Prep football capsules for state semifinals

Craig Craker, Herald staff writerNovember 23, 2012 

Prosser Mustangs vs. Tumwater Thunderbirds
Class 2A semifinal

When, where: 5 p.m. Saturday, Lampson Stadium, Kennewick

Records: Prosser 11-1, Tumwater 11-1

Forecast: 49 degrees; 10 percent chance of rain; 6 mph wind.

Last playoff appearance: Prosser, 2011 (lost state semifinal 50-14 to Archbishop Murphy); Tumwater, 2011 (lost 41-6 in first round to Archbishop Murphy)

Playoff history: Prosser, 43-20 in 25 appearances (won state titles in 1992, 1993, 1999, 2007). Tumwater, 37-17 in 23 appearances (won state titles in 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2010)

Top players: Prosser, QB Ryan Fassler 226-330-3-2,581, 34 TDs; RB Bubba Frank 144-1,118, 15 TDs; WR Danny Raap 58-837, 15; WR Sterling Clark 66-888, 16 TDs; WR Harley Hall 32-308, 2 TDs. Tumwater, RB Andrew Brown 1,196 rushing, 343 receiving, 23 total TDs; QB Jayden Croft, 53-111-5 for 777 yards, 8 TDs; DE Jaimie Bryant, 33 solo tackles, 8 TDs.

Last week: Prosser defeated top-ranked Othello 15-14. Tumwater defeated Archbishop Murphy 21-0.

Up next: Faces Capital-Lynden winner at 1 p.m. Dec. 1, Tacoma Dome.

Notes: Prosser came into the quarterfinals as the underdog against Othello, but made big plays when it had to in the second half. … The Mustangs benefited from Othello losing its starting quarterback in the first half. … Head coach Benji Sonnichsen thinks today's winner will be the team who makes the most big plays, as he expects both offenses to move the ball at times. … The Thunderbirds run the wing-T and have relied on Brown all season long. He was the Evergreen Conference MVP and is the two-time defending state champion in the 400 meters. He also has four punt returns for touchdowns and two kick returns for scores. … Croft is a University of Washington commit who leads a monster defensive line. …Tumwater is one of the few teams in the state to have a similar powerhouse program to Prosser, winning five state titles in the past 25 years.

Waitsburg-Prescott Cardinals vs. Lind-Ritzville-Sprague Broncos Class 2B semifinal

When, where: 2 p.m. Saturday, Lampson Stadium, Kennewick

Records: Waitsburg-Prescott 11-1, Lind-Ritzville-Sprague 11-0

Forecast: 48 degrees; 40 percent chance of rain; 5 mph wind.

Last playoff appearance: Waitsburg-Prescott, 2011 (defeated Morton-White Pass 33-7 in state title game); Lind-Ritzville-Sprague, 2011 (lost to Waitsburg-Prescott 42-7 in quarters).

Playoff history: Waitsburg-Prescott, 13-15 in 17 appearances (won state title in 2011, Prescott won state title in 1975). Lind-Ritzville-Sprague, 30-22 in 22 appearances (Ritzville won state title in 1980, LRS won in 2004).

Top players: Waitsburg-Prescott, QB Stirling Eastman 138-217-6 for 2,586 yards and 22 TDs; RB Dalton Estes 105-1,081 rushing and 18 TDs, 38-689 receiving and 4 TDs; WR James Thompkins 17-602 receiving, 7 TDs; WR Roy Ebong 36-491 receiving, 5 TDs; TE Chance Leroue 29-587, 6 TDs. Lind-Ritzville-Sprague, RB Connor O’Neill, QB Dylan Hartz, RB/WR Cort Ruzicka.

Last week: Waitsburg-Prescott 39, Reardan 12. Lind-Ritzville-Sprague 21, DeSales 14.

Up next: Plays winner of La Conner vs. Morton-White Pass at 4 p.m. Nov. 30, Tacoma Dome.

Notes: The Cardinals are in the semifinals for a second consecutive season, and are seeking another trip to the state title game. … Thompkins has come on strong lately and is averaging nearly 37 yards per reception, utilizing his speed to break short screen passes for long gains. … Estes was moved to running back midway through the season, leaving behind a wide receiver position where he was all-state last season. He went over 1,000 yards for the season in last week's victory. He also made a touchdown-saving pass breakup early in the victory against Reardan. … LRS got a monster game out of O’Neill last week, as the Broncos utilized his rushing and receiving skills. Look for him to get the ball at will today. … The Broncos have an extremely young secondary that struggled at times against DeSales and will be challenged by the high-octane passing game for Waitsburg-Prescott.

Liberty Christian Patriots vs. Cusick Panthers Class 1B semifinal

When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday, Joe Albi Stadium, Spokane

Records: Liberty Christian 12-0, Cusick 12-0

Forecast: 45 degrees; 40 percent chance of rain; 7 mph wind.

Last playoff appearance: Liberty Christian, never; Cusick, 2010 (lost to Lummi 55-30 in state title game).

Playoff history: Liberty Christian, 1-0 record in 1 appearance. Cusick, 13-17 in 17 appearances (took second in 2010).

Top players: Liberty Christian, QB Mike Olson 83-110-1 for 1,822 yards and 37 TDs; LB Brandon Peterson 125 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries, 4 INT; WR/DB Tyler Morris, 34-991 receiving, 18 TDs; 92 tackles, 10 INT. Cusick, RB Derrick Bluff, WR Alec Bluff, QB Ryan Sample.

Last week: Liberty Christian 70, LaCrosse-Washtucna/ Kahlotus 8. Cusick 44, Touchet 38.

Up next: Plays winner of Lummi vs. Neah Bay at 4 p.m. Dec. 1, Tacoma Dome.

Notes: The Patriots are on the verge of heading to the first state title game in program history. They rarely have been challenged this season, trailing only twice. … Liberty Christian is 28-3 in three seasons since switching to 8-man from 11-man. … Cusick barely escaped against Touchet last week. Derrick Bluff intercepted a pass with 15 seconds left and returned it for a touchdown. It was called back because of a penalty, but he then made a diving catch for a touchdown as the final buzzer sounded. … Bluff is extremely quick and gave Touchet lots of problems. … Cusick failed to make 2-point conversions on its first three touchdowns against Touchet, a mistake it can't make against top-ranked Liberty Christian.

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