Travis Crockett ran for three touchdowns, and Dayton-Waitsburg held off Tri-Cities Prep in the fourth quarter to beat the Jaguars 34-14 on a windy Saturday afternoon at Edgar Brown Stadium to advance in the Class 2B state playoffs.
Dayton-Waitsburg (10-1), the EWAC champion, will face Liberty (Spangle) in the second round of state. Liberty beat the EWAC’s No. 2 seed Kittitas 44-6 on Friday.
It took a while for Crockett to get going — he only had three first-half carries — but he totaled 219 yards on 16 carries on the day and kept the ball away from the Jaguars’ offense for most of the second half.
“Crockett makes guys miss. He’s good, he’s an equalizer, he’s a game changer,” Tri-Cities Prep coach Dan Whitsett said.
The TCP defense gave up seven plays of 20 or more yards in addition to the 34 points, but Whitsett said it was the offense that was more to blame for the Jaguars’ early exit from the state playoffs.
“We just couldn’t get out of our own way, just kept making mistakes, and our offense is predicated on specifics and execution,” Whitsett said. “The bottom line is that our offense put our defense in bad situations. Our defense was on the field way too much, especially in the first half, and I think that wore us down and was the difference in the second half.”
D-W’s Ben Kleck intercepted Gavin Baker to halt a promising Jaguars drive early in the first quarter. Quarterback Jacob Dunn then marched D-W 64 yards and capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cal Martin to make it 7-0.
Then midway through the second quarter, Crockett took a hand off from Dunn, made a move at the line, stiff armed a defender at the next level to clear some daylight and outran the TCP defense for a 69-yard touchdown. With Dunn serving as the kick holder, D-W faked the extra point attempt, and Dunn found Martin open in the back of the end zone to make it a 15-0 lead.
Prep responded on the following drive as a 32-yard trick-play pass from Colin Dickson to Will Dituri helped the Jaguars go 68 yards in less than three minutes to cut the deficit to 15-6 before the half. Bubba Valencia scored on a 2-yard run on fourth down and gained the last 10 yards on three consecutive direct snap runs.
Following another Crockett touchdown run in the third quarter, Baker capped TCP’s final scoring drive of the game with a 10-yard run on a sweep play out of the Wildcat to make it 22-14. But a 47-yard touchdown run by Crockett, a 47-yard touchdown reception by Tanner Bren and two interceptions by Bren put the game away.
DW — Cal Martin 12 pass from Jacob Dunn (Joe Adams kick)
DW — Travis Crockett 69 run (Martin pass from Dunn)
TCP — Bubba Valencia 2 run (run failed)
DW — Crockett 14 run (Adams kick)
TCP — Gavin Baker 10 run (Colin Dickson pass from Baker)
DW — Crockett 47 run (kick failed)
DW — Tanner Bren 47 pass from Dunn (pass failed)
RUSHING — TCP, Gavin Baker 24-96; Bubba Valencia 15-33; Colin Dickson 1-7. DW, Crockett 16-219; Dunn 8-17; Ben Kleck 5-13; Martin 3-0; team 2-(minus 19).
PASSING — TCP, Baker 10-23-3-119; Dickson 2-3-0-68. DW, Dunn 6-14-1-149; Crockett 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING — TCP, Will Dituri 2-68; Dickson 2-44; Jacob Amato 4-42; Valencia 3-25. DW, Martin 3-68; Tanner Bren 2-55; Nick Kitselman 1-26.