New football season, same result for DeSales

Victor Mata's field goal in overtime lifts DeSales to the 31-28 win Friday, much as his foot downed the Lightning 10 months ago.

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YAKIMA - The last time DeSales and La Salle met, a berth in the 2009 state Class 2B football semifinals was on the line.

On that night, 10 months ago on the same field, Victor Mata nailed a field goal in the waning seconds and sent his Irish onto the semifinals.

Fast forward to Friday in the non-conference season opener for both teams, and the Lightning have seen enough of Mr. Mata.

Mata nailed a 28-yard field goal in the first overtime and DeSales, after Mata recovered a Lightning fumble on their ensuing overtime possession, marched off with a 31-28 win.

"He (Mata) gets them with a field goal again," Irish coach Pat Graham said. "With Vic, anything inside 40, and he's pretty solid. He wants to be in that position when the game is on the line."

The Irish had to battle back from 14-point deficits on two occasions to set up overtime.

A Dan Brusic-to-Joe Sullivan 24-yard touchdown pass and a Tony Cacchiotti 58-yard TD run gave La Salle a 14-0 lead after one quarter.

"We did not get on track early," Graham said. "We were just missing open guys and they made a couple of nice plays. We had to stay patient and stay with the plan."

The Irish, behind a Jeremiah Cox-to-Nick Wales 13-yard TD pass closed the gap to 14-7 at intermission.

Cacchiotti's 8-yard run opened the third period and the Lightning went back up 14 with a 21-7 lead.

The Irish replied with 21-unanswered points to grab a 28-21 lead following a Cox-to-Wales fourth-quarter 50-yard catch-and-run.

"We knew we would have to deal with adversity," Graham said of being down 14. "The kids never panicked. They did the things they needed to do, on offense and defense, to stay in the game."

Lindgren's first TD run of the game - a 15-yard gallop - cut the Lightning lead to 21-14 after three stanzas.

Lindgren broke a 42-yarder to open the fourth-quarter scoring and knot the game at 21.

The Cox-to-Wales score then gave the Irish their first lead of the night.

"Lindgren had a big run to tie the game," Graham said. "With four minutes left, Wales took a five-yard pass, turned on the jets and ran past everybody."

La Salle came back, but a Mike Matthews interception with three minutes left appeared to ice the game for the Irish. But the Lightning forced a fumble, one of three the Irish lost in the game, and remained alive.

With 25 seconds left, Brusic hit Sullivan for 26 yards and the tying score.

"We had pretty good coverage," Graham said. "The guy (Brusic) just threaded the needle."

DeSales got the ball first in overtime, and had a busted play on third down. But Mata saved the day with his 28-yard game-winner.

"It was play action, and they didn't cover our wide-open tight end, but we ran a rollout and threw incomplete," Graham said of the third-down play. "We thought that was the game right there and you're never sure it (three points) will be enough."

The Lightning got their chance from the 25, but Mat Zimmerman broke up a sweep. Zimmerman played off a block, forced a fumble and Mata was there to fall on it and the Irish moved to 1-0 on the season.

Lindgren finished with 213 rushing yards and Wales caught five balls for 83 yards and two TDs to lead the Irish.

"We knew Kyle (Lindgren) would be a big player for us," Graham said of his senior running back. "He ran with pure determination. He made big plays when we needed them.

"To see and understand how resilient our team is, is something we can be proud of," Graham concluded.

The scenario continues as, just as in 2009, the Irish meet Colfax at DeSales Friday hoping for a different result than their state semifinal loss in 2009.

"Colfax is really good and they have a lot of guys back," Graham said. "They are one of the premier teams. We'll find out where we are at."

DeSales 0 7 7 14 3 - 31

La Salle 14 0 7 7 0 - 28

LaS - Sullivan 24 pass from Brusic (Kennedy kick).

LaS - Cacchiotti 58 run (Kennedy kick).

DeS - Wales 13 pass from Cox (Mata kick).

LaS - Cacchiotti 8 run (Kennedy kick).

DeS - Lindgren 15 run (Mata kick).

DeS - Lindgren 42 run (Mata kick).

DeS - Wales 50 pass from Cox (Mata kick).

LaS - Sullivan 26 pass from Brusic (Mata kick).

DeS - FG 28 Mata.

DeS LaS

First downs NA NA

Rushes/yards 30/186 35/147

Passing yards 168 167

Passes (att-comp-int) 23-12-2 29-12-2

Punts NA-NA NA-NA

Fumbles-lost 3-3 NA-NA

Penalties-yards NA NA

Individual Statistics

RUSHING - DeS: Lindgren 25-213, Baumgart 1-(-8), Gregg 1-(-8), Cox 3-(-11); LaS: Cacchiotti 11-105, Woodward 12-28, Pazerekas 5-8, Seymour 1-2, Brusic 6-4.

PASSING - DeS: Baumgart 2-4-0 16 yards 0 TDs, Cox 10-19-2 152 yards 2 TDs; LaS: Brusic 12-29-2 167 yards 2 TDs.

RECEIVING - DeS: Wales 5-83-2, Lindgren 4-43, Gregg 2-30, Baumgart 1-10; LaS: Sullivan 8-146, Sutton 1-12, Kennedy 3-9.

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