TOUCHET — It was a cheerless homecoming here Friday afternoon.
Cheerless in that leaden skies darkened the day and that fall’s first killer frost was in the forecast.
Cheerless in that the Touchet High cheerleaders were nowhere to be found.
And cheerless in that visiting Colton was able to run and pass its way up and down the football field practically uncontested en route to a 60-26 Southeast 1B-8 League victory over the homestanding Indians.
The victory kept the Wildcats unbeaten and atop the league standings, 3-0 in the SEB-8 and 5-0 overall. The loss dropped the Indians to 1-1 vs. league opponents and 2-3 on the year.
The frost was light, if at all, in most areas, and the prospect of Indian summer remains.
The Indians’ cheerleading squad will be back after a one-game suspension for missing a volleyball match earlier in the week.
And Touchet’s football team is still in the hunt for one of the league’s two postseason playoff tickets, although coach Gary Dorman’s squad will have to tighten up its defense and become more consistent on offense if it hopes to stand up to Tri-Cities Prep and Lacrosse-Washtucna, the league’s other playoff contenders.
"I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again," Dorman said. "We are getting better."
Perhaps, but not nearly good enough to keep up with the visiting Wildcats, senior quarterback Josh Straughan and senior running back Sam Robertson in particular.
Straughan, lining up both under center and from the shot gun, completed 18-of-28 passes for 308 yards and a trio of touchdowns to three different receivers.
Robertson, effective inside and dynamite on the edges, carried the ball 19 times for 195 yards and four scores. And he was on the receivwing end of five of Straughan’s completions for 145 yards and one TD.
"We had a hard time defending them," Dorman said. "We saw film of their game against Lacrosse-Washtucna and saw how well they ran the ball up the middle. They must have seen film of our game against Wallowa (a 66-16 Touchet loss) and recognized how vulnerable we were in the flats."
Dorman and the Indians can only hope that the Wildcats are the class of the league. They defeated the defending champion Tigercats 66-20 last weekend in Washtucna, and they won’t see Tri-Cities Prep until Oct. 30 when the teams meet in Colton.
Touchet will know a little more about itself Friday when it travels to Lacrosse-Washtucna. The Indians close out the regular season Nov. 6 against the Jaguars in Pasco.
One bright spot for the Indians on an otherwise dim day was the continuing emergence of freshman Vicente Flores as a touchdown threat.
Flores, who is listed at 6-foot and 170 pounds, scored two of Touchet’s four touchdowns Friday, snagging a 10-yard pass from backup quarterback Matt Kates for the first and then returning a kickoff 92 yards for the second. A week earlier in a 48-24 Touchet victory at Sunnyside Christian, Flores intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown.
"We need to get him more involved," Dorman said. "It’s not like we don’t know about him. He’s not a secret weapon.
"But if we have a secret weapon, now’s the time to break it out."
Junior quarterback Jake Hodnefield scored the Indians’ first touchdown on a 5-yard run. Gus Rodriguez, last year’s starting QB, accounted for the second when he flipped a 13-yard halfback pass to Marshall Byerley in the back of the end zone.
Robertson had touchdown runs of 63, 18, 9 and 1 yards for the Wildcats, and he found the end zone on a 58-yard catch-and-run for Straughan’s first TD pass. Straughan also connected with Chase Druffel — who made a leaping, one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone — on a 5-yard score and a 20-0 Colton lead, and with Taylor Spence on a 15-yard touchdown play in the third quarter.
Druffel also scored on a 3-yard run, and reserve running back Dustin Dvorack accounted for Colton’s final TD on a 1-yard run in the game’s final minute, which gave Flores his opportunity to return the ensuing kick for the final score of the game.
Colton 14 26 24 6 — 60
Touchet 0 14 0 12 — 26
Col — S. Robertson 1 run (Jacobs pass from Straughan).
Col — S. Robertson 58 pass from Straughan (run failed).
Col — C. Druffel 5 pass from Straughan (pass failed).
Tou — Hodnefield 5 run (pass failed).
Col — C. Druffel 3 run (run failed).
Col — S. Robertson 18 run (pass failed).
Tou — Byerley 13 pass from Rodriguez (Byerley pass from Hodnefield).
Col — S. Robertson 63 run (C. Druffel pass from Straughan).
Col — Spence 15 pass from Straughan (S. Robertson pass from Straughan).
Tou — Flores 10 pass from Kates (pass failed).
Col — Dvorack 1 run (run failed).
Tou — Flores 92 kickoff return (pass failed).
First downs 22 8
Rushes/yards 41-281 34-172
Passing yards 308 29
Passes (att-comp-int) 28-18-0 8-4-0
Punts 2-31 5-32
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-55 5-32
RUSHING — Colton: S. Robertson 19-195, Straughan 4-(-4), H. Druffel 1-3, C. Druffel 1-3, Eacker 1-7, N. Robertson 8-41, Dvorack 7-36; Touchet: O’Brien 8-44, Goble 4-10, J. Contreras 4-5, Hodnefield 12-67, Rodriguez 1-(-2), E. Contreras 1-18, Martinez 3-0, Kates 1-30.
PASSING — Colton: Straughan 18-28-0, 308 yards, 3 touchdowns. Touchet: Hodnefield 2-6-0, 6 yards; Rodrigtuez 1-1-0, 13 yards, 1 touchdown; Kates 1-1-0, 10 yards, 1 touchdown.
RECEIVING — Colton: Eacker 5-47-0, S. Robertson 5-145-1, Jacobs 3-68-0, C. Druffel 3-26-1, Spence 2-22-1; Touchet: Byerley 3-19-1, Flores 1-10-1.
Southeast 1B-8 League
W L W L
Colton 3 0 5 0
Tri-Cities Prep 2 0 3 2
x-Lyle-Wishram 2 1 5 1
Lacrosse-Washtucna 1 1 4 1
Touchet 1 1 2 3
St. John-Endicott 0 2 2 3
Sunnyside Christian 0 4 1 5
x — Ineligible for playofs
Colton 60, Touchet 26
Lyle-Wishram 60, St. John-Endicott 24
Tri-Cities Prep 46, Sunnyside Christian 0
Friday, Oct. 16
Sunnyside Christian at Colton, 7 p.m.
Touchet at Lacrosse-Washtucna, 7 p.m.
Tri-Cities Prep at St.John-Endicott, 7 p.m.