ASOTIN — DeSales’ defense keyed a much-needed Southeast 2B League football victory over Asotin on the road Friday night, 29-16.
The Panthers had beaten the Irish 24-6 three weeks ago at DeSales in a non-league affair, and Irish coach Mike Spiess knew it wasn’t going to be easy Friday night with a short staff.
“We went up there knowing it was going to be tough,” Spiess said. “We suited up 20 players and that’s the story of the season. We haven’t been able to put kids on the field with injuries.”
Asotin showed the Irish what it had in mind when Eric Loseth found Hayden Krull for a 45-yard touchdown reception right off the bat. The two-point conversion made it 8-0 Panthers.
“They jumped on us right away,” Spiess said. “We got them to fourth down at midfield, but then Krull went up the sideline for the score.”
DeSales answered right away as Isaiah Scheel got loose for a 55-yard touchdown scramble.
“They had Scheel stuffed, and then he just popped out a run play up the middle that kind of got us going,” Spiess said.
The conversion failed, and after exchanging punts Asotin held an 8-6 lead after the first quarter.
To open the second, Irish quarterback Connor Richard took a hit and was intercepted deep in Irish territory to give the Panthers a first and goal, which Asotin converted into eight points to make it 16-6.
“We were down 16-6 right away, but then we just controlled the game the rest of the way,” Spiess said. “Especially our defense. We gave up quite a few yards on the first drive, but after that it was just the turnover (that hurt the Irish).
“Offensively, we hit them with passes early,” he said. “The story of the game was our defense.”
Darryl Galloway played a big part in that defense, picking off four Loseth passes, while also catching a TD pass and kicking a field goal on offense.
“He was a standout individual,” Spiess said. “But our whole defensive line (played well). Darryl sat back at safety and waited for the throws.”
After falling behind, DeSales began to dominate.
Galloway took a Richard pass 52 yards for the score and 2-point conversion, Andrew Elmenhurst was the recipient of Richard’s 12-yard scoring pass, and Galloway hit a 25-yard field goal to make it 23-16 at halftime.
“At halftime we were ahead, and I told (the Irish) that if they (Asotin) don’t score, we win,” Spiess said. “And they didn’t score.”
The lone score of the second half came when Scheel took the ball in from the 7, and the Irish defense shut the Panthers down the rest of the way.
Scheel racked up 137 yards on 24 carries.
“He ran the ball really well,” Spiess said. “We managed the clock with our running game, and we took care of the ball offensively. But the reason we were able to be effective on offense was because of our defense. Our defense played really well.
“It’s a satisfying win on the road,” he said. “We’ve been a different team every week with who is on the field. But the kids keep perservering. It was nice to see them have fun and win on the road, and tie for the league championship.”
Waitsburg-Prescott and DeSales finish league play at 3-1, with W-P taking the top seed to the postseason after winning the head-to-head matchup.
The Irish most likely host Davenport, the fourth seed out of District 7, on Friday with a time to be determined.
“I’ve told them, we had the preseason, league season and postseason,” Spiess said. “We’ll hopefully just keep getting healthier and get rolling. It’s always more fun when you win, and to have a home game for the crossover.”
DeSales 29, Asotin 16
DeSales 6 17 6 0 — 29
Asotin 8 8 0 0 — 16
Aso — Krull 45 pass from Loseth (2-pt conversion Magnuson).
DeS — Scheel 55 run (conversion failed).
Aso — Martinez 12 pass from Loseth (2 pt pass to Magnuson).
DeS — Galloway 52 pass from Richard (Galloway PAT).
DeS — Elmenhurst 12 pass from Richard (Galloway PAT).
DeS — Galloway 25 field goal
DeS — Scheel 7 run (kick failed).
First downs NA NA
Rushes/yards 30-150 18-75
Passing yards 187 108
Passes (att-comp-int) 28-16-1 23-10-4
Punts NA NA
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards NA NA
RUSHING — DeS: Scheel 24-137, Richard 5-11, Galloway 1-2, ; Aso: Krull 6-60, Team 12-15.
PASSING — DeS: Connor 16-28-1, 187 yards, 2 TDs; Aso: Loseth 10-23-4, 108 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING — DeS: Kent 5-60, Galloway 4-79-1, Scheel 4-5, Elmenhurst 2-23-1, Leahy 1-10; Aso: Krull 4-59-1, Team 6-49.