PREP FOOTBALL —Wa-Hi hands Eisenhower 34-23 Big Nine defeat

QB Jake Robertson finds Moe Handcox for three TDs in the first Big Nine win of the season for Wa-Hi.

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Wa-Hi's Moe Handcox streaks down the sidelines for a TD pass off quarterback Jake Robertson as the Blue Devils take a 6-0 first-quarter lead over Eisenhower at Borleske Stadium Friday.

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Wa-Hi quarterback Jake Robertson stays calm under pressure from the Ike rush as he finds an open receiver for the second Blue Devils' touchdown on the night. The kick is good, pushing Wa-Hi ahead 14-7 Friday.

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Moe Handcox and teammate Josh Eggers (left, No. 3) then do the Blue Devil-bump as they celebrate the score and Wa-Hi's 7-0 lead.

WALLA WALLA - Quarterback Jake Robertson threw three touchdown passes to wide receiver Moe Handcox and ran for another score Friday night as Wa-Hi honored its football seniors and snapped a five-game losing streak with a 34-23 victory over Eisenhower in a Big Nine Conference 4A game at Borleske Stadium.

Robertson completed 8-of-13 passes for 172 yards and carried the ball five times for 33 yards.

Handcox's three touchdown catches in the contest tied a school record.

"Jake had a good week of practice and performed the way we expected him to," Wa-Hi coach Mike Gobel said. "Moe's one of the better athletes in the league. It's easy to coach him. He makes a coach look pretty good."

The Blue Devils prevailed despite 338 yards rushing from the Cadets' Trevon Harris, the league's leading ball carrier.

Gobel said if he had been told before the game that Harris would produce that kind of yardage, "I would've guessed we would have been on the losing side."

Both teams are 1-5 in league. The Blue Devils improved to 2-6 overall and Ike dropped to 4-5.

Robertson and Handcox began their nights of achievement on the Blue Devils' first series of the game.

The two hooked up for a 43-yard score at the 10:54 mark of period one.

Running back Jonah Hoe, who gained 166 yards on 26 totes, kept Wa-Hi's drive alive on the previous play with a 27-yard run on third down and 10 from the Blue Devils' 30-yard line.

Ike responded with 9:53 to go on a 53-yard dash by Harris, who spent much of the evening taking center snaps out of the Cadets' recently-installed Wildcat formation brought about by an injury to starting quarterback Kolney Cassel.

Wa-Hi reclaimed the lead on its third possession of the quarter. Robertson found Handcox for a 4-yard toss-and-grab with 4:34 on the clock.

Key plays that helped set it up were a 32-yard pass from Robertson to Miguel Torres - who ended up with three receptions for 74 yards - and a 21-yard gallop by Hoe.

"This was Jonah's best game," Gobel said. "One cut and go. That's what we saw."

Eisenhower closed to within four, 14-10, with 1:28 left on a 21-yard field goal by Efrain Zamora.

Wa-Hi put up the only points of the second quarter after a Torres interception and 24-yard return to the Cadets' 49.

Robertson rumbled around the left end for a 4-yard touchdown - ending an eight-play march - with 6:13 on the clock that gave the Blue Devils a 10-point edge, 20-10.

A 20-yard reception by Torres gave the Blue Devils first-and-goal at the Ike 7 a couple of snaps prior to Robertson's score.

"Miguel played up last year as a freshman," Gobel said. "He was hurt in the first game (this season) and we've been waiting for him to get back (to full strength). Now he's 100 percent. He had a good game last week as well."

Ike closed the gap to four, 27-23, in the third quarter on scoring runs of 9 and 24 yards by reserve quarterback Jason Easter and Harris, respectively.

The Cadets' first score of the period came four plays after Harris returned the second-half kickoff 64 yards to the Wa-Hi 22 and the second followed a blocked punt.

Prior to the Harris touchdown, Robertson connected with Handcox from 44 yards out to temporarily re-establish a 10-point spread, 27-17, with 7:43 remaining in the third .

Wa-Hi started its final scoring drive of the night late in period three after a Marshall Dunovant interception.

The Blue Devils employed their own version of the Wildcat with Handcox at the controls and drove 78 yards in nine plays. Handcox threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Torres with 9:11 remaining to end the game's scoring.

Handcox shared quarterbacking duties with Dakota Turner over the last quarter and change in place of an injured Robertson. Turner's steadiness impressed Gobel.

"We've seen that from him most of the year at the junior varsity level," Gobel said. "We (have) a ton of confidence in Dakota."

The Blue Devils play at Hanford Thursday at 7 p.m.

"We want to get better every week," Gobel said. "That's how we measure our success. We didn't play a full game last week. We played a full game this week and beat them."

Ike 10 0 13 0 - 23

Wa-Hi 14 6 7 7 - 34

Wa-Hi - Handcox 43 pass from Robertson (Atkinson kick).

Ike - Harris 53 run (Zamora kick).

Wa-Hi - Handcox 4 pass from Robertson (Atkinson kick).

Ike - Zamora 21 FG.

Wa-Hi - Robertson 4 run (kick failed).

Ike - Easter 9 run (Zamora kick).

Wa-Hi - Handcox 44 pass from Robertson (Atkinson kick).

Ike - Harris 24 run (kick failed).

Wa-Hi - Torres 22 pass from Handcox (Atkinson kick).

Ike Wa-Hi

First downs 17 17

Rushes/yards 44-357 39-224

Passing yards 53 194

Passes (att-comp-int) 12-5-2 17-9-0

Punts 1-30 4-36

Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0

Penalties-yards 8-57 8-46

Individual Statistics

RUSHING - Ike: Harris 38-338, Easter 3-17, Curtis 2-6, Team 1-(-4); Wa-Hi: Hoe 26-166, Robertson 5-33, Deal 3-16, Handcox 3-8, Turner 2-1.

PASSING - Ike: Easter 5-12-2, 53 yards, 0 TDs; Wa-Hi: Robertson 8-13-0, 172 yards, 3 TDs, Handcox 1-3-0, 22 yards, 1 TD, Turner 0-1-0, 0 yards.

RECEIVING - Ike: O. Hernandez 2-26, Harris 1-12, Clayton 1-12, Esparza 1-3; Wa-Hi: Handcox 3-91-3, Torres 3-74-1, Hoe 2-29, Eggers 1-0.

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