TOUCHET — It wasn’t by accident that seven of Touchet’s starting offensive players were seniors here Friday afternoon.
It was Senior Day, after all.
But, having a couple players who normally wouldn’t be starting out there had absolutely no negative effect on Touchet as the Indians handed Garfield-Palouse a 34-6 Southeast 1B League defeat Friday afternoon.
And Touchet coach Gary Dorman was quick to praise the only group of players he’s had the pleasure of guiding since their first high school playing time began.
“They’ve just been so much fun,” Dorman said of the seven seniors that comprised his starting lineup, alongside junior quarterback Elias Martinez. “Their attitudes from day one have just been outstanding. They’ve been in the weight room, and we don’t have to ask them to do those things, they just have the incentive to do those things on their own.
“I’m just real proud of them, it’s been a lot of fun — a lot of fun!”
Dorman is speaking about Indians seniors Cori Ochoa, Jose Martinez, Lyle Dowsett, Octavio Preciado, Nate Ortiz, Jaime Martinez and Vicente Flores.
“Our motto this year is, ‘How much better can we get?’ Dorman said. “I’m really pleased so far with our progression so far.”
The Indians got it started well Friday.
Touchet took the ball over on downs after Gar-Pal’s initial drive stalled at its own 46. The Indians then put together an 11 play drive, highlighted by a 30-yard completion from Preciado to starting quarterback Elias Martinez, and was capped by Vicente Flores’ four-yard score.
On the Indians’ first possession of the second quarter, Martinez found Cori Ochoa from 11 yards out for a score.
First-half scoring was completed when Martinez found Flores for another 11-yard touchdown completion with 32 seconds left in the half.
Touchet was up 20-0 at the break.
But Dorman said the Touchet defense keyed the victory.
“I was extremely pleased with how the defense played today,” he said. “We gave up a touchdown late in the game, but this team is a bruising — what they used to call smash-mouth (team) — and our kids being undersized, I was really pleased with how they came to play defense today.
“Our offense was a little rough today — a lot of bobbles and miscommunications in the backfield. But we got 34 points, that’s not too bad, not too bad!”
In the third quarter, Ochoa was the recipient of a six-yard TD pass from Martinez as the Indians went up 28-0, and Martinez found Flores for a five-yarder for the 34-0 lead.
The only bright spot for the Vikings came when Riley Hodges broke loose down the middle for a 34-yard scamper to keep their drive alive.
Hodges later grabbed a five-yard pass from Anthony Floyd for Gar-Pal’s lone score of the night.
Preciado piled up 135 yards on 19 carries as Touchet rushed for 201 yards on the night.
Flores caught four balls for 74 of the Indians’ 121 yards through the air.
“I think we have our best football ahead of us,” Dorman said of the Indians’ push towards the postseason.
Touchet heads to Pomeroy Friday night.
Touchet 34, Garfield-Palouse 6
Garfield-Palouse 0 0 0 6 — 6
Touchet 6 14 14 0 — 34
Tou — Flores 4 run (run failed).
Tou — Ochoa 11 pass from E. Martinez (Flores pass from E. Martinez).
Tou — Flores 11 pass from E. Martinez (pass failed).
Tou — Ochoa 6 pass from E. Martinez (Ochoa pass from E. Martinez).
Tou — Flores 5 pass from E. Martinez (pass failed).
Gar-Pal — Hodges 5 pass from Floyd (pass failed).
First downs 4 12
Rushes/yards 34-120 46-201
Passing yards 17 121
Passes (att-comp-int) 8-4-0 13-8-0
Punts 3-32.7 0-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1
Penalties-yards 8-80 6-45
RUSHING — Gar-Pal: Hodges 18-78, Knauff 13-31, Floyd 3-11. Tou: Jo. Martinez 13-38, Preciado 19-135, McKeown 5 (-8), E. Martinez 4-1, Flores 2-16, Lane 3-17.
PASSING — Gar-Pal: Woltering 3-5-0, 12 yards; Floyd 1-3-0, 5 yards, 1 touchdown. Tou: E. Martinez 6-11-0, 61 yards, four touchdowns; Preciado 2-2-0, 60 yards.
RECEIVING — Gar-Pal: Hodges 2-4, Lopez 1-4, Mithell 1-9. Tou: E. Martinez 1-30, Flores 4-74, Ochoa 2-17, McKeown 1-0.