WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott unleashed a balanced attack here Thursday as it kicked off the 2009 football campaign with a 25-6 win over a split squad of Kennewick Lion juniors and sophomores.
W-P ran for 183 yards and threw for 185 as it raced to a 25-0 lead after three quarters and coasted home with the win.
"It was a good test for us," W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. "As an opener, I was happy. The kids are happy with the win and we got it (the season) started off on the right foot."
W-P took off from the get-go in this one.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Bartlow connected with Zac Alexenko for 26 yards and a first down at the Lion 26 on W-P’s second play from scrimmage.
A holding penalty and a run for a loss, moved W-P back to the Lion 45, but Bartlow found Lucan Gerke, who made an over the shoulder grab for 38 yards and W-P was knocking at the door at the Lion 7.
Kris Cady bulled in from the 2 to cap the 57-yard march and give W-P a 6-0 lead with 8:07 left in the first and the home team never trailed the rest of the way.
Gerke stopped the first Lion possession with the first of his two pass interceptions, picking off the errant Lion throw at the 50 and racing to the Lion 10.
A holding call thwarted a Bartlow-to-Gerke TD pass, and W-P failed to capitalize on the Gerke pick.
W-P got the ball back following a touchback with 1:17 left in the first.
Bartlow ran for 28 yards and connected with TJ Hofer on a 20-yard pass play. He then capped W-P’s second scoring drive with a 27-yard TD scamper for a 12-0 lead with 11:29 left in the half.
Morgan Robinson’s 41-yard punt return set W-P up at the Lion 17 with 5:36 left in the half.
Cady went for 16 and W-P inserted James Lehr into the backfield, and the 220-pound fullback pounded it over from the 1 for an 18-0 lead at the half.
David Brock and Greg Stearns got the first W-P sack of 2009 midway through the second quarter, and coupled with Marco Wikman’s sack, and the two Gerke picks, the W-P defense held the Lions to one first down and pitched a shutout over the first 24 minutes.
After Gerke’s 48-yard punt return for a score was negated with a block-in-the-back penalty at the 8-minute mark of the third, W-P would score once in the second half.
Bartlow got the last W-P score of the night when he faked a pitch on the option and took it in from 11 yards out to cap a 38-yard scoring drive with 2:52 left in the third. Lehr booted home the PAT and W-P led 25-0.
The defense then finished its work by holding the Lions to four rushing yards and did not allow a TD until a John Hamilton-to-Troy Fulton 19-yard scoring pass with 2:48 left in the game.
"Defensively, we were really pleased until that last series," Bartlow said. "But that (last score) is alright."
Bartlow finished with 110 yards on 15 carries and completed 11-of-24 passes for 185 yards and had four balls dropped.
Bartlow hit five different receivers, with Gerke catching four for 94 yards to lead the W-P receiving corps.
"We threw the ball well," coach Bartlow said. "Our O-line gave him (Zach Bartlow) time and did not give up a sack. And no question about it, we dropped some balls. If we make those catches (our offense is even better)."
All in all, 368 yards of total offense isn’t a bad way to start the season.
"We had so many things offensively going in the right direction, and then we shot ourselves in the foot a time or two (the dropped passes and two penalty-negated TDs)," Bartlow said. "We are just a block away from being really good at running the football. Those are just little things we’ve got to work on."
W-P travels to Pilot Rock one week from tonight to take on the Rockets in another non-league contest.
"Pilot Rock is always in the top of the playoff picture over there," Bartlow said. "They’ve beaten us three years in a row. They’ve been really good games every time. That’ll be a challenge."
Kennewick 0 0 0 6 — 6
WP 6 12 7 0 — 25
WP — Cady 2 run (kick blocked).
WP — Bartlow 27 run (pass failed).
WP — Lehr 1 run (kick failed).
WP — Bartlow 11 run (Lehr kick).
First downs 6 14
Rushes/yards 19/4 30/183
Passing yards 161 185
Passes (att-comp-int) 27-15-2 24-11-0
Punts 7-29.9 2-21.5
Fumbles-lost 3-0 3-1
Penalties-yards 4-20 5-55
RUSHING — Kennewick: Fulton 2-0, Osmundson 1-(-1), Beauchamp 4-2, Leavitt 2-1, Hamilton 4-(-15), McGuire 2-0, Hangartner 4-17; W-P: Bartlow 15-110, Cady 11-57, Lehr 1-1, Brock 2-16, Batalla 1-(-1).
PASSING — Kennewick: Leavitt 6-9-1 62 yards, Hamilton 10-27-1 99 yards 1 TD, Osmundson 0-1-0; W-P: Bartlow 11-24-0 185 yards.
RECEIVING — Kennewick: Gadeberg 2-33, Fulton 1-19-1, McGuire 2-13, Schuh 1-2, Leavitt 6-69, Beauchamp 3-21; W-P: Alexenko 1-26, Gerke 4-94, Hofer 3-41, Wooderchak 1-5, Cady 2-19.