A long bus trip, an early wake-up call, a hostile crowd.
Playoffs games on the road can be a beast, but nothing that cant be tamed with a couple big plays, and a couple more for good measure.
Cardell Jones accounted for five touchdowns and the Prosser Mustangs scorched Mark Morris with four scores of 20 yards or more in a 41-22 rout in the Class 2A state semifinals Saturday in Vancouver.
The two big strikes right away to Cardell Jones just kind of put us in the drivers seat right away, said Prosser coach Benji Sonnichsen. And our defense just kept getting the ball back to us.
And the Mustangs (9-3) will be getting back to the state semifinals for the third straight year and face a familiar foe: Tumwater, which knocked them out of the semifinals last year. Game day and site will be determined.
Were real excited, Sonnichsen said. Its a huge goal of the program to get to the semifinals three years in a row, and we look forward to the rematch.
Jones scored three of his TDs on catches of 36, 65 and 25 yards. Also, Javier Diaz returned a kickoff 62 yards for a score as the Mustangs first four touchdowns came on big plays and led to a 28-6 edge at the half.
All the while, Sonnichsen said, the defense kept stonewalling the hosts.
They just had such a hard time getting first downs, he said. That allowed us to be extremely aggressive on offense.
Jones finished with 140 yards receiving on just five catches, and quarterback Mason Schutt was 14-for-24 for 199 yards.
Were definitely playing our best football right now, Sonnichsen said. Offensively were scoring real fast, defensively were playing real tough.
Prosser 7 21 14 6 41
Mark Morris 0 6 0 16 22
PCardell Jones 36 pass from Mason Schutt (Trino Flores kick)
PJones 65 pass from Schutt (Flores kick)
MHayden Tapani 12 run (kick blocked)
PJavier Diaz 62 kickoff return (Flores kick)
PJones 25 pass from Schutt (Flores kick)
PJones 2 run (Flores kick)
MKeigan Baker 1 run (Tapani run)
PJones 6 pass from Schutt (kick failed)
MBaker 8 run (Cameron Mosier run)
RUSHINGP, Isaiah Sanders 8-46, Jones 2-32, James Minick 2-9, Michael Kernan 4-8, Thomas Niemeyer 2-6, Schutt 2-3, Kyle Steinbock 1-1. MM, Baker 22-174, Austin Smith 9-38, Tapani 12-26, Mosier 1-7, Andre Gilbert 1-3, Max Tilton 5-(-21).
PASSINGP, Schutt 14-24-0199, Jones 1-3-07. MM, Tilton 2-9-313, Baker 1-1-020.
RECEIVINGP, Jones 5-140, Sanders 5-29, JJ Martin 3-25, Kernan 2-6, Ethan Hibbs 1-9. MM, Jake Malcolm 1-20, Mitch Malcolm 1-6, Kyle Stevens 1-7.
Ellensburg 20, Othello 13: The visiting Huskies nearly pulled off the upset of the top-ranked and unbeaten Bulldogs.
Josiah Petersons 1-yard TD run in the third quarter pulled Othello within 7-6, and that score held into the fourth.
But a pair of rushing touchdowns by Donny Ellersick and Gabe Caskey gave Ellensburg a big enough cushion to overcome some sloppy play.
Peterson finished with 62 yards rushing, and Tanner Wagner had 77 on 17 carries. Othello scored with 15 seconds left to make it close, with Adrian Garza finding Randy Gomez for a 24-yard score.
Othello 0 0 6 7 13
Ellensburg 7 0 0 13 20
Ell Gabe Caskey 7 run (Juan Rodriguez kick)
Oth Josiah Peterson 1 run (kick blocked)
Ell Donny Ellersick 1 run (kick blocked)
Ell Caskey 10 run (Rodriguez kick)
Oth Randy Gomez 24 pass from Adrian Garza (Miguel Gonzalez kick)
RUSHING Othello, Tanner Wagner 17-77, Peterson 18-62, Garza 8-minus-7, Team 1-minus-2. Ellensburg, Caskey 28-211, Brayton Leach 1-7, Ellersick 3-minus-12, Team 1-minus-4.
PASSING Othello, Garza 3-10-3-44. Ellensburg, Ellersick 8-16-1-118.
RECEIVING Othello, Gomez 2-33, Peterson 1-11. Ellensburg, Caskey 3-75, Leach 2-19, Benjamin Stockdale 2-14, Trent Walker 1-10.
Freeman 33, Royal 14: Markus Goldbach scored on a 98-yard kickoff return, a 98-yard run and caught a 74-yard touchdown pass to lead the Scotties to a Class 1A quarterfinal victory at Lions Field in Moses Lake.
Royal hung around early on, thanks to a 45-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Kaden Jenks to Carter Allred.
But it wasnt enough as the Scotties big plays overwhelmed the Knights.
Darrin Miller added a 1-yard touchdown run for Royal, while Max Laib had a touchdown run and a touchdown catch for Freeman, which will play Cashmere in the semifinals next week.
Freeman 14 7 12 0 33
Royal 7 7 0 0 14
FLaib 7 run (Laabs kick)
RAllred 45 pass from Jenks (Bernal kick)
FGoldbach 98 kickoff return (Laabs kick)
FLaib 49 pass from Hoppman (Laabs kick)
RMiller 1 run (Bernal kick)
FGoldbach 74 pass from Hoppman (kick failed)
FGoldbach 98 run (pass failed)
Touchet 36, Wilbur-Creston 14: Quarterback Elias Martinez threw for 118 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards to send the Indians back to the state semifinals for the first time since 2002 with a win at West Valley High in Spokane.
Connor McKeown added a rushing touchdown for Touchet, which will play Rosalia at a time, date and site to be determined.
Touchet 6 16 8 6 36
Wilbur-Creston 0 8 0 6 14
TButler 14 interception return (run failed)
WCPutman 4 run (Putman run)
TMcKeown 2 run (McKeown run)
TE. Rancon 11 pass from Martinez (Martinez pass from McKeown)
TC. Rancon 5 pass from Martinez (E. Rancon pass from Martinez)
WCCopeland 83 pass from T. Rosman (run failed)
TE. Rancon 38 run (run failed)