The Waitsburg-Prescott Cardinals enjoyed their 27-6 win over Tonasket for about 5 minutes. And that might be generous.
Standing in the middle of the field at Chiawana High School with frost glistening off the turf, coach Jeff Bartlow recapped the Cardinals’ opening-round win in the Class 2B state football playoffs. Then it was time to move on to next week.
The Cardinals (8-3) will take on two-time defending state champion Lind-Ritzville/Sprague in the quarterfinals next weekend. The Cardinals are the last team to beat the Broncos (11-0), that coming all the way back in 2011.
“This is our opportunity,” Bartlow said.
The Broncos continued their march to a third straight state title with a 27-18 win over Brewster in another Class 2B opening round state playoff game.
“We know if we play like we did tonight,” said senior wide receiver Devin Acevedo. “We’ll be ready.”
And did the Cardinals play Friday night? About as crisp as the breeze in temperatures hovering around 25 degrees.
The Cardinals took advantage of an early mistake by the Tigers to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead. The Tigers fumbled away the ball on the first play of the game, and the Cardinals took over at the Tonasket 29-yard line. Five plays later, Acevedo came down with a 17-yard touchdown reception on a throw from Jacob Dunn.
“That was huge for us right there,” Bartlow said. “To get the momentum early was big.”
Acevedo and Dunn would hook up again in the second quarter, this time on a 28-yard touchdown play to push the lead to 14-0.
The lead grew to 21-0 midway through the third quarter when Kobie Brown broke free for a 28-yard touchdown run. This run was one play after Tonasket’s attempted punt failed because of a high snap.
Training 21-0, the Tigers had to turn to their seldom-used passing game.
“We just focused on stopping the run,” Bartlow said. “That is what we keyed on. We knew they wanted to run the ball.”
Tonasket finally got on the board with 5:47 left in the game, on a 3-yard run by Isaiah Yaussy-Albright.
But the Tigers could not get any closer.
The Cardinals put an exclamation point on the victory just trying to run out the clock. On a 4th-and-15, Travis Crockett ran left, the back right, back left, and finally right one more time for a 25-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds left in the game.
“We were ready tonight,” Acevedo said. “We knew we had to stop the run and force them to pass the ball.”
W—Devin Acevedo 17 pass from Jacob Dunn (Antonio Benito kick)
W—Acevedo 28 pass from Dunn (Benito kick)
W—Kobie Brown 28 run (Benito kick)
T—Isaiah Yaussy-Albright 3 run (kick fail)
W—Travis Crockett 25 run (kick fail)
The Knights led 14-0 at halftime, but exploded for 21 points in the third quarter to put the game away.
Royal will play host to Colville next weekend in the state quarterfinals.
R — Gerard Weyns 1 run (Cesar Bernal kick)
R — Sawyer Stakkeland 12 pass from Kaden Jenks (Bernal kick)
R — Joe Lang 44 pass from Jenks (Bernal kick)
R — Sam Christensen 12 pass from Jenks (Bernal kick)
R — Darrin Miller 10 run (Bernal kick)
R — Miguel Ayala 31 run (Bernal kick)
R — Carson Gilbert 23 pass from Juan Niebla (Bernal kick)
L — Bryce Schimke 15 pass from Cameron Hay (Kelly Kyllo kick)
RUSHING — L, Grant Perkins 11-95, Shay Hutyler 7-21, Schimke 1-9, Mason Labelle 1-2, Bick Christensen 2-minus 1, Gay 1-minus 3. R, Ayala 19-166, Miller 9-58, Danny Cuevas 4-20, Lang 2-26, Jenks 3-12, Andy Villafana 1-9, Weyns 1-1, Niebla 1-minus 2.
PASSING — L, Gay 15-38-2-193. R, Jenks 14-23-1-212, Niebla 2-2-0-28.
RECEIVING — L, Christensen 3-48Schimke 5-47, Hutyler 2-24, David Rothe 1-18, Perkins 1-12, Labelle 1-10, Kyllo 1-9. R, Lang 3-77, Christensen 5-57, Jose Ponce 4-51, Stakkeland 2-27, Gilbert 1-23.