Blue Devils in battle of beatens with Chiefs

Wa-Hi has its best chance yet to pick up a win as neither Moses Lake nor the Blue Devils have won this season.


WALLA WALLA - If there was ever a football matchup where one could suggest that something has got to give, it's Wa-Hi's Big Nine Conference 4A contest at Moses Lake on Friday night.

Neither the Blue Devils nor the Chiefs have won a game and both teams are at the bottom of the league in offense, defense, points scored and points allowed.

Wa-Hi is coming off a 31-15 homecoming loss to Richland last Friday night at Borleske Stadium, a game the Blue Devils trailed 17-0 at halftime.

"We didn't do well in the first half and played extremely well in the second half," Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. "They played keep away (in the first half) by converting third downs. They did a great job. We never got off the field (defensively).

"We had a great week of practice," Hisaw said. "Then we came out of the locker room and weren't very good.

"We talked (this week) about where we're headed and what we need to do," Hisaw said. "When we put it all together, we're a good football team. But we're not consistent. That's why we're 0-6."

Despite the rough going the Blue Devils have experienced this season, practice sessions continue to be spirited, Hisaw said.

"They're a kick in the pants," Hisaw said of the players. "They still enjoy being out there. They enjoy being around one another. It's neat to see the kids rally around each other. They look forward to it every day.

"We've got to keep playing through it," Hisaw said. "We need to strive to get better, make fewer mistakes, and get more confident."

Moses Lake quarterback Justin Simmons has completed just 49-of-121 passes for 713 yards, and has thrown eight interceptions compared with six touchdowns this season. He is the team's leading rusher with 297 yards and is tied for third in the league in total offense (1,010 yards) with Chiawana quarterback Joey Zamora.

Simmons' favorite receiver is A.J. Johnson, who has caught 19 passes for 317 yards and four scores.

On special teams, Cameron Law leads the Big Nine in kickoff returns (24) and kickoff return yards (577).

"They're a lot like us," Hisaw said. "They are not as bad as their record. They fly around on defense, tackle well, and are very physical."

A Wa-Hi duo of two-way sophomores - Gabe Porter, Darnell Handcox - and two-way junior Jake Grandstaff are looking forward to Friday's challenge.

"We need to get more physical," said Porter, a running back and defensive back. "We have the energy. We've come a long way. We're as good as any team out there. We can win these last two games (against Moses Lake Friday and at Eisenhower Oct. 28). We can do it."

"Coach Hisaw told us we shouldn't be 0-6," Handcox, a wide receiver and defensive back, said. "A lot of teams have told us they're shocked we're 0-6. We have a chance to redeem ourselves (the next two weeks)."

"I'm excited," said Grandstaff, a running back and defensive end. "We're in need of a win. If we play like we did in the second half against Richland, it (Friday's game) will be very good for us."

Game time Friday is 7:30 p.m.


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