KENNEWICK -- The Prosser Mustangs' return to the Class 2A playoffs didn't go quite as well as they would have liked.
A couple of early turnovers and some fancy running by East Valley (Spokane) sophomore Adam Talley hit the Mustangs like a ton of bricks.
Before they could even blink, they trailed by four scores. That was more than enough for the Knights, who were never really threatened in a 48-28 quarterfinal victory Saturday at Lampson Stadium.
"It was unbelievable," Prosser coach Benji Sonnichsen said. "Some of it was misfortune and some of it was mistakes on our part. Anytime you put yourself in that position ..."
Two plays into the game, Prosser running back Isaac Anderson fumbled and East Valley's Mason Motes recovered.
Six plays into the Knights' first drive, Joey Strehlou scored from a yard out for a quick 7-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game.
On the next Prosser possession, quarterback T.J. Finn was intercepted by East Valley's Tyler Clark.
Two plays later, Knights wide receiver Matt Hoadley hauled in a 22-yard play-action pass from quarterback Taylor Watkins for a 14-0 shell-shocking lead.
At that point, Prosser had run four plays and was already in a deep hole.
"What can you do?," Prosser senior Dominic Garza said. "Those were big mistakes in the beginning."
It didn't stop there.
After a three-and-out by Prosser, East Valley's Talley went to work.
He went untouched up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. Three plays into Prosser's next drive, wide receiver Travis Massengale fumbled while trying to get extra yardage at the end of a 9-yard gain.
The ensuing play saw Talley go untouched around the right end for a 26-yard touchdown, and just like that it was 28-0 with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.
"We didn't have an answer for what they were doing," Sonnichsen said. "Talley is the best running back I've seen this season. We watched him on film, but it was a surprise at how good he was, how good their offensive line was. We thought we could keep them in check."
Prosser did rally, as Cesar Lopez blocked a punt and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to pull the Mustangs within 28-7.
The Mustangs then had a four shots from inside the 5 in the waning moments of the first half but failed to score.
Despite the big deficit, the Mustangs were still confident.
"We talked at halftime that this is Prosser football," Sonnichsen said. "We'll never think we're out of a game. We gave an effort, we just didn't get it done. We had some opportunities in the first half that just didn't go our way."
Talley quickly put the game out of reach going 58 yards on five carries to give the Knights a 35-7 lead.
He finished with 242 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns. He also kicked six extra points. About the only thing he failed at Saturday was leaving a 42-yard field goal attempt short.
Finn had a big second half to lead the Mustangs, finishing 12-of-26 for 169 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Anderson rushed 25 times for 107 yards and one touchdown reception.
The season wasn't a total loss for Prosser, which got back into the playoffs after missing in 2009. The Mustangs also won the CWAC title, a mission they set out on before the season.
"Last year was not a good season," Garza said. "This year us seniors stepped up.
"We didn't imagine losing, but we didn't want to give up."
East Valley (Spokane) 48, Prosser 28
East Valley 28 0 14 6 -- 48
Prosser 7 0 15 6 -- 28
EV--Joey Strehlou 1 run (Adam Talley kick).
EV--Matt Hoadley 22 pass from Taylor Watkins (Talley kick).
EV--Talley 40 run (Talley kick).
EV--Talley 26 run (Talley kick).
Pro--Cesar Lopez 21 punt block return (Trino Flores kick).
EV--Talley 2 run (Talley kick).
EV--Talley 12 run (Talley kick).
Pro--Isaac Anderson 3 pass from T.J. Finn (Seth Glossen run).
Pro--Dominic Garza 43 pass from Finn (Flores kick).
EV--Hoadley 19 pass from Watkins (kick failed).
Pro--Finn 1 run (run failed).
RUSHING--EV, Talley 24-242, Myles Lowry 9-27, Shane Quinn 10-25, Strehlou 1-1, team 2-(-4), Watkins 2-(-14). P, Anderson 25-107, Joey Hurtado 3-22, Finn 5-16.
PASSING--EV, Watkins 8-9-1--133. P, Finn 12-26-2--169.
RECEIVING--EV, Strehlou 3-34, Hoadley 2-41, Jake Reynolds 2-28, Ronnie Jarvis 1-30. P, Garza 5-76, Jordin Silva 2-49, Travis Massengale 2-22, Hurtado 1-14, Danny Raap 1-8, Anderson 1-3.
FIRST DOWNS--EV, 17; P, 15. FUMBLES-LOST--EV 1-1, P, 2-2. PENALTIES-YARDS--EV 5-45, P 3-25.