OAKESDALE — Waitsburg-Prescott fumbled at the Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia 1 yard line, and T-O-R punched it in to take an early 8-0 lead here Friday night.
That set the tone for the game, as W-P turned the ball over five times — four in the first half, resulting in two T-O-R touchdowns — and T-O-R won the Southeast 2B League game, 32-22.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. “It was a gallant second-half effort, we knew at halftime we should have been down seven instead of 20. But we got it going in the second half. They played like they wanted to win. They came back and made a game of it.”
T-O-R opened up a 26-0 lead in the third quarter before W-P got on the scoreboard on Billy Brown’s two-yard third-quarter run. They pulled within 26-15 when W-P quarterback Sterling Eastman hit Roy Ebong for a 12-yard strike in the fourth quarter.
But T-O-R’s Craig Nelson got loose for a 67-yard score, and Brown’s five-yard scamper was as close as W-P was able to get down the stretch.
The first-half turnovers were uncharacteristic of W-P, Bartlow said.
“You just can’t have those, giving up 14 points,” he said. “We haven’t had problems with turnovers in three years.”
W-P is feeling the loss of outside linebacker Brendon Donovan, who went down with a broken arm late in last week’s game against Weston-McEwen.
“We’re thin with injuries,” Bartlow said. “We have people in new positions. We’re getting better slowly. We took some steps back, and some steps forward.”
The coach was happy with his team’s second-half offensive effort.
“Our two-minute offense in the last quarter-and-a-half was excellent,” Bartlow said. “I was proud of that.
“It was a tough league loss,” he said. “But we lost to a good football team. I’ve been here 14 years, and that’s the best T-O-R team I’ve seen in that time. We hate to lose to them on turnovers, I think we could have beat them. But we grew a lot in the second half, and the loss can help us stay focused.”
W-P returns home after two road games to host SE2B rival DeSales on Friday.
“It’s going to be a classic, it always is,” Bartlow said of the matchup. “We just have to re-group and get ready for a great, well-coached DeSales team, and we’ll give it all we’ve got.”
T-O-R 32, W-P 22
W-P 0 0 7 15 — 22
T-O-R 8 12 6 6 — 32
T-O-R — Nelson 1 run (Mueller pass from R. Maley Ryan).
T-O-R — Brown 11 pass from R. Maley (run failed).
T-O-R — B. Shelton 96 fumble return (run failed).
T-O-R — C. Shelton 47 run (run failed).
W-P — Brown 2 run (Estes kick).
W-P — Ebong 12 pass from Eastman (Brown run).
T-O-R — Nelson 67 run (pass failed).
W-P — Brown 5 run (Estes kick).
First downs 15 14
Rushes/yards 32-127 50-279
Passing yards 166 73
Passes (att-comp-int) 29-13-1 9-5-0
Punts 2-35 6-30
Fumbles-lost 4-4 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-30 12-105
RUSHING — W-P: Brown 15-41, Eastman 14-82, D. Estes 2-3, Leroue 1-1; T-O-R: Nelson 26-170, C. Shelton 6-61, S. Maley 2-11, R. Maley 6-17, Tittsley 10-20.
PASSING — W-P: Eastman 13-29-1, 166 yards, 1 touchdown; T-O-R: R. Maley 5-9-0, 73 yards, 1 touchdown.
RECEIVING — W-P: D. Estes 7-107, Leroue 2-27, Ebong 4-32; T-O-R: C. Shelton 2-25, B. Shelton 1-10, Brown 1-11, Nelson 1-27.