PASCO — DeSales scored 21 points in less than eight minutes here Friday in Southeast 2B football action and kick off Holy Bowl III.
The Irish never let Tri-Cities Prep recover as DeSales went on to post a 48-10 win.
“That was about as good as I’ve seen us play at the start of a game,” Irish coach Mike Spiess said. “Our kids really played hard that first quarter on both sides of the ball.”
DeSales forced a three-and-out on the first Jaguar possession, and forced a punt into the wind. The T-C Prep punt went 11 yards and the Irish opened their first possession at the Jaguar 47.
Quarterback Jeremiah Cox hit Andrew Elmenhurst for 31 yards, and then connected with Joe Duehn for 14. Luke Fazzari took it the last two — for his first of four rushing touchdowns — and the Irish led 7-0 with 2:30 gone in the game.
On the ensuing Jaguar possession, Matt Jubb recovered a T-C Prep fumble as the Irish took over at the Jaguar 21.
Cox hit Duehn for 12 yards, Fazzari ran a yard, and Fazzari scored his second TD as he took a pitch to his right and cut back for an eight-yard TD run, and it was 14-0 DeSales with 8:03 left in the first.
On the Jaguars’ next offensive snap, Kyler Pommerening picked off an Evan Whitsett pass and the Irish offense went back to work at their own 46.
Andrew Elmenhurst broke a 19-yard gallop to lead the Irish to the Jaguar 14. Fazzari ran through the Jaguar defense for a 14-yard touchdown and a 21-0 Irish lead with 4:52 left in the first.
“Our team did a good job of coming out ready to go and fired up,” Fazzari said. “We’re usually slow starters, but in the past couple of games (last week’s win over Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia), we’ve done a really good job of coming out fast.”
Down 21-0, the Jaguars got the wind at their back to open the second quarter. Whitsett opened the second with a 75-yard bomb to Mateo Ledesma and the Jaguars were on the board down 21-7.
On DeSales’ first second-period possession, Michael Forbes picked off a Cox pass and T-C Prep had the ball at the Irish 27. Whitsett threw to the end zone but Ryan Baumgart picked off the pass to end the Jaguar threat.
Forbes got his second interception of the quarter to set the Jaguars up at their 46 with 5:59 left before intermission.
The Jaguars gave the ball to Bailey Rivas five consecutive times on a quick hitter through the middle of the Irish defense. Rivas gained 44 yards to the Irish 10.
“It took us a little while to figure out how to stop that,” linebacker Fazzari said. “I give credit to that running back (Rivas), he was a powerful guy.”
Maybe the Jaguars went to the well once too often, as Rivas ran his sixth consecutive quick-hitter, but this time the Irish defense got it stopped and forced a fumble. Andrew Elmenhurst recovered the loose ball at the Irish 9 to preserve the 21-7 lead.
“The bad news is that we didn’t keep playing hard (after that first quarter),” Spiess said. “We had guys getting knocked on their backsides, but we created some turnovers. We were fortunate and it turned out to be a teachable moment at halftime about playing hard all the time.”
The Irish went to the hurry-up mode to close out the first half. Aided by an 11-yard Andrew Elmenhurst gallop on a fake punt, DeSales marched to the Jaguar 35 with 40 seconds left. Cox hit Duehn down the near seam for 35 yards and the Irish lead swelled to 27-7 with 33 seconds left in the half.
“We’ve been doing a good job of putting pressure on the defense right before half,” Spiess said. “At times (the wind was a factor), as it depends on how you’re throwing the ball. Jeremiah put a little too much touch on a couple of passes, but if you throw the ball on a line (the Duehn pass), you’re alright.”
The Jaguars lost Whitsett to an ankle injury on the last play of the half, and Whitsett did not return.
Baumgart ran a reverse on the second-half kickoff for 29 yards to the Irish 39. Five plays later, Fazzari capped the 61-yard march with his fourth TD on a two-yard plunge.
Braden Kimball recovered the ensuing Paul Elmenhurst kickoff for DeSales at the T-C Prep 20. Fazzari had runs of six and 11 yards, before Andrew Elmenhurst went the last three. Paul Elmenhurst added the PAT and the Irish expanded the lead to 41-7 with 8:47 left in the third.
On the last third-quarter DeSales possession, Fazzari spun his way to a 31-yard gallop to set up a Cox-to-Duehn five-yard score and the Irish went to the fourth up 48-7.
“I thought our (halftime) message (to play hard all the time) was well received,” Spiess said. “We played really well in the third quarter.”
Cox threw for 169 yards to seven different receivers. Duehn led the receivers with six catches for 84 yards and two scores. Fazzari was the Irish workhorse in the second half as he ran for 110 yards to finish with 178 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries.
“All the running is owed to the line,” Fazzari said. “The line did a great job of responding to any setbacks we had.”
The Irish improve to 6-1 overall, 3-1 SE2B, and host Asotin for homecoming Friday in the SE2B regular-season finale, with a win guaranteeing a No. 1 or No. 2 seed to the crossover state qualifier with District 7.
“We’ve put up a lot of points the last two weeks, but we’ve made a lot of mistakes on offense,” Spiess said. “We need to clean those (mistakes) up if we want to get where we want to go.”
DeSales 48, Tri-Cities Prep 10
DeSales 21 6 21 0 — 48
T-C Prep 0 7 0 3 — 10
DeS — Fazzari 2 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Fazzari 8 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Fazzari 14 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
TCP — Ledesma 75 pass from Whitsett (Jones kick).
DeS — Duehn 35 pass from Cox (kick failed).
DeS — Fazzari 2 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — A. Elmenhurst 3 run (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Duehn 5 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
TCP — Jones 25 FG.
First downs 17 8
Rushes/yards 41-279 28-112
Passing yards 169 152
Passes (att-comp-int) 22-13-2 12-5-2
Punts 2-12.5 5-33.0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 4-3
Penalties-yards 3-20 7-65
RUSHING — DeS: A. Elmenhurst 9-95-1, Cox 3-4, Fazzari 28-178-4, Healey 1-2; TCP: Rudolph 9-20, Rivas 10-51, Whitsett 3-36, Hinkson 2-7, Ledesma 2-7, Pedersen 1-(-2), Team 1-(-7).
PASSING — DeS: Cox 13-21-2, 169 yards, 2 TDs, Richard 0-1-0, 0 yards; TCP: Whitsett 3-9-2, 98 yards, 1 TD, Pedersen 2-3-0, 54 yards.
RECEIVING — DeS: Roach 1-6, Duehn 6-84-2, Fazzari 1-4, A. Elmenhurst 1-31, Baumgart 2-5, Scheel 1-32, Pommerening 1-7; TCP: Rivas 1-16, Ledesma 1-75-1, Guajardo 1-7, Forbes 2-54.