Indians prep for playoffs with big win

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TOUCHET — There were no surprises in the Southeast 1B League Thursday during the final round of regular-season prep football games.

Touchet’s 56-8 victory over Sunnyside Christian here was countered in Pomeroy, where Colton outlasted the Pirates 58-40, and in Richland, where Liberty Christian crushed St. John-Endicott 60-22.

Thus the Indians, Wildcats and Patriots finish tied atop the SE1B standings with identical 6-1 records. And since Touchet defeated Colton, Colton defeated Liberty Christian and Liberty Christian defeated Touchet during the year, a predetermined tiebreaker is being used to decide seeding into the postseason.

Colton and Touchet are seeded 1 and 2, respectively, and will host first-round playoff games next weekend while Liberty Christian, seeded No. 3, must travel.

Garfield-Palouse, which finished fourth in the final league standings with a 4-3 record following Thursday’s 44-8 victory over Lacrosse-Washtucna, entertains independent Rosalia on Tuesday in a play-in game to decide the SE1B’s No. 4 seed.

“Knowing what the draw was, we were more concerned with winning our game than we were concerned with what the other teams were doing,” Indians coach Gary Dorman said. “And those games went pretty much the way we expected.”

Now it’s on to the postseason. The Indians, 9-1 overall, will host the loser of tonight’s game between Odessa-Harrington and Cusick in Odessa, which will decide the Northeast 1B League’s third and fourth playoff seeds.

The Indians defeated Odessa-Harrington 46-22 in their season opener Sept. 6 in Touchet.

Dorman, who plans to be in Odessa tonight to scout the Titans and the Panthers, isn’t sure if next week’s game will be played on Friday or Saturday. He’s hopeful that O-H would agree to play Friday afternoon, but if it’s Cusick he anticipates a Saturday game because of travel considerations.

Sunnyside Christian, which finished its season 6-4 but lost four of its last five games, was no match for the Indians on a temperamental Thursday that began as a soaker, yielded to high winds and finished in brilliant late-afternoon sunshine.

“As the season goes on, some teams get hit by the injury bug more than others,” Dorman said, pointing to Sunnyside Christian’s thin 13-player roster on Thursday. “And you have to remember they are a basketball school. So when you are eliminated and tired — they were probably looking forward to the 18th of November pretty strongly.”

The Indians converted six first-half Sunnyside Christian turnovers — four pass interceptions and two fumble recoveries — into a 42-0 lead at the intermission and the entire second half was played with a running clock for the third consecutive home game.

Colter McKeown turned one of the pass interceptions into a 26-yard touchdown, and the junior later scored on a 43-yard run around his right end. Senior quarterback Elias Martinez scored on a 3-yard run and hit senior Connor McKeown on a 17-yard scoring pass. And senior Edgar Rincon contributed touchdown runs of 5 and 13 yards.

Martinez opened the second half with a 72-yard kickoff return for six points and sophomore Carlos Rincon, the Indians’ backup quarterback, scored his team’s final TD on a 37-yard run.

Wyatt Hof, SSC’s senior quarterback who was picked off four times in the first half — three times by Martinez in addition to Colter McKeown’s TD — accounted for the Knights’ lone score on a 1-yard run.

No fewer than 10 Indians carried the ball from scrimmage on the day, with Carlos Rincon leading the way with 53 yards on three carries. Colter McKeown added 50 yards on just two tries, Edgar Rincon gained 45 on six trips and Cesar Velasquez added 41 yards on five carries.

Sophomore Luis Garcia, seeing his first playing time since late in September when he suffered a broken collarbone, packed the ball seven times in the second half and gained 36 yards.

Indians 56, Knights 8

Sunnyside Christian 0 0 8 0 — 8

Touchet 28 14 14 0 — 56

Tou — E. Rincon 5 run (E. Rincon pass from Martinez).

Tou — Martinez 3 run (Goble pass from Martinez).

Tou — Col. McKeown 26 pass interception return (run failed).

Tou — Con. McKeown 17 pass from Martinez (run failed).

Tou — E. Rincon 13 run (pass failed).

Tou — Col. McKeown 43 run (Velasquez pass from C. Rincon).

Tou — Martinez 72 kickoff return (C. Rincon run).

SSC — Hof 1 run (Scheemstra run).

Tou — C. Rincon 37 run (run failed).

SSC Touchet

First downs 10 15

Rushes/yards 43-132 38-283

Passing yards 20 25

Passes (att-comp-int) 11-1-4 4-2-0

Punts 0-0 1-37

Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-0

Penalties-yards 5-32 8-60

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — Sunnyside Christian: Scheemstra 11-48, Wayrin 11-28, Hof 7-12, Liefke 13-44; Touchet: R. Butler 1-1, E. Rincon 6-45, Goble 4-7, Martinez 3-24, Valesquez 5-41, Col. McKeown 2-50, Kates 2-13, Miller 5-13, C. Rincon 3-53, Garcia 7-36.

PASSING — SSC: Hof 1-8-4, 20 yards; Faber 0-3-0. Touchet: Col. McKeown 1-1-0, 8 yards; Martinez 1-3-0, 25 yards, 1 touchdown.

RECEIVING — SSC: Bosma 1-20-0; Touchet: Con. McKeown 2-25-1.

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