COLFAX — His crisp, white uniform now disheveled and dripping brown, jersey untucked and under-armor torn, Waitsburg-Prescott quarterback Zach Bartlow stood on the sidelines late in the fourth quarter, looking the way his W-P team felt — ripped to shreds and covered in Colfax mud.
The No.1-ranked Colfax Bulldogs systematically dismantled the fifth-ranked W-P offense and defense for a 39-0 victory in a cold, soggy first-round Class 2B state playoff game here Saturday afternoon.
Bulldog quarterback Alex Teade completed 15 of 22 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns with one interception to lead the Colfax onslaught. Running back Stetson Steiger took in a game-high seven passes for 101 yards.
The Bulldog defense was just as stingy as the Bulldog passing game was explosive. Colfax held W-P’s high-flying offense to a single first down in the first half and 96 total yards for the game.
"Our front four put a lot of pressure on Zach (Bartlow) today, and that’s what we needed," said a smiling Colfax head coach Mike Morgan. "We felt we needed to stay back in coverage (and not bring the blitz), because we knew Zach (Bartlow) could throw anywhere on the field. I felt very satisfied that our front four put enough pressure on him to force some hurries today."
The Bulldog defensive line also stymied the W-P run game, allowing just 30 yards on 21 carries.
The Colfax defense turned W-P away immediately to start the game, forcing the first of three straight three-and-outs.
The Bulldogs faced second-and-9 from the W-P 47 on the fifth play of their first drive. W-P brought the blitz, leaving wide receiver Justin Berarducci in single coverage against W-P’s Kevin Raver. Berarducci streaked down the left sideline past Raver, catching Teade’s timing pass in stride, before heading off to the races untouched for the first of his two touchdowns.
Colfax caught W-P sleeping on the ensuing onside kick, which the Bulldogs recovered at the W-P 49. W-P’s defense then forced Colfax into a third-and-13, but got burned on the blitz again. This time Teade connected with Will Hatley on a 52-yard touchdown strike.
"What we wanted to do was jump on them quick," Morgan explained. "We did it out of respect for them. I’ve seen them on film and they have the ability to quick-strike you. I wanted to get off to a fast start and see if I could get the adrenaline out of (W-P’s) system and get them down to where they were a little bit tired and fatigued."
"We’d seen them on film (doing the onside kick)," W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. "We had kids in position, but when Colfax did it our kids just turned and took off (the other way) like they’d never seen it before. It was a huge play. All of a sudden we’re down 13-0, and we only had three offensive plays under our belts."
Colfax’s third drive was a clock eater, using up nearly eight minutes of the first and second quarters. The 17-play drive culminated in a 1-yard touchdown keeper by Teade which upped the scored to 19-0. The Bulldogs converted three third downs on the drive.
Waitsburg-Prescott seemed determined to keep Colfax from scoring again before halftime, forcing a Bulldog punt with 3:33 and pulling down a spectacular interception by James Lehr with one minute left. But a high snap from W-P center Tre Brannock was recovered by the Bulldogs at the W-P 20 with only 38 seconds left in the half, and Colfax converted on the next play. This time Teade hooked up with Morgan on a 20-yard jump-ball reception to push the lead to 25-0 at half.
W-P showed life early in the third quarter, forcing a second Colfax punt, then storming 36-yards down the field to the Bulldog 19. But the slippery conditions cost W-P, as Bartlow lost hold of the ball backing up from center — and the recovery taken by Colfax at their own 23.
"The conditions were a major factor," said senior running back Zac Alexenko. "If conditions were even decent, I think we would have competed a lot better. We felt at halftime if we could come out and score we would be right back into it. We fumbled and that turnover kind of ended it."
Colfax went on to score two more insurance touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard pass from Berarducci to Teade, and a 1-yard Alvin Li dive.
A lot of W-P’s woes could be blamed on a depleted offensive line.
"We had a broken thumb at center (Tre Brannock) and snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head twice. That hasn’t happened all year," said Bartlow. "We had (6-foot 5) Chance McDaniel ineligible because of grades and Marco (Wikman) was sick all week and only came back to school on Friday."
"I had strep throat," said Wikman. "I got it Tuesday after the tie-breaker game. Thursday, I was like a dead man. Today, it was still hurting really bad, so I took a bunch of legal drugs and just fought through it and the torn ligaments in my right short shoulder and my bum leg."
"Waitsburg-Prescott is a terrific ball club," coach Morgan said. "We caught them when they were tired. They played three or four tough ballgames in the last two to three weeks, and they haven’t had any time off.
"We’ve been there before, where you’re playing a Tuesday playoff game and you’re not focused on anything but beating the team right in front of you," Morgan continued. "They had no time to prepare for us. I told Jeff (Bartlow) if we catch you in the middle of the season it’s a whole different ballgame."
"We’re disappointed," said Bartlow, "because we thought we were going to be in a fist-fight football game. To lose 39-0 was a total shock."
Colfax moves to 10-0 on the season. The Bulldogs next play South Bend, a 43-29 winner over Kittitas Saturday in Spokane.
Colfax 39, Waitsburg-Prescott 0
W-P 0 0 0 0 — 0
Colfax 13 12 0 14 — X
Colf — Berarducci 47 pass from Teade (pass failed).
Colf — Hatley 52 pass from Teade (T. McNanny kick).
Colf — Teade 1 run (pass failed).
Colf — Morgan 20 pass from Teade (kick failed).
Colf — Berarducci 9 pass from Teade (T. McNanny kick).
Colf — Li 1 run (T. McNanny kick).
First downs 7 17
Rushes/yards 21-30 36-107
Passing yards 66 269
Passes (att-comp-int) 19-6-0 23-15-1
Punts 4-38 2-28
Fumbles-lost 6-2 2-0
Penalties-yards 3-20 8-65
RUSHING — W-P: Bartlow 9-1, Cady 7-8, Ja. Zuger 5-21; Colfax: Li 14-73, Steiger 8-6, T. McNanny 5-15, Teade 7-14, Klaveano 2-(-1).
PASSING — W-P: Bartlow 6-19-0 66 yards 0 TD; Colfax: Teade 15-22-1 269 yard 4 TDs, Hatley 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — W-P: Wooderchak 1-8, Gerke 4-53, Alexenko 1-5; Colfax: Hatley 3-70, Berarducci 3-61, Steiger 7-101, Morgan 2-37.