quarter, taking another screen pass in the left flat and juking his way past a defender, scoring from 55 yards out.

"He is huge," Waitsburg-Prescott coach Jeff Bartlow said. "Just let him use his speed, let him shake and bake and he did. He is such a threat. He has wheels and he can make people miss."

The second touchdown put the Cardinals (11-1) on top 21-0 and put Reardan, an option team, in a bad spot.

The Indians (8-3) were forced to try to pass the ball to get back in the game, eventually throwing four interceptions.

Waitsburg-Prescott played solid defense, especially against the run game -- a pleasant turnaround from last week, when Oroville rushed for 185 yards on the Cardinals.

"They moved the ball at times, but we told the kids we're gonna give and take," Bartlow said. "You can't stop them every play, but when we make them throw, we'll be right where we want to be."

Throwing the ball is where both teams wanted to be, as Eastman continued his aerial assault in the second half, icing the game with a perfect pump fake and 55-yard touchdown pass to Roy Ebong on a post route.

Two plays later, safety Dalton Estes picked off his second pass of the day, and the Cardinals salted away a second consecutive trip to the semifinals.

"I think we had a good game, but we can still play a lot better," Eastman said. "We practiced all week and were prepared for it. The defense didn't come out scared, we just manned up and they got it done."

Eastman finished with 348 yards passing with three touchdowns and an interception. Estes rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and intercepted two passes on defense. Thompkins had four catches for 166 yards and the two scores. Ebong and Kobie Brown also had interceptions on defense.

Waitsburg-Prescott 14 13 0 12 -- 39

Reardan 0 6 6 0 -- 12

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

WP--James Thompkins 72 pass from Stirling Eastman (Dalton Estes kick), 11:41

WP--Estes 1 run (Estes kick), 1:12

Second quarter

WP--Thompkins 55 pass from Eastman (Estes kick), 7:47

R--Nathan Sorci 63 run (kick failed), 3:15

WP--Estes 6 run (kick failed), :35

Third quarter

R--Sorci 1 run (pass failed)

Fourth quarter

WP--Roy Ebong 55 pass from Eastman (run failed), 11:05

WP--Eastman 1 run (kick failed), 2:54

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing--Waitsburg-Prescott, Estes 13-83, Chance Leroue 4-9, Eastman 8-(-17). Reardan, Charlie Eldred 15-68, Sorci 10-107, Dustin Rettkowski 6-60, Jeff Bergeron 7-20, Mack Chilson 1-6, Wyatt Nieman 3-(-19).

Passing--Waitsburg-Prescott, Eastman 15-23-1--348. Reardan, Nieman 4-13-4--44.

Receiving--Waitsburg-Prescott, Thompkins 4-166, Ebong 4-88, Riley Stevens 3-36, Leroue 2-35, Estes 2-23. Reardan, Sorci 3-33, Eldred 1-11.

Sacks--Waitsburg-Prescott, Trenton Kitselman 1-11, Austin Lockard 1-3, Tucker Alleman 1-5. Reardan, Ike Martinez 2-18.

Interceptions--Waitsburg-Prescott, Estes 2-3, Ebong 1-8, Kobie Brown 1-0. Reardan, Rettkowski 1-0.

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs: WP 16, R 13. Fumbles-lost: WP 0-0, R 1-0. Penalties-yards: WP 5-31, R 3-25. Punts-Avg.: WP 2-33, R 3-31.3.

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