WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi entered its Mid-Columbia Conference football game with Pasco on Friday night looking to extend its winning streak to four games before a partisan homecoming crowd at Borleske Stadium.
The Blue Devils scored touchdowns on four-of-five first-half possessions and cruised to a 48-0 rout of the cellar-dwelling Bulldogs.
Wa-Hi’s four-game winning streak is the program’s first since 2002. The Blue Devils, who have not allowed a point in their last 11 quarters of action, raised their MCC record to 3-1 and overall mark to 4-2 with their second straight shutout.
“I love these kids,” Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. “I’m happy for them.”
Pasco is now 0-3 and 0-6.
Wa-Hi’s first touchdown came on its second offensive series of the game and ended a 55-yard, six-play drive in successful fashion. Quarterback Zach Zehner, who completed 11-of-16 passes for 154 yards, rolled right and connected with running back Stuart Gillin for a 23-yard scoring play at the 6:36 mark of the opening quarter.
“We faked a counter (play), Stuart was open in the flat, and he took it from there,” Zehner said.
“He put the ball right there,” Gillen added with a smile.
Ethan Gardner followed with the extra point to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead.
A trio of second-quarter touchdowns from Wa-Hi — one rushing and two passing — erased any thought of a Bulldog upset.
Running back Willie Hayes crashed into the end zone from four yards out on the first play of the second quarter — the 12th snap of a 62-yard drive. The score held at 13-0 after a failed extra-point try.
The Bulldogs moved from their 37-yard line to the Blue Devil 1 on their next possession.
But an illegal procedure penalty brought the ball back to the 6. Pasco gained just four yards on its next four snaps and turned the ball over on downs.
Wa-Hi used the red-zone stop as a springboard for a nine-play, 98-yard touchdown march that resulted in a 21-0 lead with 3:21 on the clock. Zehner hit Darnell Handcox with a six-point toss of 29-yards to bring the possession to a productive end.
Hayes rushed across the goal line for the 2-point conversion for points 20 and 21.
Zehner ended the half with his third touchdown throw — a 23-yarder to tight end Gerardo Gomez — with 1:43 remaining.
Wa-Hi led 27-0 at halftime.
“I had great protection,” Zehner said. “If it wasn’t for (starting offensive linemen Nick Fuller, T.J. Ashley, Seth Guttromson, Nate Sumerlin, and Joe Yenney), I wouldn’t have had the time (to throw). Our receivers (Handcox, Gillin, Gomez, Mitch Huffman and Reid Magnaghi) ran great routes.
“We were focusing up more, executing our plays, and getting the job done,” he said. “We attacked their safeties and corners. We used their aggressiveness and athleticism against them. Once we started scoring, we kept rolling.”
Third-quarter touchdown runs of eight yards by Hayes and six yards by Noah Porter, who led the Blue Devils with 97 of the team’s 249 rushing yards, increased Wa-Hi’s lead to 41-0.
Prior to Porter’s touchdown, the Bulldogs negotiated from the Wa-Hi 48 to the Blue Devil 6 before running out of downs.
“We have a lot of trust in our defense,” said Sumerlin, a two-way lineman. “Once we get out there, we tell ourselves that nobody is going to score on us.”
A.J. Crump produced the game’s final touchdown on a one-yard rush with 8:44 left in the final quarter. A PAT kick by Martin Barrara was the contest’s last point.
While Wa-Hi amassed 403 yards of offense, Pasco mustered just 144 — minus-6 rushing.
“This is the kind of game we needed to have,” Hisaw said when addressing his team’s offensive performance. “We wanted to set a tone and run the ball. We wanted to do what we thought we could.
“The kids (are fighting) so hard for every inch,” Hisaw said. “On defense, we’re running to the ball and are physical at every position.
“We expected to play well,” Hisaw said. “This is the most complete game we’ve played all year long.”
Wa-Hi travels to Lampson Stadium in Kennewick this Friday to face Southridge (2-2 MCC, 4-2).
“We’ll be excited to play,” Hisaw said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Wa-Hi 48, Pasco 0
Pasco 0 0 0 0 — 0
Wa-Hi 7 20 14 7 — 48
Wa-Hi — Gillin 23 pass from Zehner (Gardner kick).
Wa-Hi — Hayes 4 run (kick failed).
Wa-Hi — Handcox 29 pass from Zehner (Hayes run).
Wa-Hi — Gomez 23 pass from Zehner (kick failed).
Wa-Hi — Hayes 8 run (Gardner kick).
Wa-Hi — Porter 6 run (Gardner kick).
Wa-Hi — A.J. Krump 1 run ( Barrara kick).
First downs 9 21
Rushes/yards 26-(-6) 34-249
Passing yards 150 154
Passes (att-comp-int) 21-12-0 16-11-0
Punts 4-23.8 1-28
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 8-67 6-44
RUSHING — Pasco: Ritala 6-30, Faamausili 8-7, Tate 4-0, Killoy 5-(-10), Team 1-(-16), Kelly 2-(-17); Wa-Hi: Porter 13-97-1, Hayes 9-84-2, Gillin 3-35, Zehner 3-19, A.J. Crump 4-16, Coronado 1-2, Team 1-(-4).
PASSING — Pasco: Killoy 6-9-0, 60 yards, 0 TDs, Ritala 3-5-0, 11 yards, 0 TDs, Tate 3-7-0, 79 yards, ) TDs; Wa-Hi: Zehner 11-16-0, 154 yards, 3 TDs.
RECEIVING — Pasco: Ingram 4-46, Calvead 3-59, Martinez 2-40, Salazar 2-7, Faamausili 1-(-2); Wa-Hi: Huffman 3-35, Gillin 2-40-1, Handcox 2-36-1, Gomez 2-28-1, Magnaghi 1-16, Porter 1-(-1).