Hot start propels W-P past DeSales

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WALLA WALLA — Waitsburg-Prescott opened its Southeast 2B League football season with two first-quarter touchdowns, and DeSales never recovered at Ty Baffney Field on Friday.

W-P’s Chance Leroue bulled in from the 2 with no time left in the first quarter to cap a 4:28-long W-P drive and put DeSales in a 14-0 hole.

W-P went on to score in every quarter to finish with a 42-20 victory.

“Waitsburg-Prescott did what it needed to do to start the game,” DeSales coach Mike Spiess said. “They were coming off a bye week and had two weeks to prepare. They came out and were the more physical team.”

A 32-yard completion from W-P quarterback Owen Lanning to Talen Larsen highlighted a 70-yard W-P march that Leroue capped with a one-yard plunge for W-P’s first score with 8:32 left in the first.

Following Leroue’s score on the last play of the first, W-P’s Michael Grant recovered a fumble to stop DeSales’ first possession of the second. W-P returned the favor as Zach Leahy intercepted a Lanning pass at his own 15 to thwart the first W-P drive of the second period. The Irish capitalized. Behind consecutive completions from Connor Richard —­ six yards on a screen to Isaiah Scheel, nine yards to Darryl Galloway, and 18 yards to Tyler Jacobson —­ the Irish mounted a 74-yard scoring march with Scheel going the last 22 to narrow the W-P lead to 14-6, after Nate Bartlow blocked the PAT, with 7:37 left in the half.

W-P had the answers on this night as Leroue broke a 32-yard scamper to lead W-P on a 62-yard drive with Lanning taking it in from the 5 to up the W-P lead to 21-6 with 4:07 left.

On the ensuing Irish drive, Trenton Kitselman stopped Scheel on a fourth-and-1 at the W-P 33 for a loss of three, and W-P capped the half as Lanning scrambled in from 26 yards out with 13 seconds left and W-P took a 29-6 lead to the locker room.

“We are banged up (four Irish two-way starters in John Crowley, Andrew Elmenhurst, Adam Eskil and Jackson Kent have been lost to injury), but that has nothing to do with the energy level our kids should play with in the first half,” Spiess said. “It was frustrating that we didn’t respond to the physical part of the game in the first half.”

Leroue finished the first half with three TDs and 91 rushing yards to lead W-P to its insurmountable lead. The two teams combined for 11 first-half penalties and a combined 21 for the game.

“It’s a rivalry game and we get excited about it,” W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. “We did a lot of different things. The kids put a lot of time in and played hard.”

A 36-yard pass from Lanning to Kobie Brown set up W-P’s third-quarter score. Leroue took it the last 14 and W-P led 35-6 with 5:09 left in the third.

The Irish scored on a 65-yard march following the ensuing kickoff. The drive started with a Richard-to-Jarod Koopman 30-yard pass play, and the same duo capped the drive with an eight-yard scoring pass.

W-P held serve at 35-13 after three.

James Thompkins took a 22-yard pass from Lanning to finish the W-P scoring with 8:21 to play in the fourth.

The Irish took the ensuing kickoff and went 58 yards in eight plays as Richard connected with Galloway for a five-yard scoring play to run the final to 42-20.

“We competed harder in the second half,” Spiess said. “We’ve got to get better in the physical part of the game. Give Waitsburg-Prescott credit, they were ready.”

Galloway led the Irish receivers with seven catches for 118 yards and one score.

Scheel was the leading Irish rusher with 51 yards.

Richard threw for 222 yards and two scores.

The Irish (3-2, 1-1) entertain Asotin in a non-league game for homecoming on Friday.

“It’s homecoming week,” Spiess said. “We want our kids to have fun and tonight wasn’t much fun for them. We did some good things. We protected well and we executed some things in the passing game. We just didn’t match up with them in the physical part of the game early. Next week we’ll play better.”

W-P’s Leroue led all ball carriers with 149 yards on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Lanning ran for 70 yards and two scores and threw to six different receivers for 183 yards and a score.

“Owen (Lanning) played with confidence and threw some nice balls,” Bartlow said. “He played pretty smart out there. That was big.

“Owen threw to about everybody,” Bartlow continued. “It was a good battle. They have some weapons. No. 5 (Galloway) is a stud. They didn’t connect the dots. He (Galloway) and Connor (Richard) had a couple of chances to put the ball in his hands and he just couldn’t quite get to it. It’s nice to get a ‘W’ in the first league game.”

W-P hosts Dayton Friday.

“We can’t let down,” Bartlow said. “We’ve got to bring our ‘A’ game to stop the run. (Dayton running back) Lowden Smith (with 300 rushing yards against DeSales) is an all-stater.”

Waitsburg-Prescott 42, DeSales 20

W-P 14 15 6 7 — 42

DeSales 0 6 7 7 — 20

W-P — Leroue 1 run (Benito kick).

W-P — Leroue 2 run (Benito kick).

DeS — Scheel 22 run (kick blocked).

W-P — Lanning 5 run (Benito kick).

W-P — Lanning 26 run (Leroue pass from Dunn).

W-P — Leroue 14 run (kick failed).

DeS — Koopman 8 pass from Richard (Contreras kick).

W-P — Thompkins 22 pass from Lanning (Benito kick).

DeS — Galloway 9 pass from Richard (Contreras kick).

W-P DeS

First downs 20 17

Rushes/yards 43-246 25-97

Passing yards 185 222

Passes (att-comp-int) 18-13-1 38-16-2

Punts 2-22.5 3-29.0

Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-1

Penalties-yards 11-91 10-91

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — W-P: Leroue 23-149-3, Lanning 11-70-2, Thompkins 1-7, Alfred 2-17, Carter 4-8, Brooks 1-1, Team 1-(-6); DeS: Scheel 11-51-1, Richard 12-45, Galloway 1-8, Team 1-(-7).

PASSING — W-P: Lanning 12-16-1 183 yards 1 TD, Dunn 1-2-0 2 yards; DeS: Richard 16-38-2 222 yards 2 TDs.

RECEIVING — W-P: Larsen 1-32, Acevedo 3-27, Alexenko 3-46, Leroue 1-19, Thompkins 3-23-1, Brown 1-36, Carter 1-2; DeS: Galloway 7-118-1, Scheel 3-17, Jacobson 1-18, Koopman 2-38-1, Lopez 3-31.

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