ST. JOHN, Wash. - Touchet scored on its first three offensive possessions and threw a blanket over St. John-Endicott's Cole McCanna here Friday night for the Indians' fourth prep football victory in as many outings.
The Indians' 40-0 victory over the Eagles sets the stage for next Friday's Southeast 2B-8 League showdown in Touchet. Colton defeated Lacrosse-Washtucna 52-40 Friday night, and the Wildcats will bring a 5-0 record overall and a 2-0 league mark identical to the Indians into the 3 p.m. clash.
"They are clearly the team to beat," Touchet coach Gary Dorman said of the Wildcats. "Their quarterback (Josh Straughan) is the best QB I have seen in a long time. It seems like he has been a senior for four years."
Before Friday's game, Dorman had similar praise for St. John-Endicott running back McCanna, and the Indians designed their defensive scheme to holding the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior in check. McCanna finished the game with 82 yards rushing on 15 carries and one pass reception for 12 yards, but he and his teammates were unable to dent the Touchet end zone.
"I thought Ty Garbe at defensive end had an outstanding game," Dorman said. "He had three quarterback sacks, caused a fumble and nine tackles, four of them for losses. He ate them up."
Dorman also praised his defensive backs, Vicente Flores and Eric Hines.
"They had big games," the coach said. "Not so much in pass coverage but in being able to come up and make the tackles on McCanna. He's the best running back we will see all year."
Meanwhile, The Indians' offense showed plenty of balance.
Jose Martinez led the rushing attack with 62 yards on 13 carries and touchdown runs of 6 yards in the first quarter and 2 yards in the second. Octavio Preciado, Touchet's junior quarterback, rushed nine times for 58 yards, Flores added 55 yards on eight rushes and sophomore Colton Goble chipped in with 24 yards on two carries, including a 20-yard TD run in the fourth period for the Indians' final score.
Preciado also completed 5-of-7 passes for 68 yards, with Hines leading the way with four receptions for 41 yards.
"We came out with the intention of establishing the inside run," Dorman said. "We knew they had seen game films from our previous weeks where Flores was a big part of the offense running the ball to the outside. But we were able to establish the inside with Martinez and Preciado running the ball, and we also did a good job of protecting the quarterback and throwing the ball."
Trailing 24-0 at halftime, the Eagles' best attempt to get back into the game came late in the third quarter when they drove into Touchet territory. But Flores intercepted a pass on his own 4-yard line and raced 96 yards for a touchdown that all but signed, sealed and delivered the victory for the visitors.
"It was a fourth-down play," Dorman said. "And when I saw Vicente going for the ball I was thinking, ‘drop it,' we'll get the ball on about the 30. Then when he took off and scored, I was thinking, ‘well, that's a pretty good play.'"
The Indians did suffer a couple of injuries in the game that could impact next week's affair with Colton.
Senior lineman Matt Shute, just back in action after suffering a concussion in practice two weeks ago, left Friday's game with a foot injury. And Preciado sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter.
"Octavio toughed it out, although he wasn't 100 percent," Dorman said of his QB, who is expected to be ready to play Friday. "But Matt didn't play after his injury and it may be a different issue. He may miss some games."
Touchet 40, St. John-Endicott
Touchet 16 8 8 8 - 40
St. John-Endicott 0 0 0 0 - 0
Tou - J. Martinez 6 run (Hines pass from Preciado).
Tou - Flores 30 run (J. Martinez run).
Tou - J. Martinez 2 run (J. Martinez run).
Tou - Flores 96 pass interception return (Ochoa pass from Preciado).
Tou - Goble 20 run (Goble run).
First downs 12 6
Rushes/yards 33-204 33-110
Passing yards 71 80
Passes (att-comp-int) 9-6-2 15-6-2
Punts 1-38 3-29
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 5-30 10-70
RUSHING - Touchet: Flores 8-55, J. Martinez 13-62, Preciado 9-58, Goble 2-24; St. John-Endicott: McCanna 15-82, S. Raynor 10-1, West 8-27.
PASSING - Touchet: Preciado 5-7-1, 68 yards; E. Martinez 1-2-1, 3 yards. St. John-Endidcott: Raynor 4-12-2, 50 yards; McCanna 2-3-0, 30 yards.
RECEIVING - Touchet: Flores 1-27-0, Hines 4-41-0, Ochoa 1-3-0; St. John-Endicott: McCanna 1-12-0, Schlunegar 3-46-0, Raynor 1-7-0, Gonzalez 1-15-0.