Though the game was marred by some typical Week 1 troubles — penalties, missed assignments, miscommunications — the Prosser High School football team saw exactly what it wanted in its 22-14 win Friday night over Kennewick at Lampson Stadium: a stellar performance from first-year starting quarterback Will Weinmann.
In the absence of 2017 graduate Tanner Bolt, the junior Weinmann completed 16 of 20 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown to lead the Mustangs to victory.
“There were the first series jitters, but it was good to get off to a fast start, get some points,” Weinmann said. “Also got to give a lot of credit to the O-Line, pushing ahead, and it helped us carry the momentum into the second half.”
The QB’s first start even drew praise from the opposing sideline.
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“Their quarterback was very, very good, very efficient,” Kennewick coach Bill Templeton said. “That’s what Prosser does, they dink and dunk, and then they hit you over the top with a nice fade route. And he threw the fade very well today.”
Weinmann certainly didn’t have to do it all on his own. Senior running back JR Coleman, who was a contributor as a sophomore on the 2015 state championship team but was injured last season, carried it 24 times for 71 yards and scored a 2-yard touchdown to cap the Mustangs’ game-opening, 66-yard drive.
“We’re gonna rely on JR and his senior leadership, he’s been a tremendous back his whole career,” Prosser coach Corey Ingvalson said. “He probably got a few more carries than he was used to, as far as our offense goes, but he can handle that based on what the defense was giving us.”
Kennewick had some changes to deal with in the offensive backfield as well with 2016 quarterback AJ Templeton moving to running back and Tim Gee taking over as QB1 in his stead.
Templeton had his two biggest runs of the night called back because of holding, but he still gained 34 yards on 15 touches. He did however leave the game with a right ankle injury late in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Linemen Austin Schoffstall and Braxton Brower also sustained injuries, both around halftime, that prevented them from returning to action.
Gee, a junior, struggled in the first half, completing just one pass — a 2-yard check down to running back Isaac Ruiz — on four attempts. But he settled in after halftime, finishing with 89 yards on 7-of-13 passing with a 1-yard rushing touchdown on the first drive of the second half, and a 12-yard TD pass to Emilio Ramos late in the fourth quarter.
“He especially had a good second half, and he did some nice things in the first half too,” Templeton said. “We’d get something going, and then shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty or something like that.”
With its lead cut down to 8-6, Prosser answered Kennewick’s second-half-opening touchdown drive with one of its own, spanning 67 yards and ending with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Weinmann to Tyler Durbin. A pass from Weinmann to Coleman gave the Mustangs the 2-point conversion and a 16-6 lead with about a minute to go in the third.
The Mustangs added insurance when a fourth-quarter drive was extended by a muffed punt, eventually capitalizing with a 2-yard TD run by Kord Tuttle to stretch their lead to 22-6 with about 4 minutes remaining.
But the Lions still had some life, as Gee helped engineer a 61-yard drive that finished with his touchdown strike to Ramos. He then hit Zenon Thornton on the 2-point conversion to make it 22-14 and pull Kennewick within a possession with 2 minutes to go.
After Prosser recovered the onside kick, Kennewick stuffed Coleman on consecutive runs to force 3rd-and-long with plenty of time left. That was when Weinmann threw a jump ball up to wide out Will Thompson, and the junior brought it down for a 34-yard gain to put the game on ice.
“I’ve got faith in my wide receivers to make the catch and get us that first down to seal the game,” Weinmann said. “Which is good, you can count on them. (Thompson) has got great hands, and he’s put in a lot of work this summer to get better with his feet and hands, which is what you want as a quarterback.”
Prosser opened the season with a 28-7 win over Kennewick last year, and Ingvalson felt good about knocking off the Class 3A foe once again.
“Honestly, I’m ecstatic,” he said. “Our offseason was tremendous as far as commitment and guys working and being committed to each other. And for them to have this win and have it pay off here, it means a lot. Especially when we’re trying to keep that momentum going.”
Prosser: Hosts three-time reigning SCAC West champion Zillah.
Kennewick: A change in the schedule will make the Lions travel to play Cleveland in Seattle for the second straight year.
P—JR Coleman 2 run (run)
K—Tim Gee 1 run (pass failed)
P—Tyler Durbin 4 pass from Will Weinmann (Coleman pass from Weinmann)
P—Kord Tuttle 2 run (pass failed)
K—Emilio Ramos 12 pass from Gee (Zenon Thornton pass from Gee)
RUSHING — P, Coleman 24-71; Tuttle 5-19; Weinmann 4-6; Mo Yanez 1-2. K, AJ Templton 14-26; Cedric Riel 2-10; Talon LaFontaine 1-5; Isaac Ruiz 2-4; Martavis Haggins 1-3; Gee 5-(-9).
PASSING — P, Weinmann 16-20-0—208. K, Gee 7-13-0—89; Templteon 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — P, Will Thompson 2-56; Jordan Garcia 4-38; Durbin 3-49; Levi Vermulm 2-29; Gray Skylar 1-11; Yanez 1-6; Coleman 1-7; team 1-11. K, LaFontaine 1-36; Thornton 1-12; Ramos 1-12; Templeton 1-8; Tucker Newman 2-6; Isaac Ruiz 1-2.