WENATCHEE -- Revenge is a dish best served cold -- at 27 degrees.
The Connell Eagles dominated Cashmere 20-9 in a snowy Class 1A quarterfinal game Saturday at the Apple Bowl in Wenatchee.
The victory more than made up for the 47-14 pasting Cashmere handed to Connell during the regular season.
"We just showed that we get better as the season goes on," Connell's Kennan Vanhollebeke said. "Cashmere is a good team, but they stayed the same."
The Eagles got more than better Saturday, holding the Bulldogs to just one first down and 38 yards of offense in a stifling defensive effort.
"Coach (Wayne) Riner is an excellent defensive coordinator, and he's been preparing for this offense for three months," Connell's Matt Hadley said. "He had us ready."
The Eagles switched to a 4-2-5 defense, allowing Hadley and Kade Eppich to roam and attack the misdirection of Cashmere's offense. Combine that with the upfront play by the Eagles, and the Bulldogs' only first down came on a questionable spot on a fourth-down play.
"That's as good of a defensive effort as I've had at Connell in a long time," Riner said. "That's what a good championship football team should be doing. I'm so happy. This win here is better than a state championship. They've beat us in the regular season, but we beat them every time in the big games."
The victory was reminiscent of 2002, when Connell bounced back from a regular-season loss to Cashmere to knock the Bulldogs out of the playoffs.
The Eagles won the state title that year and appear poised to make a run at another one after Saturday.
"Tell all the teams (in the state) to get ready," Vanhollebeke said.
Connell certainly was ready Saturday, marching up and down the field most of the game. Garrett Salisbury kicked two first-half field goals, as the Eagles were sloppy in the red zone and failed to take advantage of multiple opportunities to score.
Late in the third quarter, Cashmere's Kenny Johnston blocked a punt, and the Bulldogs recovered at the 7-yard line. Two plays later, Mahliek Roberts punched it in, and Cashmere suddenly had a 9-6 lead.
"We needed that," Connell's Tyson Brook said. "We had all those chances to score and didn't, so we used their momentum to push us, to prove to them we could score."
Connell did just that, shoving the ball down the throat of the Cashmere defense.
Starting at its own 15, Connell went on a 12-play, 85-yard drive, chewing up nearly 5 minutes of the game clock. The drive was highlighted by a Hadley 37-yard run, where he broke seven tackles and refused to be dragged down.
Brook punched it in from a yard out, and the Eagles led 13-9.
On the ensuing kickoff, Salisbury's pooch kick was dropped by Cashmere. Braiden Whitby dived on the ball, and the Eagles went on a 12-play drive that nearly drained the clock.
Hadley scored from a yard out on fourth down to seal the victory over the stunned Bulldogs.
"I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting this (dominating of an effort)," Hadley said. "But the look in my teammates' eyes before the game and during the game, I knew they wanted to shut them down.
"Beating the No. 1 team in the state like that ... right now, there is no better feeling."
Hadley led the Eagles with 201 yards on 38 carries with a touchdown. Brook finished with 19 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown and three sacks. Chandler Salisbury added an interception on defense, and Ryan Heinen had three receptions for 42 yards.
CONNELL 20, CASHMERE 9
Connell 3 3 0 14 -- 20
Cashmere 0 3 0 6 -- 9
Con--FG Garrett Salisbury 27
Cash--FG Brendan Wagner 29
Con--FG G. Salisbury 24
Cash--Mahliek Roberts 1 run (kick blocked)
Con--Tyson Brook 1 run (Salisbury kick)
Con--Matt Hadley 1 run (Salisbury kick)
Rushing--Con, Hadley 38-201, Chandler Salisbury 12-34, Brook 10-19, Ryan Heinen 1-(minus 6), Austin Huber 1-0, team 2-(minus 12). Cash, Roberts 9-37, Brock Grams 1-9, Joey Michael 1-(minus 1), Casey Ruether 14-(minus 7).
Passing--Con, C. Salisbury 3-10-0-42. Cash, Ruether 0-5-1-0.
Receiving--Con, Heinen 3-42.
First downs--Con 19, Cash 1. Fumbles-lost--Con 2-0, Cash 2-0. Penalties-yards--Con 6-58, Cash 5-35.