WHITE SALMON, Wash. — DeSales found themselves in a 28-0 hole here Saturday after one quarter to Oregon 3A perennial power Blanchet Catholic of Salem, Ore. It proved to be too deep of a hole for the Irish to dig out of.
The Irish blanked Blanchet in the second half, but it was too little, too late on this afternoon. Blanchet claimed a 42-28 nonconference football victory.
The Irish played without two-way starter Andrew Elmenhurst, who is out for the season with a back injury. Blanchet got the day started by driving the length of the field with the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead. After an Irish three-and-out, Blanchet upped the lead to 14-0, and the turnover bug bit the Irish.
DeSales fumbled inside their own 20, and Blanchet recovered and went on to score, 21-0. Blanchet blocked a punt inside the Irish 10, and capitalized for a 28-0 lead after one. Blanchet added two more scores in the second quarter before the Irish struck. Isaiah Scheel galloped 70 yards with Blanchet’s kickoff for an Irish score. DeSales went to the half down 42-7.
“In my years coaching DeSales football, I’ve never been associated with a poorer half of football,” Irish coach Make Spiess said. “We asked them at half if that performance was going to be the defining moment of our preseason. They had to make a decision to get better.”
The Irish responded as the defense pitched a second-half shut out and the Irish offense scored 21 unanswered third-quarter points.
Quarterback Connor Richard got the scoring started for the Irish with an 8-yard scoring strike to Darryl Galloway. Moments later, Galloway returned a Blanchet punt 50 yards to the Blanchet 10. Richard capped the short drive with a two-yard plunge and the Irish had cut into the Blanchet lead at 42-21.
Richard capped the third-quarter Irish explosion with a pass to John Crowley. The Irish went to the onside kick, and recovered, but the ball came up six inches short of the required 10 yards. DeSales went to the fourth trailing 42-28 and could get no closer.
“Blanchet is very good and three times our size, but this was very much a Jekyll and Hyde game,” Spiess said of the contrast of the Irish first half and second half. “I was pleased as our effort level was much better (in the second half). Obviously, we have to figure out a way to start games differently.”
DeSales, 1-1, travels to Mabton for a nonleague battle Friday.
Blanchet Catholic 42, DeSales 28
Blanchet 28 14 0 0 — 42
DeSales 0 7 21 0 — 28