PILOT ROCK, Ore. — Quarterback Zach Bartlow passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns here Friday night, and Waitsburg-Prescott’s defense limited Pilot Rock to less than 200 yards of total offense in a 35-12 W-P non-league prep football victory.
The triumph lifted W-P’s record to 2-0, spoiled the Rockets’ regular-season debut and snapped W-P’s three-game losing streak against Pilot Rock.
"This was a huge win," W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. "Beating a quality team like Pilot Rock early in the season does a lot for your confidence."
Each team tallied its initial touchdown within the first six minutes of the opening quarter. Pilot Rock drove 64 yards in eight plays after the opening kickoff and took a 6-0 lead when fullback Travis Copeland barreled his way into the end zone from 1 yard out with 7:34 on the clock.
But the Cardinals responded just three plays into their first offensive series. Bartlow converted a third-and-9 situation with a 70-yard touchdown bomb down the middle of the field to a streaking Zac Alexenko at the 6:28 mark.
James Lehr followed with the first of his five PAT kicks on the night to give W-P a 7-6 edge.
"We sent four wides down the field and one of them got loose," Bartlow said.
The Cardinals increased their lead to 14-6 midway through the second quarter — four plays after recovering a Rockets’ fumble. Bartlow hooked up with Alexenko for a 54-yard score with 6:37 left in the period.
Pilot Rock tallied its final touchdown of the game 3:55 before halftime. Quarterback Lane Byrnes ended a 59-yard, five-play drive with a 39-yard strike to wide receiver D’Marcus Bowie.
Waitsburg-Prescott’s defense produced the final six-pointer of the half. One snap after a Byrnes’ touchdown run of 71 yards was called back because of a penalty, the Rockets faced first-and-27 at their 12-yard line.
Byrnes, under heavy pressure from the W-P defensive front, delivered an underthrown pass that Lucan Gerke intercepted and ran in for a 27-yard touchdown with 35 seconds to go.
W-P led 21-12 at intermission.
"That was huge," Bartlow said. "That really broke them down a little."
After a scoreless third quarter, Waitsburg-Prescott put the contest out of reach with a pair of fourth-period touchdowns.
Kris Cady caught a 3-yard pass from Bartlow with 10:02 remaining, and Jace Zuger raced around right end for a 5-yard score at the 6:39 mark.
The Cardinals marched 57 and 49 yards, respectively, to achieve those touchdowns.
"We outhit them after the first series," Bartlow said. "They’re a physical team. This was a sweet win for my 10 seniors."
W-P 7 14 0 14 —35
PR 6 6 0 0 — 14
PR — Copeland 1 run (kick failed).
W-P — Alexenko 70 pass from Bartlow (Lehr kick).
W-P — Alexenko 54 pass from Bartlow (Lehr kick).
PR — Bowie 39 pass from Byrnes (run failed).
W-P — Gerke 27 inter. return (Lehr kick).
W-P — Cady 3 pass from Bartlow (Lehr kick).
W-P — Zuger 5 run (Lehr kick).
RUSHING — W-P: Bartlow 10-66, Zuger 10-43, Cady 3-17, Brown 2-5, Estes 1-2, Lehr 1-1, Team 3-(-15); Pilot Rock: Byrnes 10-33, Cutler 10-20, Copeland 9-19, Britain 2-3, King 1-2, Stai 1-0.
PASSING — W-P: Bartlow 10-19-1, 230 yards, 3 TDs, Estes 2-2-0, 7 yards, 0 TDs; Pilot Rock: Byrnes 5-11-1, 115 yards, 1 TD, Copeland 0-1-0, 0 yards.
RECEIVING — W-P: Gerke 4-77, Alexenko 2-124-2, Cady 2-11-1, Hernandez 1-13, Brown 1-7, Wooderchak 1-5, Dill 1-0; Pilot Rock: Bowie 2-66-1, Cutler 2-25, Copeland 1-24.