The Pasco Bulldogs football team had finally gotten a taste for winning after two seasons of winless football.
That’s what made Friday’s 54-14 loss to Walla Walla that much tougher for them to swallow.
Pasco, which had won back-to-back games for the first time since the first two games of the 2009 season, gave up 337 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground to a scrappy Blue Devils’ bunch looking to rebound from an 0-2 start.
“(Pasco) was playing really well. Coach (Dustin) Lamb has done a magnificent job getting his team to believe in themselves,” Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. “My kids wanted the challenge of stopping the best offense in the league, statistically, and they had a little burr in their saddle to do it.”
The Blue Devils defense shut down the Bulldogs almost immediately, forcing three-and-outs on Pasco’s first two drives.
Meanwhile, Walla Walla scored on its first two drives of the night. Brennan Barberich capped a six-play drive with a 31-yard touchdown run. Less than a minute later, Gerardo Gomez intercepted a Kolby Killoy pass on Pasco’s side of the field to set up the next drive.
Quarterback Trever Coronado scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns on a 17-yard scramble up the middle to make it 13-0. He finished with 30 yards on six carries. Noah Porter led Wa-Hi rushers with 84 yards and a score on 22 carries.
Pasco came back with a big play from Killoy late in the first quarter. The junior quarterback ran to the far sideline to escape a heavy pass rush, broke a tackle and hit Kendal Lee up the right sideline. Lee did the rest, breaking out for a 75-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 13-7.
But the Blue Devils scored the next 35 points unanswered to go ahead 48-7 to start the running clock.
Killoy connected with Eric Orange on a 21-yard touchdown pass to end the third quarter, but that was all for the Bulldogs.
Killoy, who led the Mid-Columbia Conference in passing and total offense coming into the game, got some encouraging comments from Hisaw at midfield after the game. But Killoy wasn’t in the mood to celebrate.
“It’s only nice when it’s a win,” Killoy said after the game. “This definitely makes us more hungry.”
Killoy finished 18-for-35 with two interceptions and 215 yards and two touchdowns.
“We got some stops,” Hisaw said. “That quarterback can flat flip it. Their running back is good, and that Lee kid is skilled. When they turned the ball over to us, that was big. They made a good drive, but we took it upon ourselves to respond to every challenge from Pasco tonight.”
Lee led Pasco receivers with 87 yards on three catches.
Walla Walla 13 21 14 7 — 54
Pasco 7 0 7 0 — 14
WW—Brennan Barberich 31 run (kick failed)
WW—Trever Coronado 17 run (Ethan Gardner kick)
P—Kendal Lee 75 pass from Kolby Killoy (Ryan Dawson kick)
WW—Coronado 8 run (Gardner kick)
WW—Coronado 14 run (Gardner kick)
WW—Willie Hayes 7 run (Gardner kick)
WW—Hayes 53 run (Gardner kick)
WW—Noah Porter 11 run (Gardner kick)
P—Eric Orange 21 pass from Killoy (Dawson kick)
WW—Alexander Lybbert 1 run (kick failed)
RUSHING—WW, Porter 22-84, Barberich 3-65, Coronado 6-31, Mitchell Huffman 1-(minus 4), Hayes 4-98, Lybbert 2-2, Mitchell Lesmeister 1-63. P, Killoy 5-(minus 3), Deondre Hendrix 2-0, Kynen Tate 2-39, Cole Kelley 6-22, Kaleb Ash 9-62.
PASSING—WW, Coronado 4-9-0-70. P, Killoy 18-34-2-215.
RECEIVING—WW, Reid Magnaghi 1-9, Huffman 1-35, Gerardo Gomez 2-26. P, Chris English 1-14, Spencer Calveard 5-38, Kelley 2-4, Eric Orange 3-55, Izmael Mercado 2-17, Lee 3-87, Ash 1-(minus 1).
FIRST DOWNS—WW 16, P 13. FUMBLES-LOST—WW 3-2, P 2-2. PENALTIES-YARDS—WW 7-65, P 8-77.