TOUCHET — If the weather didn’t catch you by surprise here Friday afternoon, perhaps Gary Dorman’s play calling did.
Brilliant sunshine and near 70-degree temperatures ushered in the first day of November — unseasonably comfortable conditions for watching a high school football game.
Not to be outdone, Dorman, Touchet High’s head coach, dug into his bag of Halloween tricks even though most everyone else had done their trick-or-treating the night before.
“We’ve been working of a few things,” Dorman said with a sly smile after watching his Indians dispatch Pomeroy 56-14 in a Southeast 1B League affair that kept Touchet tied for the top spot in the standings.
“This was our first attempt to see if they would work. And this film won’t be going anywhere.”
Meaning game film exchanges are based on a two-week rotation and there’s just one week remaining in the regular season. So if Sunnyside Christian’s Knights, who play here next week, hope to learn anything new about the Indians, they’ll have to place a call to Pomeroy coach Sanford Bates.
One of the new wrinkles in the Indians’ offense sent quarterback Elias Martinez in motion, with halfback Edgar Rincon taking a direct snap from center. Rincon gained 21 yards on two carries on Touchet’s first possession leading to Colton Goble’s 5-yard touchdown run.
Another Touchet trick resulted in a 28-yard touchdown in which Colter McKeown took a handoff from Martinez, rolled to his right and found Martinez all alone in the end zone.
“In the eight-man game you want to give your best athletes the ball as much as you can,” Dorman said. “It’s very hard to cover everybody.”
The Indians also pulled off a squib kick in which kicker Cesar Velasquez pooched the ball into open space and McKeown, one of Touchet’s fastest runners, beat everyone to the ball.
“It’s not the first time we’ve done that,” Dorman said. “The opportunity doesn’t present itself very often. But Colter is so danged fast, and Cesar is a soccer player and he can put that ball where he wants it every time.”
In addition to his touchdown pass, Colter McKeown had TD runs of 15 and 4 yards in the first half. Martinez, the Indians’ leading rusher on the season, didn’t carry the ball a single time from scrimmage, but he scored on a 28-yard pass interception return in addition to his touchdown catch.
“We emphasized in practice having Elias pitch the ball on the option play rather than keeping it,” Dorman said. “He still has the option to keep it, but we were getting a little one-dimensional.”
Leading 42-0 at the intermission, reserves played the entire second half for Touchet.
James Kates, a 220-pound freshman running back, scored on a 1-yard run and carried nine times for 66 yards to lead all rushers. Carlos Rincon, the Indians’ sophomore backup QB, ran seven times for 54 yards.
Pomeroy scored its two touchdowns in a span of 22 seconds during the final minute of the third quarter.
Junior quarterback Kade Snyder started the fireworks with a 20-yard scramble into the end zone. Touchet’s Velasquez returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a TD, his second score of the game, and the Pirates’ Cade Gingerich, a freshman, returned the favor with an 82-yard kickoff return for six points.
Pomeroy began the season with 29 players on its roster, but things have changed over the course of a 3-6 season so far.
“There’s been some attrition,” Bates said. “Injuries, grades ... we’re down to two seniors, but that’s all part of football. We’ve had some younger kids stepping in.”
With only four seniors at the season’s outset, Pomeroy’s future seems brighter.
“I would think so,” Bates said, “if we can keep kids out for football, keep them away from injuries and academically eligible.”
Pomeroy finishes its season at home against Colton on Thursday while the 8-1 Indians host Sunnyside Christian. A victory will ensure Touchet of at least a share of the league championship and a first-round home playoff game.
Does Dorman have anymore tricks up his sleeve to play on the Knights?
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “We have a lot of other things we are working on. Coach Gregg (Guy Gregg, the Indians’ offensive coordinator) has a pretty deep playbook.”
Indians 56, Pirates 14
Pomeroy 0 0 14 0 — 14
Touchet 20 22 14 0 — 56
Tou — Goble 5 run (run failed).
Tou — Col. McKeown 15 run (R. Butler pass from Martinez).
Tou — Velasquez 5 run (run failed).
Tou — SAFETY: Center snap goes beyond end line in punt formation.
Tou — Col. McKeown 4 run (Con. McKeown pass from Martinez).
Tou — Martinez 28 pass interception return (run failed).
Tou — Martinez 28 pass from Col. McKeown (pass failed).
Tou — Kates 1 run (Miller run).
Pom — Snyder 20 run (run failed).
Tou — Velasquez 81 kickoff return (run failed).
Pom — Gingerich 82 kickoff return (B. McGreevy pass from Snyder).
First downs 12 20
Rushes/yards 42-124 39-286
Passing yards 53 95
Passes (att-comp-int) 9-2-1 3-3-0
Punts 2-33.5 0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-61 7-55
RUSHING — Pomeroy: Hall 11-23, Snyder 12-53, Gingerich 11-37, Kyle Hyer 8-12, B. McGreevy 1-(-8), Heytvelt 1-7; Touchet: R. Butler 1-13, E. Rincon 8-45, Goble 4-38, Velasquez 2-8, Col. McKeown 3-46, C. Rincon 7-54, Kates 9-66, Miller 5-16.
PASSING — Pomeroy: Snyder 2-9-1, 53 yards. Touchet: Martinez 2-2-0, 67 yards, 1 touchdown; Col. McKeown 1-1-0, 28 yards, 1 touchdown.
RECEIVING — Pomeroy Hall 1-39-0, B. McGreevy 1-14-0; Touchet: Goble 1-23-1, R. Butler 1-44-0, Martinez 1-28-1.