YAKIMA — DeSales opened up a 21-0 halftime lead, and extended it to 34-0 in the third quarter as the Irish opened the 2012 football campaign with a 34-14 victory over La Salle at Marquette Stadium here Friday night.
“A win on the road against a traditionally strong program is a good start to the season,” DeSales coach Mike Spiess said. “But we have plenty of work ahead.”
Irish quarterback Jeremiah Cox hit Isaiah Scheel for a 13-yard first-quarter touchdown to open what would be a four-TD night for Cox.
In the second stanza, Cox hit Reilly Roach for a 17-yard score before making Connor Richard the recipient of a 15-yarder to put DeSales up 21-0.
The Irish offense continued its onslaught in the third quarter, with Cox hooking up with Luke Fazzari for a 76-yard touchdown to make it 28-0.
Kyler Pommerening ended DeSales’ scoring with a 35-yard interception return.
The Lightning managed to get on the scoreboard at the end of the third quarter, and put their second touchdown up with just 36 seconds left in the game to make it 34-14.
Cox completed 14-of-16 pass for 242 yards and the four touchdowns after throwing an interception on his first pass. He found eight different receivers as the Irish passing game clicked.
La Salle keyed on the DeSales running game, giving up 50 yards on 24 Irish rushes.
“Our defense played very well,” Spiess said. “La Salle came out in the Pistol offense, which was very different that what we prepared for. The defensive coaching staff made adjustments on the run and the players played with great effort defensively, keeping La Salle out of the end zone until the game was well in hand.”
The Lightning ground out 196 yards rushing, but managed just 42 yards on three completions.
The early interception was the only low point for the Irish offense.
“Offensively, we stumbled with an interception on our second offensive play,” Spiess said. “La Salle was intent on challenging the run game, which created opportunities in the passing game.”
Next up for the Irish is Weston-McEwen, which comes to Ty Baffney Field at 7 p.m. Friday.
“It will be a great test for the Irish,” Spiess said of the TigerScots.
DeSales 34, La Salle 14
DeSales 7 14 13 0 — 34
La Salle 0 0 7 7 — 14
DeS — Scheel 13 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Roach 17 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Richard 15 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Fazzari 76 pass from Cox (P. Elmenhurst kick).
DeS — Pommerening 35 INT return (run failed).
La S — Chambard 15 pass from Smith (Vargas kick).
La S — Bonny 5 run (Vargas kick).
DeSales La Salle
First downs NA NA
Rushes/yards 24-50 36-196
Passing yards 247 42
Passes (att-comp-int) 22-15-2 20-3-1
Punts NA NA
Fumbles-lost NA NA
Penalties-yards NA NA
RUSHING — DeS: Fazzari 10-54, Richard 2-1, Cox 1-(-6), Healy 2-1. La S: Smith 17-77, Robinett 11-62, Vargas 3-44, Lighty 2-6, Bonny 1-5, Wellner 2-2.
PASSING — DeS: Cox 14-16-1, 242 yards, 4 touchdowns; Cox 1-6-1, 5 yards. La S: Smith 3-20-1, 42 yards, 1 touchdown.
RECEIVING — DeS: Fazzari 1-76, Scheel 2-68, Richard 2-25, Baumgart 2-20, Pommerening 2-20, Roach 1-17, A. Elmenhurst 2-14, Kent 2-7. La S: Chambard 2-27, Lighty 1-15.