BURBANK — A couple of trends were evident going into Friday night’s South Central Conference intra-league football contest between Columbia-Burbank and Naches.
The Coyotes entered with the hope of ending a two-game skid while the Rangers came to town riding a four-game winning streak.
Naches’ pass-and-catch duo of quarterback Billy Craig and wide receiver Dylan Swain saw to it that the patterns of the two teams continued.
Craig threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns — all to Swain — and running back Nicholas Lukehart rushed 23 times for 205 yards as the SCC West Division co-leading Rangers posted a 27-7 triumph that improved their record to 5-2 and dropped Burbank to 3-4.
The game was a standoff until the midway point of the second quarter. Craig hit Swain with a 36-yard touchdown strike at the 7:20 mark which, coupled with Nicholas Rogers’ PAT kick, gave Naches a 7-0 lead. Craig’s toss ended a drive of 87 yards in nine plays.
On their next series, which followed a Coyotes’ punt, the Rangers used the Craig-to-Swain combination to increase their lead to two scores. The twosome hooked up for a 28-yard tally with 3:59 left in the half that put the finishing touches on a 58-yard, seven-play march.
"We had a couple of blown coverages and they took advantage of it," Burbank coach Rich Harris said.
Naches led 13-0 at halftime.
The Rangers’ defense limited the Coyotes to 20 yards of total offense and a single first down in the opening half.
"Our defense has carried us the last couple of weeks," Naches coach Ty Kime said. "I’m proud of our defense. Our linebackers have played for us for three years and our defensive ends are coming around. We emphasized (stopping) the run big time."
The strategy paid off big time. Burbank gained just 12 net yards in the game on 23 carries and the Rangers’ defense sacked Coyotes’ starting quarterback Heath Lawrence four times.
Naches put up its final two touchdowns of the night in the third quarter.
Swain caught a 7-yard, six-point pitch from Craig with 4:53 on the clock and Lukehart exploded down the right sideline for a 71-yard scoring scamper with 15 seconds remaining in the period.
"I saw a cutback lane to the right and busted outside," said Lukehart. "Dylan made it for me (with a down-field block)."
Craig crossed the goal line on a 2-point conversion run after the first touchdown of period three. Swain ended up with six catches for 114 yards.
Burbank’s only score occurred late in the final quarter and seven plays after a Dillon Rice interception at the Naches 47. Rice guided the drive from the quarterback spot that concluded with a Patrick Ferguson touchdown run of 4 yards at the 2:32 mark. Jose Barajas booted the PAT for the final point of the game.
"As soon as something goes wrong, it’s like here we go again," Harris said. "We’ve got to get past that."
Burbank resumes league action when it travels to Wahluke on Friday.
Naches 0 13 14 0 — 27
Burbank 0 0 0 7 — 7
Nach — Swain 36 pass from Craig (Rogers kick).
Nach — Swain 28 pass from Craig (kick failed).
Nach — Swain 7 pass from Craig (Craig run).
Nach — Lukehart 71 run (kick failed).
Burb — Ferguson 4 run (Barajas kick).
First downs 16 6
Rushes/yards 42-265 23-12
Passing yards 164 62
Passes (att-comp-int) 23-12-1 18-5-0
Punts 1-25 5-40
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-88 6-30
RUSHING — Naches: Lukehart 23-205, Contreras 11-32, Sheehan 2-15, Craig 3-5, Weigel 1-6, Oliver 1-5, Team 1-(-3); Burbank: Ferguson 6-28, Ireland 9-17, Rice 1-8, McBride 3-(-3), Lawrence 4-(-38).
PASSING — Naches: Craig 12-22-0, 164 yards, 3 TDs, Oliver 0-1-1, 0 yards; Burbank: Lawrence 2-12-0, 13 yards, 0 TDs, Rice 3-6-0, 49 yards, 0 TDs.
RECEIVING — Naches: Swain 6-114-3, Weigel 3-48, Parks 1-9, Contreras 1-(-1), Lukehart 1-(-6); Burbank: Shuttleworth 1-31, Hanshew 1-12, Garcia 1-7, Schuck 1-6, Schrimsher 1-6.