Turnovers can’t slow W-P in rout of Pilot Rock

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PILOT ROCK — Waitsburg-Prescott coughed up five fumbles — four in the first half — and lost them all against the Rockets in the season-opener here Friday night.

Normally, that would be an ominous stat in what is undoubtedly a loss.

But W-P’s defense more than made up for the turnovers, allowing Pilot Rock just 11 total yards in the game as W-P came home with a 36-6 victory.

“We played very hard and I was happy with effort,” W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. “But we had so many first-game mistakes. Against better teams we lose this game with 100 yards of penalties and five turnovers.”

The victory was Bartlow’s 99th at W-P as he enters his 16th season at the helm.

W-P opened scoring in the first quarter, with quarterback Owen Lanning finding James Thompkins for a 32-yard touchdown reception. Antonio Benito’s extra-point kick made it 7-0.

Chance Leroue made it 14-0 with an eight-yard run to open the second quarter.

The Rockets’ lone score came when Justin Willingham picked up one of W-P’s fumbles and rumbled 40 yards for the touchdown.

The W-P defense then tracked Rockets QB Gunner McCall down in the end zone for a safety, and Lanning hit Devin Acevedo for a 13-yard TD reception for a 22-6 W-P lead at halftime.

The Lanning-to-Thompkins hookup again struck in the third quarter, this time for 35 yards and a touchdown, and W-P’s Chad Pearson blocked a Pilot Rock punt and took it back for the game’s final score.

Lanning finished his first start at QB 12-for-15 for 196 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions.

“I was extremely happy with Owen and his first start,” Bartlow said. “He was a bit nervous early, but settled down and really played well.”

Chance Leroue finished with 134 yards on 11 carries. Thompkins had three catches for 72 yards.

“I was happy with our offensive line and what took place up front,” he said. “Without all the mistakes, we have 450 yards of offense. (The) first-game mistakes we have to clean up to win consistently.”

W-P hosts Weston-McEwen Thursday at 7 p.m. .

Waitsburg-Prescott 36, Pilot Rock 6

W-P 7 15 7 7 — 36

Pilot Rock 0 6 0 0 — 6

W-P — Thompkins 32 pass from Lanning (Benito kick).

W-P — Leroue 8 run (Benito kick).

PR — Willingham 40 fumble recovery (kick failed).

W-P — safety

W-P — Acevedo 13 pass from Lanning (kick failed).

W-P — Thompkins 35 pass from Lanning (Benito kick).

W-P — Pearson blocked punt return (Benito kick).

W-P Pilot Rock

First downs 10 5

Rushes/yards 29-132 39-(-18)

Passing yards 193 39

Passes (att-comp-int) 15-12-0 13-6-0

Punts 4-29 7-26

Fumbles-lost 5-5 2-1

Penalties-yards 11-100 10-70

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — W-P: Leroue 11-134, Lanning 9-(-12), Acevedo 1-18, Thompkins 2-(-8), Brownlee 4-7, Carter 1-(-1), Dunn 1-(-6); PR: Corona 11-5, McCall 22-(-28), Melton 2-2, Fritz 2-0, Hasher 2-(-3).

PASSING — W-P: Lanning 12-15-0, 196 yards, three touchdowns; PR: McCall 6-13-0, 39 yards.

RECEIVING — W-P: Alexenko 2-6, Thompkins 3-72, Leroue 1-18, Larsen 2-22, Acevedo 3-78; PR: Hasher 1-1, Melton 1-0, Corona 1-3, Willingham 1-6, Ashley 1-15, Pendergraft 1-14.

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