Kolby Swift led a four-headed Prosser rushing attack offensively and was a menace from his outside linebacker/defensive end position to lead the Mustangs to a 27-14 road CWAC victory over Othello on Friday night.
“Like I said earlier this week, (Swift) just keeps writing his name into Mustang lore, and deservedly so,” Prosser coach Corey Ingvalson said. “He’s a plus-one runner, so if the box is seven, and you can block six, well he can break that and make it seven-on-seven. And he takes the same advantage on defense, he’s a plus-one guy where he can be covering the ‘C’ gap, but he’s so fast and aggressive he can kind of play ‘C’ and ‘D.’”
Swift made his biggest offensive statement in Prosser’s first drive of the second half, when he took a handoff from quarterback Tanner Bolt, shook a couple tackles and rumbled his way for a 51-yard score to put the Mustangs up 21-14 after trailing for most of the first two quarters.
Prosser (8-1, 7-1 CWAC) began to shift the tide of the game just before the halftime break, when — trailing 14-7 with 40 seconds to go in the half — Noah Flores took Othello’s kickoff and shot down the field, picking up a few key blocks on his way down to the Huskies’ 13-yard line. One play later, Bolt hit junior wide receiver Chase Courtney at the pylon for a touchdown to tie it at 14 with just a few seconds remaining before halftime.
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“Our special teams are well coached, coach (Jeff) Applegate does a great job, and Noah has a knack for breaking them big, he’s done it several times this year and last year,” Bolt said. “That was big getting it down to the 13, and then Chase made a great play on the ball, and that was a big momentum play for us to go into the half tied at 14, especially with them getting the ball to start the second half.”
Kyler Villarreal got the start at quarterback for Othello (7-2, 7-1) — regular starter DJ Guzman was injured last week and didn’t enter Friday’s game until late in the first quarter — and produced both of the significant offensive plays for the Huskies.
In the first quarter, Villarreal took an option keeper up the middle of the formation for a 65-yard rush, and running back Reese Jones cashed in a few plays later with a 2-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. After Prosser tied the game on a 13-yard score by Kord Tuttle, Villarreal answered near the end of the second quarter with a 68-yard touchdown reception from Guzman.
Othello’s defense did well in some bad situations in the first half, as Prosser started five of its seven drives in Huskies’ territory, but managed just the 14 points.
Because of rainy conditions this week, the natural-grass field at Huskie Stadium was in rough shape, and Ingvalson said it caused the Mustangs to alter their typically pass-heavy offense. Swift, Flores, Josiah Stutzman and Tuttle all had significant carries for Prosser, and the Mustangs as a whole rushed 42 times for 208 yards.
“We liked what we saw in the middle of the game as far as running. We probably honestly were a little too dependent on it, they maybe were giving us some stuff outside that we should have taken advantage of,” Ingvalson said. “But it’s hard, because on a field like this you don’t know if you’re going to take a cut to the left and fall down, because it’s a pit.
“As we move forward, if we can get onto field turf, you’ll see us throw it around a little bit more.”
Bolt completed just nine of his 22 passes, but avoided throwing an interception. He hit Tyler Durbin on a 7-yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter for his second TD pass of the game.
Now on a five-game winning streak since a Sept. 23 loss to Ellensburg, Bolt said he feels the Mustangs are finally hitting their stride, a point they emphasized by handing the Huskies their first conference loss of the season.
“I think it shows a lot of growth, because it was kind of the same situation we had against Ellensburg, going into the half, basically the same score,” Bolt said. “This time we came out and responded the right way in the second half, and that really shows a lot of growth.”
Prosser will visit Selah (6-3, 6-2) next Friday in a must-win game for both teams as they vie for one of the CWAC’s three playoff spots. Othello will travel to Ellensburg, with a loss pushing the Huskies to the conference’s No. 3 seed, and a win either giving them the league championship or creating a three-way tie atop the conference, depending on the Prosser/Selah result.
O — Reece Jones 2 run (Jose Chairez kick)
P — Kord Tuttle 13 run (Ricardo Herrera kick)
O — Kyler Villarreal 68 pass from DJ Guzman (Chairez kick)
P — Chase Courtney 13 pass from Tanner Bolt (Herrera kick)
P — Kolby Swift 51 run (Herrera kick)
P — Tyler Durbin 7 pass from Bolt (run failed)
RUSHING — P, Swift 10-82; Noah Flores 11-52; Tuttle 8-50; Josiah Stutzman 8-31; Michael Kernan 1-2; Bolt 2-(minus 9). O, Jones 17-63; Villarreal 4-55; Trevor Hilmes 8-32; Guzman 9-28; team 1-(minus 2).
PASSING — P, Bolt 9-21-0-92. O, Guzman 5-10-0-100; Villarreal 3-5-0-6.
RECEIVING — P, Kernan 5-55; Courtney 2-24; Durbin 1-7; Skylar Gray 1-6. O, Villarreal 1-68; Hilmes 3-34; Jones 2-6; Angel Rivera 1-5; team 1-(minus 5).