WALLA WALLA — A loud thud was heard at the end of DeSales’ Southeast 2B football clash with Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia Friday night at Ty Baffney Field.
The noise was produced by the visiting Nighthawks, who fell from the ranks of the unbeaten after absorbing a 38-12 loss to the Irish.
DeSales, ranked seventh in the latest Associated Press poll, got three passing touchdowns and a pair of rushing scores from quarterback Jeremiah Cox while improving to 2-1 in league and 5-1 overall.
T-O-R, No. 5 in the latest rankings, dropped to 4-1 and 6-1.
“The kids played well,” DeSales coach Mike Spiess said. “They (T-O-R) are a good team.”
The Nighthawks could have clinched the league title with a win on Friday, but the Irish had other ideas.
Cox scored on touchdown runs of three and 15 yards in the opening quarter to stake DeSales to a 14-0 lead. His first six-point run — at the 6:49 mark — capped a drive of 54 yards and his second ended a 53-yard foray with 1:48 on the clock.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior also completed 5-of-6 passes on the first two series for 85 yards.
Defensively, the Irish did not allow a first down in period one and held the Nighthawks to minus one yard of total offense.
Cox suffered a pair of interceptions in the second quarter, but regained his poise late in the frame on touchdown throws of 78 yards to Andrew Elmenhurst and 24 yards to Joe Duehn.
DeSales went into halftime with a 28-0 lead.
“We got after them in the first half,” Spiess said. “We executed a lot of things.”
The Nighthawks got on the scoreboard with 7:38 left in the third quarter when Craig Nelson returned a Cox interception 68 yards for a touchdown.
DeSales responded with a drive that chewed up the remainder of the third quarter and extended 1:43 into the fourth. Paul Elmenhurst completed the advance of 61 yards on 17 plays with a 23-yard field goal.
“Our goal in the second half was to control the ball,” Spiess said. “T-O-R made us work. We got first down after first down. It was important for us to run some clock.”
Cox teamed up with Kyler Pommerening for the last Irish score of the evening — a 34-yard pitch with 7:14 left in quarter four.
Nelson ended the scoring with a one-yard rush at the 5:41 mark.
T-O-R ended up with minus four yards rushing and 87 yards in all.
“Our defense allows our offense to hunt and peck,” Spiess said. “Knowing your defense is rock solid is helpful.
“We’re happy with the win, but not satisfied,” Spiess said. “We still need to get better.”
DeSales plays at Tri-Cities Prep next Friday.
DeSales 38, T-O-R 12
T-O-R 0 0 6 6 — 12
DeSales 14 14 0 10 — 38
DeSales — Cox 3 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeSales — Cox 15 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeSales — A. Elmenhurst 78 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeSales — Duehn 24 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
T-O-R — Nelson 68 interception return (pass failed).
DeSales — P. Elmenhurst 23 FG.
DeSales — Pommerening 34 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
T-O-R — Nelson 1 run (pass failed).
First downs 4 17
Passing yards 91 274
Passes (att-comp-int) 26-11-1 22-13-3
Punts 7-24.7 1-42
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-47 9-65
RUSHING — T-O-R: Nelson 8-17, Shelton 3-8, Pittsley 2-5, Team 1-(-5), Maley 5-(-29); DeSales: Fazzari 31-83, Cox 3-19, A. Elmenhurst 2-5.
PASSING — T-O-R: Maley 11-26-2, 91 yards, 0 TDs; DeSales: Cox 13-22-3, 274 yards, 3 TDs.
RECEIVING — T-O-R: Nelson 8-74, Pittsley 2-13, Shelton 1-4; DeSales: Duehn 4-59-1, A. Elmenhurst 3-101-1, Baumgart 3-50, Pommerening 2-46-1, Scheel 1-18.