The Touchet football team has been trying to erase the ending of the 2012 football season for a year now.
The Indians had a quarterfinal victory seemingly in their grasp last season, but a late interception and a touchdown as the final horn sounded sent them home in heart breaking fashion.
Fast forward a year, and the Indians exorcised those demons with a win last week and now find themselves in the semifinals against a team they’ve already beaten this season.
“They have really used that as the goal to erase that memory,” Touchet coach Gary Dorman said. “They’ve pretty much taken care of everything so far.”
Touchet (11-1) faces Rosalia (9-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium in a Class 1B semifinal. The winner will advance to the title game in the Tacoma Dome the following weekend.
“We did not want to be in that position again, like last year,” senior Ruben Butler said. “(Winning last week) was an awesome feeling. We were so excited to finally make it past that round.”
Touchet had ended three consecutive seasons in the quarterfinals, but a strong defensive effort gave it a 36-14 victory over Wilbur-Creston to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2002.
“It was amazing,” senior Connor McKeown said. “It is pretty hard to describe. Everyone was excited.”
Now, Touchet hopes to not have a letdown against a team it beat 54-14 in Week 3. Rosalia, which ended a cooperation agreement with Tekoa-Oakesdale over the summer, played an independent league schedule and surprised some B school fans by making this deep run.
“The key is our running game and stopping their running game,” senior Edgar Rincon said. “We are confident we can.”
Rincon is a first-year varsity running back, who will need to have a strong game for Touchet. The Indians also rely on Colter McKeown and Elias Martinez out of the backfield. They are extremely well balanced for an 8-man team, as well as having a strong, quick defense.
“We have a lot of experience,” Butler said. “Some teams have a weak spot in their offense or defense, and I don’t think we have that. Every single one of us knows what we are doing and does our job correctly.”