PASCO - Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!
Running back Tory Knebel scored six touchdowns - five rushing and one on a punt return - here Saturday afternoon as Pomeroy forced its second straight playoff opponent into submission during a 68-24 victory over Wellpinit in a Class 1B state quarterfinal football game at Edgar Brown Stadium that was called at halftime due to the 40-point mercy rule.
The Pirates improved to 10-1 and will face undefeated Almira-Coulee-Hartline, a 52-8 winner over Touchet on Friday night, next weekend in the state semifinals. A time and location have yet to be determined.
"This was the next step down the road," Pomeroy coach Sanford Bates said. "It's a good feeling for sure."
Pomeroy's defense stepped up on the game's initial series by limiting the Redskins to one yard on four running plays, the latter of which came out of punt formation.
On the Pirates' first play from scrimmage - at the Wellpinit 42-yard line - Austin Reisdorph broke loose for a touchdown at the 10:26 mark of period one, setting the stage for a scoring free-for-all in the opening 12 minutes.
A.J. Kieffer gave the Redskins their only lead of the contest on a 36-yard run and 2-point conversion with 9:37 left in the quarter.
Pomeroy took control of the contest after the Wellpinit score thanks to Knebel and his escort along the offensive line. Knebel scored on runs of 25, 38 and 25 yards over the next five-minutes plus to help stake the Pirates to a 30-8 advantage by the 4:31 mark of the period. Quarterback Ryan Smith contributed 2-point conversions on Knebel's first two touchdowns and Brendan Lueck added one after the third.
Wellpinit's Tom Boring excited Redskins' fans on a 55-yard run with 3:11 remaining to cut the Pomeroy lead to 30-14. Kieffer made it 30-16 with another 2-point conversion dash.
Reisdorph picked up his second score of the game on a 13-yard scamper with 1:40 left. Pomeroy reclaimed a 22-point spread, 38-16, on another 2-point run by Smith.
The Redskins ended the first-quarter scoring spree on a 22-yard pass from Greg Wynecoop to Brodie Ford with 11.2 seconds remaining. Wynecoop passed to Cody Ford for a 2-point play to make it 38-24.
Knebel rushed for 16- and 13-yard touchdowns within the first 79 seconds of the second quarter, and returned a blocked punt 29 yards for his sixth six-pointer of the day at the 9:09 mark.
Smith scored the Pirates' final touchdown on a 40-yard run with 5:55 on the clock.
Pomeroy converted three-of-four 2-point conversions in period two. Knebel (after the first score of the second quarter), Smith (after the second) and Jacob Moore (after the fourth) were the 2-point producers.
Knebel ended up with 171 yards rushing on seven carries. Reisdorph added 114 on five totes.
"Offensively, we were clicking well," Bates said. "Tory is a mainstay for us. Our offensive line does a great job making room for him to get through. They've improved every game and it shows on the field.
"Defensively, (we needed to make) sure when we made our tackles, we wrapped up and finished," Bates said. "Blocked punts. We worked on that during the week."
"Things worked out to our advantage and we performed to the best of our ability," Knebel said. "It was a team effort. Everyone's excited to be here."
Pomeroy 68, Wellpinit 24
Wellpinit 24 0 X X - 24
Pomeroy 38 30 X X - 68
Pomeroy - Reisdorph 42 run (run failed).
Wellpinit - Kieffer 36 run (Kieffer run).
Pomeroy - Knebel 25 run (Smith run).
Pomeroy - Knebel 38 run (Smith run).
Pomeroy - Knebel 25 run (Lueck run).
Wellpinit - Boring 55 run (Kieffer run).
Pomeroy - Reisdorph 13 run (Smith run).
Wellpinit - B. Ford 22 pass from Wynecoop (C. Ford pass from Wynecoop).
Pomeroy - Knebel 16 run (Knebel run).
Pomeroy - Knebel 13 run (Smith run).
Pomeroy - Knebel 29 punt return (pass failed).
Pomeroy - Smith 40 run (Moore run).
First downs 8 16
Rushes/yards 23-98 26-398
Passing yards 84 23
Passes (att-comp-int) 11-5-2 1-1-0
Punts 1-42 0-0
Fumbles-lost 3-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-31 1-5
RUSHING - Wellpinit: Kieffer 14-51, Boring 2-58, Wynecoop 4-8, McCrea 2-(-9), Team 1-(-10); Pomeroy: Knebel 7-171, Reisdorph 5-114, Smith 4-77, Lueck 2-14, Moore 3-14, Hyer 2-5, Hall 2-2, Snyder 1-1.
PASSING - Wellpinit: Kieffer 1-6-1, 21 yards, 0 TDs, Wynecoop 4-5-1, 63 yards, 1 TD; Pomeroy: Smith 1-1-0, 23 yards, 0 TDs.
RECEIVING - Wellpinit: Kieffer 3-41, B. Ford 2-43-1; Pomeroy: Ruchert 1-23.