WAITSBURG - DeSales' Ryan Baumgart outdueled Waitsburg-Prescott's Dustin Wooderchak for a touchdown pass from Irish quarterback JeremiahCox, and DeSales pulled into a 14-14 tie with 10:08 to play in the third period here Thursday in the Southeast 2B Conference football opener forboth schools.
W-P answered - behind the running and receiving of Kris Cady, the passing of Zach Bartlow, the receiving of T.J. Hofer, and a defense that blankedthe Irish the rest of the way - with 13 unanswered points to pull out a 27-14 victory.
"It was a big win at home against a good program," W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. "To beat them two years in a row says a lot about our kids and what direction we are headed as a team. That was a great football game.
"We had the ball more than they did in the second half," Bartlow added. "The time of possession leans towards us, the turnovers are towards us, and a couple of our athletes (Cady and quarterback Bartlow) just picked it up. Offense, defense and special teams all came together. It was sweet."
The Irish did not have an answer for Cady. The senior running back ran 19 times for 140 yards, including a one-yard plunge that gave W-P the lead for good with six minutes left in the third quarter, and caught five balls for 80 yards, including a 14-yard scoring toss from Bartlow that pulled W-P even at 7-7 with 4:22 left in the first half.
"Kris Cady made plays in the passing game, and he made plays with his legs," DeSales coach Pat Graham said. "It's a disappointing loss. We made a lot of mistakes, and (for) part of that you have to give credit to Waitsburg."
The Irish capped an 80-yard drive on the first play of the second quarter. Cox hit Mike Matthews on a delay route over the middle for 12 yards. Victor Mata added the PAT and the Irish led 7-0 seven seconds into the second period.
W-P went to its bag of tricks to open the ensuing drive. Bartlow hit Hofer for five yards to the W-P 25. Hofer lateraled to Cady, who rambled for 14 more yards for a first down at the W-P 39.
"We thought the hook-and-ladder was going to go for more yards than it did," Cady said. "We had it from earlier in the year. We just had to execute it."
The drive stalled, but Justin Armstrong - on his first of two interceptions - picked a Cox pass off, on the ensuing Irish possession, at his 46.
Bartlow, on fourth-and-4 from the Irish 14, connected with Cady in the far corner of the end zone to cap the 54-yard march. Dalton Estes added the PAT to tie it at 7-7.
W-P got the ball back at its 20 with 1:17 left in the half. Hofer made two of his six catches for 45 of his 100 receiving yards on the drive. The Irish, who were flagged for seven penalties for 67 yards in the first half, contributed 20 yards on two penalties, and Hofer's second grab, this one for 31 yards, set W-P up at the Irish 2.
Bartlow zipped a pass to Estes and W-P went to intermission up 14-7.
"We played very uncharacteristically in the first half," Graham said. "We turned the ball over twice (two interceptions by Armstrong), and in the last three games we've had 14 penalties combined, and we were pretty close (11 for the game for 118 yards, including the seven first-half flags) to that tonight."
Behind Nick Wales, who dropped Hofer on his own 5 with the second half kickoff and caught Cady on a third-down screen pass, the Irish forced a three-and-out.
Cox hit Baumgart with the 33-yard scoring pass to tie it at 14-14 on the ensuing Irish drive.
"We came out and had a good stop," Graham said. "We had good field position and tied it up. We were right back in it."
"Our line had to step up and get a push," Cady said. "We had to move the ball."
W-P drove 80 yards in four minutes with Bartlow throwing 46 yards to Cady and 16 to Hofer to highlight the drive. Cady took it in from the 1 and W-P had the lead for good at 21-14 with six minutes left in the third.
The Irish didn't score the rest of the way and, even though Cady dropped a clinching TD pass with 44 seconds left in the third quarter, W-P add a five-yard run by Armstrong to push the final to 27-14 with 6:44 left in the fourth.
"We flipped our ends over defensively and rolled a safety up," Bartlow said of his defense. "We couldn't get their counter stopped and the adjustment helped neutralize the counter.
"He (Cady) has never dropped a ball in four years," Bartlow said of the drop. "He just couldn't execute it and was sick about it, but he made up for it. He (Cady) took control and got the ground game going."
Kyle Lindgren ran for 134 yards, and Baumgart caught five passes for 63 yards to lead the Irish. DeSales drops to 0-1 in league, 2-2 overall and hosts Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia next Friday.
"We're kind of in the gauntlet right now," Graham said. "We've got Waitsburg, Tekoa and Asotin. We'll have to find a way to battle back."
Quarterback Bartlow threw for 207 yards and two TDs, and Cady finished with 220 all-purpose yards as W-P improves to 5-0, 1-0 in league.
"We took what they gave us," Cady said. "The line came through and Zach put the ball on the money."
W-P travels to Dayton next Friday.
"We'll take it one week at a time," Cady said. "We'll keep moving forward."
Waitsburg-Prescott 27, DeSales 14
DeSales 0 7 7 0 - 14
Waitsburg-Prescott 0 14 7 6 - 27
DeS - Matthews 12 pass from Cox (Mata kick).
W-P - Cady 14 pass from Bartlow (D. Estes kick).
W-P - D. Estes 2 pass from Bartlow (D. Estes kick).
DeS - Baumgart 33 pass from Cox (Mata kick).
W-P - Cady 1 run (D. Estes kick).
W-P - Armstrong 5 run (kick blocked).
First downs 14 19
Rushes/yards 24-133 39-179
Passing yards 181 207
Passes (att-comp-int) 21-11-2 21-14-0
Punts ` 4-29.0 2-29.5
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 11-118 7-81
RUSHING - DeS:Lindgren 21-134, Cox 3-(-1); W-P: Cady 19-140-1. Bartlow 17-34, Armstrong 3-5-1.
PASSING - DeS: Cox 11-21-2 181 yards 2 TDs; W-P: Bartlow 14-21-0 207 yards 2 TDs.
RECEIVING - DeS: Wales 1-6, Matthews 2-36-1, Lindgren 1-15, Baumgart 5-63-1, Gregg 2-61; W-P: Hofer 6-100, D. Estes 3-27-1, Cady 5-80-1.