POMEROY — For the second time in three weeks, it took Touchet a couple of quarters and perhaps a halftime adjustment or two to get untracked.
But once the Indians did, there was no stopping them as they bulldozed Pomeroy 52-22 here Friday night in a Southeast 1B-8 League football game.
It was Touchet’s fifth consecutive victory as the Indians improved to 5-1 in league games and 7-1 overall. Pomeroy, meanwhile, slid to 1-5 in the SEB-8 and 2-7 overall.
But just as Lacrosse-Washtucna had proved to be a stubborn opponent two weeks earlier in Lacrosse, the Pirates gave the Indians a run for their money in the first half of Friday’s game here.
Despite fumbling the ball away on their first two possessions and falling into a 16-0 hole, the Pirates fought back to score the next two touchdowns and trailed 16-14 at the intermission.
“It was similar to the Lacrosse game,” Touchet coach Gary Dorman said, alluding to the Oct. 12 game in Lacrosse in which the Indians led 32-24 at halftime before blowing the Tigercats out in the second half for a 70-24 victory.
“It’s not from a lack of effort,” Touchet coach Gary Dorman said. “I think it’s more a matter that we kind of grind teams down a little bit in the second half. We have several kids who only play one way, and a lot of the other schools we play the same eight kids are playing pretty much the whole game.
“Our kids are real physical and we wear them down.”
And halftime adjustments, albeit minor ones, are another factor, the Touchet coach said.
“There are some little things that we do and the kids carry them out so well,” Dorman said. “But more than anything, it’s just going out and executing what we had planned to do in the first place. This is just a real smart group of football players.”
Jose Martinez, who rushed for 103 yards on 10 carries, scored Touchet’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run. And Elias Martinez, who gained 99 yards on 13 tries, rambled 49 yards for a second-quarter TD.
And they each ran for a two-point conversion and a quick 16-0 lead.
But the Pirates’ defense came up with three consecutive stops after that and the hometown offense produced a pair of touchdowns as Pomeroy battled back into the game. Riley Bott scored the first on a 39-yard pass from Ryan Smith, and Kade Snyder scored on a 14-yard run.
All that separated the two teams at halftime was Pomeroy’s failure to convert a two-point try following the second TD. Smith ran for two points after Bott’s touchdown.
“The momentum shifted, and we were glad to get into halftime with the lead,” Dorman said.
“Pomeroy had the ball again with about two minutes to play in the half and we were able to stop them. They had us back on our heels, and had they scored again it could have been a different ball game.”
As it was, Touchet got the ball first in the third quarter and scored on Jose Martinez’s 15-yard run. The Indians then recovered an onside kick and Octavio Preciado’s 13-yard score boosted Touchet’s lead 30-14 and it was the Pirates who were back on their heels.
“Those two quick scores kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Pomeroy coach Sanford Bates said.
“It was boom, boom, two quick touchdowns. We’ve faced a lot of adversity this year with injuries and we have a lot of young kids in there who with a little more experience will be able to handle that kind of a scenario better.”
Bates, however, was not disappointed in his team’s effort.
“I thought we played well,” the coach said. “It was our most physical game of the year against a physical team. We lost those two fumbles early, but once we started taking care of the ball we were able to move the ball and put a couple of scoring drives together.”
In addition to the two lost fumbles in the first half, the Pirates had a punt blocked in the fourth quarter that the Indians’ Ruben Butler returned 40 yards for Touchet’s final touchdown of the game. Touchet also scored on a 24-yard pass from Elias Martinez to Cori Ochoa and on Elias Martinez’s 14-yard run.
Smith, who led all rushers with 144 yards on 23 trips, accounted for Pomeroy’s final score on a 75-yard run.
Touchet outrushed Pomeroy 293-234, with each team attempting 46 rushing plays. The Indians also held a 105-66 advantage in passing yards.
“Pomeroy is much better than their record,” Dorman said. “There’s not a team in the league that has had as many key injuries as they have had.
“They are playing a lot of sophomores and juniors who, as the season has gone on, have gotten better and better. After watching them on tape, I was a little scared going into the game.”
Touchet, which has all but locked up second place in the SEB-8 standings and a home playoff game in the first round, closes out the regular season at Sunnyside Christian Friday. Pomeroy travels to Colton for its season finale.
Touchet 8 8 20 16 — 52
Pomeroy 0 14 0 8 — 22
Tou — J. Martinez 1 run (J. Martinez run).
Tou — E. Martinez 49 run (E. Martinez run).
Pom — Bott 39 pass from Smith (Smith run).
Pom — Snyder 14 run (pass failed).
Tou — J. Martinez 15 run (J. Martinez run).
Tou — Preciado 13 run (pass failed).
Tou — Ochoa 24 pass from E. Martinez (run failed).
Tou — E. Martinez 14 run (Ochoa pass from E. Martinez).
Tou — Butler 40 blocked punt return (Ochoa pass from E. Martinez).
Pom — Smith 75 run (Snyder run).
First downs 17 10
Rushes/yards 46-293 46-234
Passing yards 105 66
Passes (att-comp-int) 9-6-0 7-4-0
Punts 0-0 1-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 8-90 5-30
RUSHING — Touchet: E. Martinez 10-103, J. Martinez 13-99, Preciado 14-79, Goble 2-11, Flores 3-7, Velasquez 2-1, Ochoa 1-(-1), Col. McKeown 1-(-6); Pomeroy: Smith 23-144, Snyder 15-81, W. Hyer 5-13, K. Hyer 2-3, McGreevy 1-(-7).
PASSING — Touchet: E. Martinez 5-8-0, 97 yards, 1 touchdown; Preciado 1-1-0, 8 yards. Pomeroy: Smith 4-7-0, 66 yards, 1 touchdown.
RECEIVING — Touchet: Ochoa 2-38-1, Flores 2-33-0, E. Martinez 1-8-0, J. Martinez 1-26-0; Pomeroy: Bott 2-64-1, K. Hyer 1-4-0, W. Hyer 1-(-2)-0.