WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott scored touchdowns on its first three possessions here Friday in cross-over football action with Mary Walker High School of Springdale. W-P went on to score in every quarter to hand the District 7 Chargers a 47-8 defeat and end Springdale’s season.
“We wanted to come out and establish ourselves,” W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. “(Quarterback) Stirling (Eastman) had time to throw and he’s got a good arm. James (Tompkins) got open a little bit. He’s got speed and once he gets it, he can run the football.”
The Eastman-to-Tompkins combination worked from the get go. Eastman found Tompkins on W-P’s first offensive snap for a 45-yard touchdown, which proved to be a preview of what was to come.
W-P forced a Charger punt on their ensuing possession. Following a Chance Leroue 13-yard gallop and a Roy Ebong catch for 13 yards, Eastman and Tompkins struck again. This one from 46 yards and W-P led 14-0 with 5:11 left in the first.
On the ensuing possession, the Chargers, who had the ball for over 17 minutes of the first half, put together their first sustained march.
The Chargers marched to the W-P 25, but Tompkins picked off a Charger pass at the W-P 11 to stop the drive.
W-P took over and, helped by an Eastman-to-Ebong 18-yard pass, moved to the Charger 19. Leroue, who was pressed into service at running back after Dalton Estes injured an ankle fielding the Chargers’ first punt, romped the last 19 for a 20-0 W-P lead with 9:54 left until intermission.
The Chargers stopped W-P and forced an Estes 46-yard punt on the next W-P possession.
Mary Walker marched from its 27 to the W-P 25. The Chargers, with :05 left, went to the end zone, but Tompkins was there to intercept the pass and preserve the 20-0 W-P halftime lead.
“I was just trying to read the ball,” Tompkins said of his interceptions. “They (the coaches) told me to take a few steps back and read it (the play). I felt like I was reading it well (tonight).”
The Chargers ran 43 plays from scrimmage to W-P’s 14 over the first 24 minutes.
“We had trouble with the run,” Bartlow said. “We had two guys hurt (Estes and Riley Stevens) on D in the first half. Both of those guys hardly played. That threw us for a loop.”
W-P took the second-half kick off and got a 13-yard return from Luke Alexenko to the W-P 40. Following an incomplete pass, Eastman hooked up with Tompkins for 60 yards and his third TD catch of the game for a 28-0 W-P lead 30 second into the second half.
Tompkins wasn’t done as he added a 54 yard catch-and-run for a score to open the fourth period. On the night, Tompkins finished with four catches for 205 yards and four touchdowns.
“He (the defender) was too close to me,” Tompkins said. “I kept leaving him. The coach told Stirling (Eastman) that I was open and he connected with me. I told him that I could burn them on the post.”
W-P scored 27 unanswered second-half points as Estes, returning for limited duty, scored on a 14-yard run, and Leroue, who rushed for 100 yards, scored on a 2-yard plunge to go with the two Tompkins TDs. W-P stretched the lead to 47-0 following Leroue’s plunge with 4:53 to play.
“We made a (defensive) adjustment on the field,” Bartlow said. “The kids made the adjustment that helped stop the inside gap dive man. In the second half, we didn’t have any problem.”
The W-P Achilles heel on this night came in the form of penalties. W-P was flagged for five for 61 yards in the third quarter and eight for 101 yards for the game.
“I’m speechless on the penalties,” Bartlow said. “It’s no discipline on our end. We had some personal fouls that were not cheap shots but they were still personal fouls. We’ve got to clean that up. That (101 yards in penalties) will beat you in a big game. Everything coming up is a big game.”
The win marches W-P into the first round of the state 2B playoffs. W-P will face Oroville at a date, time and location to be determined.
Waitsburg-Prescott 47, Mary Walker 8
Mary Walker 0 0 0 8 — 8
W-P 14 6 15 12 — 47
W-P — Tompkins 45 pass from Eastman (kick failed).
W-P — Tompkins 46 pass from Eastman (Leroue run).
W-P — Leroue 19 run (pass failed).
W-P — Tompkins 60 pass from Eastman (Eastman run).
W-P — Estes 14 run (Estes kick).
W-P — Tompkins 54 pass from Eastman (kick failed).
W-P — Leroue 2 run (kick failed).
MW — Cummings 24 run (Anderson run).
First downs 14 11
Rushes/yards 41-175 25-184
Passing yards 88 290
Passes (att-comp-int) 25-11-3 16-10-1
Punts 4-31.0 1-46.0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-30 8-101
RUSHING — MW: O’Malley 17-30, Cummings 8-69-1, Anderson 6-34, Fitzgerald 1-(-4), Followwill 5-21, Ward 3-29, Team 1-(-4); W-P: Leroue 12-100-2, Eastman 6-23, Estes 4-44-1, Lanning 2-12, Alfred 1-5.
PASSING — MW: Anderson 11-23-3, 88 yards, 0 TDs, O’Malley 0-2-0, 0 yards; W-P: Eastman 10-16-1, 290 yards, 4 TDs.
RECEIVING — MW: Followwill 2-21, Fitzgerald 2-22, O’Malley 1-13, Ward 4-26, Cummings 2-6; W-P: Tompkins 4-205-4, Ebong 3-43, Leroue 3-42.