ELLENSBURG -- Diego Magana can give Mother Nature an assist for giving him a chance to play during Prosser's snowy 2A quarterfinal matchup against Ellensburg on Saturday at Tomlinson Stadium.
The Mustangs' backup running back certainly made the most of his opportunity to play during his team's 21-14 win that landed Prosser in the state semifinals for the fifth time since 2005.
Magana took over for starter Isaac Anderson in the second half and rolled up 105 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, allowing the Mustangs to build offensive momentum after the conditions affected their precision passing game.
"I wanted to play. I was getting tired of sitting on the sideline," Magana said. "I couldn't go out there by myself, though. We needed the whole team to win."
The No. 3 Mustangs (11-1) will play host to No. 4 Archbishop Murphy (11-1) either Friday or Saturday for a shot at the 2A championship game. Prosser athletic director Casey Gant said he requested Lampson Stadium as the home field but has to await the final pairings by the WIAA.
"We worked on a plan all week, and then you come out here and get dealt something different. We started looking at our personnel and the play sheet and found out that Diego was the guy to go with today," said Prosser coach Benji Sonnichsen, who is making his first trip to the semis in his third year as head coach.
"It wasn't so much the conditions as much as his style of running. He's more of a north-south runner, and with the slippery ground our offensive line could only hold the blocks for so long."
Magana wasn't the only one who took advantage of opportunity. The Mustangs defense forced four turnovers and slowed the Bulldogs' momentum in the second half. Two of those turnovers came in the final 2:40 of the third quarter and resulted in a pair of touchdowns that allowed Prosser to grab the lead for good.
"One thing we tried to do was get the ball on the ground," said Anderson, who intercepted a Matt Bennett pass at the Ellensburg 40-yard line with 2:40 left in the third quarter and then capped a five-play Mustangs drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fassler to tie the game at 14.
The turning point came on the ensuing kickoff, when Bulldogs senior J Foley tried unsucessfully to field a squib kick by Abi Fajardo at the 16-yard line. Mustangs junior Harley Hall fell on the ball with 36 seconds left in the third quarter. Magana powered up the middle for a 15-yard score on the very next play to put Prosser up 21-14.
"Diego did great. I was so impressed with him. On the sideline he told me, 'You block and I'll run,' and that's what we did," said senior lineman Enzo Hurtado, who sealed the victory with an interception -- Bennett's third of the day -- inside the Ellensburg 20 with 1:42 left in the game.
Prosser trailed 6-0 before finally getting on the board just before the end of the half when Fassler connected with Danny Raap on a beautifully-timed 8-yard fade in the right corner of the end zone to make it 7-6.
"That was huge. It gave us a bunch of confidence that we could drive and move the ball in the snow," said Fassler, who completed 9 of 18 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
"That was an option route, either a back shoulder throw or a fade, but we got on the same page. .We worked on that play every day in practice."
Prosser 21, Ellensburg 14
Prosser 0 7 14 0 -- 21
Ellensburg 0 6 7 0 -- 14
E--Matt Bennett 40 run (kick failed)
P--Danny Raap 8 pass from Ryan Fassler (Abi Fajardo kick)
E--Damien Roseberry 10 run (Patrick Smyth pass from Bennett)
P--Isaac Anderson 15 pass from Fassler (Fajardo kick)
P--Diego Magana 12 run (Fajardo kick)
RUSHING--P, Magana 16-105, Anderson 10-42, Fassler 5-3, Joey Hurtado 2-4, team 3-(minus 3). E, Bennett 15-112, Jay Foley 7-19, Roseberry 5-22, Austin Lyman 3-0.
PASSING--P, Fassler 9-18-1-82. E, Bennett 5-16-3-74.
RECEIVING--P, Wyatt Baker 3-19, Anderson 2-12, Sterling Clark 1-23, Josh Lopez 1-11, Bubba Frank 1-9, Raap 1-8. E, Kody Graham 2-23, Roseberry 3-51.
FIRST DOWNS--P 21, E 14 FUMBLES-LOST--P 3-1, E 1-1. PENALTIES-YARDS--P 6-35, E 7-44.