LACROSSE — It might seem fitting that coach Gary Dorman’s biggest victory to date in his first season as Touchet’s head football coach came here Friday night against his old high school.
But as Dorman said following the Indians’ harrowing 28-26 victory over Lacrosse-Washtucna in a Southeast 1B-8 League battle, "any win is a good win."
"I’ve been gone from here a long time," Dorman said of growing up in Lacrosse. "There’s not a lot of people here that I know anymore. But as far as a young team and a new coaching staff, you take everything you can get."
Friday’s victory was fashioned around junior quarterback Jake Hodnefield’s 142 yards rushing that included a 42-yard touchdown scamper with 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. The TD run, coupled with Hodnefield’s crucial two-point conversion pass to Gus Rodriguez, put the Indians ahead to stay, but only after a key defensive stand and one final first down by the offense deep in Touchet territory.
"They got the ball back down to about our 25-yard line after we had taken the lead," Dorman said. "We finally stopped them with 1:40 to play, but we knew we would need a first down to keep the ball. Jake (Hodnefield) got it on a 12-yard run and from there we were able to run the clock out."
It was a crucial victory for the Indians, who upped their league record to 2-1 and evened their season mark at 3-3. Lacrosse-Washtucna slid to 1-2 and 4-2.
The Indians host St. John-Endicott Friday in a league counter and host Lyle-Wishram the following weekend in a non-counter. In their season finale Nov. 6, they travel to Tri-Cities Prep (3-0, 4-2) for a game that could easily decide the league’s No. 2 state playoff ticket.
Hodnefield had a huge game all-around as he ran 44 yards for Touchet’s first touchdown, scored again on a 2-yarder that drew the Indians even at 14-14 in the third quarter and found Kyle O’Brien on a 56-yard touchdown pass for a 20-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
According to Dorman, both of Hodnefield’s long touchdown runs as well as the 12-yard scamper for a first down that sealed the victory came on a play the Indians introduced Friday night.
"It’s a quarterback trap off a fake pitch," Dorman said. "It’s a new play, andit worked really well for us."
However, the Tigercats didn’t go quietly after the Indians grabbed their first lead of the game on the Hodnefield-to-O’Brian pass. Jeff Zimmer, who had caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Jake Aune in the second quarter, scored on a 29-yarder from Aune to forge a 20-20 tie. And then Garrett Whitney, who had scored on an 8-yard run in the second period, scored on a 1-yard plunge for a 26-20 L-W lead with five-and-a-half minutes to play.
But on this night, the Indians were not to be denied.
Touchet 0 8 6 14 — 28
Lacrosse-Washtucna 0 14 0 12 — 26
LW — Jeff Zimmer 13 pass from Jake Aune (pass failed).
LW — Garrett Whitney 8 run (Zimmer pass from Aune).
Tou — Hodnefield 44 run (Kates pass from Hodnefield).
Tou — Hodnefield 2 run (pass failed).
Tou — O’Brien 56 pass from Hodnefield (run failed).
LW — Zimmer 29 pass from Aune (run failed).
LW — Whitney 1 run (pass failed).
Tou — Hodnefield 42 run (Rodriguez pass from Hodnefield).
First downs 14 11
Rushes/yards 26-218 36-225
Passing yards 209 135
Passes (att-comp-int) 22-13-1 21-11-0
Punts 6-48 4-31
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 8-60 9-75
RUSHING — Touchet: Hodnefield 11-142, O’Brien 15-63, Rodriguez 3-3, J. Contreras 2-7; L-W: Whitney 28-205, Blankenship 4-8, Aune 2-2, Hostetler 1-0.
PASSING — Hodnefield 13-22-1, 209 yards, 1 touchdown; L-W: Aune 11-20-0, 99 yards, 2 touchdowns.
RECEIVING — Touchet: O’Brien 5-108-1, Kates 3-32-0, Byerley 2-15-0, Rodriguez 3-26-0, Flores 1-28-0; L-W: Zimmer 5-82-2, Whitney 2-20-0, Harder 2-32-0, Blankenship 2-1-0.