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Fassler leads Prosser past Othello 33-14 (w/ gallery)

PROSSER -- The CWAC title still runs through Art Fiker Stadium.

The Mustangs, led by a dizzying aerial attack and an opportunistic defense, hammered Othello 33-14 in a game many figured would be for the league title.

"All this week and all summer we heard about how Othello was the team to beat," Prosser coach Benji Sonnichsen said. "The kids were motivated by it and had something to prove."

And did the Mustangs ever prove it.

Junior quarterback Ryan Fassler threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, while the defense forced four turnovers against a punchless Othello attack.

"Playing Othello is assignment football," Sonnichsen said. "Our defensive line hadn't played very well, and we challenged our kids up front. We did a good job of squeezing the running lanes and playing the option the right way."

Leading 14-7 coming out of halftime, the Mustangs defense stepped up.

After a Prosser punt, Othello's Caleb Garza -- who was banged up and didn't get as many touches as normal -- was stripped and Rodolfo Cruz recovered.

The next play was a 22-yard fade route from Fassler to Danny Raap to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Isaac Anderson punched it for a 21-7 lead.

Just one Othello play later, quarterback David Garza kept the ball on an option play and while struggling for more yards, he put the ball on the ground as well. Wyatt Baker scooped it up at the Othello 38.

Eight plays later, running back Joey Hurtado scored on a cutback and the Mustangs' rout was on.

"We liked our matchups in the air and took advantage of them," Fassler said. "We just played a great game."

Fassler was sharp from the beginning, completing 10 of 14 passes in the first half for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

He hit Raap on a pass down the right sideline from an empty backfield, as the Othello corner bit on a pump fake less than 3 minutes into the game.

After Caleb Garza tied it on a 38-yard option pitch, Fassler went back to work. He hit Hurtado on a 15-yard slant and then Sterling Clark caught back-to-back passes to score from 19-yards out with just 51 seconds left in the half.

"He threw the ball right to me (tonight)," Clark said. "He's a good quarterback."

Othello did get back into the game briefly late in the third quarter after Fassler was intercepted on a tipped pass by Alec Alvarez.

David Garza hooked up with Trevor Walker on a 27-yard pass and Joey Gomez eventually scored to pull the Huskies within 27-14.

But once again the Prosser aerial show was too much.

Facing second-and-9 from the Mustangs' 39, Fassler found Anderson on a seam route up the middle.

Anderson briefly bobbled it, but regained control and then was off to the races.

"From watching tape, we knew if we lined up in a spread set, we could look and see what they were giving us," Sonnichsen said. "Isaac called that play. He told me that they were giving us that."

Anderson finished with four receptions for 89 yards. Hurtado led the ground game, rushing 10 times for 65 yards. Fassler finished 19-for-28 for 300 yards with two interceptions, while Clark had five catches for 65 yards.

Caleb Garza finished with 58 yards rushing on seven carries, while David Garza threw for 101 yards. Walker had three receptions for 54 yards.

While the Mustangs were happy with the result, they know that a win over the No. 3 team in the state does not guarantee a league title.

"We have to keep practicing," Clark said. "We can't get too cocky."

Prosser 33, Othello 14

Othello 7 0 7 0 -- 14

Prosser 7 7 13 6 -- 33

SCORING PLAYS

P--Danny Raap 46 pass from Ryan Fassler (Trino Flores kick), 8:44.

O--Caleb Garza 38 run (Matt Jones kick), :18.

P--Sterling Clark 19 pass from Fassler (Flores kick), :51.

P--Isaac Anderson 1 run (Flores kick), 8:37.

P--Joey Hurtado 6 run (kick failed), 4:46.

O--Joey Gomez 1 run (Jones kick), 1:45.

P--Anderson 61 pass from Fassler (pass failed), 11:49.

STATISTICS

RUSHING--O, Caleb Garza 8-58, David Garza 7-23, Gomez 10-15. P, Hurtado 10-65, Diego Magana 7-62, Anderson 10-25, Fassler 3-(-18).

PASSING--O, D. Garza 9-28-2--101. P, Fassler 19-28-2--300, team 0-1-0--0.

RECEIVING--O, Trevor Walker 3-54, Dustin Rodgers 2-24, Juston Lind 2-13, C. Garza 1-6, Gomez 1-4. P, Clark 5-65, Josh Lopez 5-42, Anderson 4-89, Raap 3-90, Hurtado 1-15, Wyatt Baker 1-(-1).

FIRST DOWNS--O, 9; P, 21. FUMBLES-LOST--O, 3-2; P, 1-0. PENALTIES-YARDS--O, 9-65; P, 7-63.

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