WALLA WALLA — Dayton dominated time of possession — with 67 offensive plays to 32 by DeSales — here Friday at Ty Baffney Field in Southeast 2B League football action.
But the Irish dominated the scoreboard with a 35-13 win.
“This game was opposite of a typical Dayton game,” Irish coach Mike Spiess said. “We couldn’t stop them and they couldn’t stop us. Our offense was better than I thought it would be and our defense wasn’t as good as it needed to be. We got the win and nobody got hurt.”
The first five minutes proved to be a microcosm of what was to come.
Dayton opened — behind Lowden Smith’s five carries for 22 yards — with a drive to its 45 before Jarod Koopman stopped Smith and forced a Dayton punt.
The Irish broke Isaiah Scheel down the far-side line on their first offensive snap for 69 yards.
One Irish play and it was 7-0 DeSales with 7:30 left in the first.
DeSales forced a three-and-out and took over on its own 27.
On DeSales’ fourth play of the quarter, quarterback Connor Richard hit Darryl Galloway on a crossing pattern and Galloway turned a 13-yard pass into a 75-yard touchdown.
Dayton had the ball for the last four minutes of the quarter, but trailed 14-0 after one.
The Bulldogs ran 18 plays and used more than 10 minutes before an incomplete pass gave the ball back to the Irish at their 8 with 5:49 left in the second.
The Irish went three-and-out and the Bulldogs had the ball back at the Irish 30 with 4:51 to go in the half. Braden Kimball dropped Smith for no gain on a fourth-and-3 at the Irish 13 and DeSales took over with 1:30 left.
Richard went to the air exclusively, completing passes to Jackson Kent, Tyler Jacobson, Scheel and to Galloway for the last 29 yards as the Irish went up 21-0 with seven seconds left in the half.
“They big-played us,” Bulldog coach Dean Bickelhaupt said. “That’s DeSales’ football. I knew if we couldn’t get to their quarterback, their passing would hurt us. Their line did a good job as we didn’t get to the quarterback.
“We were in the red zone and had three miscues with penalties that put us out of position,” he continued. “Those things just get you. We could’ve had more scores and made it closer.”
Smith was Dayton’s workhorse as he carried 21 times in the first half for 108 rushing yards, and that trend would continue.
Dayton’s Logan Hays stole the ball from Scheel on DeSales’ first offensive play of the second half.
The Bulldogs ran Cal Martin for six yards and Christian Warner hit Smith for 10 yards on a swing pass to march to the Irish 15. Koopman and Kent sacked Warner for a loss of 16, Smith got 11 of that back, but the Irish took over on downs.
Scheel, on DeSales’ third snap of the period, broke free for 74 yards and a 28-0 Irish lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs took over at their own 36. Smith ripped off a 39-yard gallop and accounted for all 64 yards of the 64-yard Dayton drive.
With 14 seconds left in the quarter, Smith rambled in from the 15 and kicked the PAT, but DeSales, on only four third-quarter offensive plays, took a 28-7 lead to the fourth.
A Galloway halfback pass to Adam Eskil for 34 yards set up a Richard one-yard plunge as the Irish extended the lead to 35-7 with 10:33 left.
The Bulldogs answered as Smith scored on a 23-yard run to cut the Irish lead to the final 35-13 margin with 7:21 left.
Hays recovered his second fumble and Andrew Mendoza intercepted an Irish pass to keep DeSales off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
The Bulldog story was Smith’s 43 carries for 300 yards.
“Lowden had a heck of a night,” Bickelhaupt said. “What a workhorse. And our (offensive) line (Hays, Cody Snider, Kobie Sunderland-Herrin, Mendoza, Robert Loper) had a tremendous game. They kept their feet moving and really pushed.”
“Smith ran hard,” Spiess said. “To Dayton’s credit, they played hard. Defensively, we have some kids playing out of position, but you still have to tackle.”
Dayton, which suited only 14 players, draws a bye and will look to get healthy.
“Having Zack Waggoner back at tight end and D-end will be huge,” Bickelhaupt said. “In a couple of weeks, hopefully, we’ll have Guy Spalinger back. We can finish with all my starters back. I tell the guys to just keep working hard and we’ll finish strong.”
Scheel ran for 158 yards on six carries, Galloway caught three balls for 115 yards and two scores, and Richard threw for 180 yards to lead DeSales to a 1-0 league start.
The Irish host Waitsburg-Prescott Friday.
“Every week is a learning experience,” Spiess said. “We’re moving forward and have a big game next week.”
DeSales 35, Dayton 13
Dayton 0 0 7 6 — 13
DeSales 14 7 7 7 — 35
DeS — Scheel 69 run (Galloway kick).
DeS — Galloway 75 pass from Richard (Galloway kick).
DeS — Galloway 29 pass from Richard (Galloway kick).
DeS — Scheel 74 run (Galloway kick).
Day — Smith 15 run (Smith kick).
DeS — Richard 1 run (Galloway kick).
Day — smith 23 run (kick failed).
First downs 13 9
Rushes/yards 63-312 14-211
Passing yards 18 214
Passes (att-comp-int) 4-2-0 18-9-0
Punts 2-26.0 1-22.0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-2
Penalties-yards 9-55 3-25
RUSHING — Day: Smith 43-300-2, Kleck 5-4, Warner 5-7, Martin 7-22, Team 3-(-21); DeS: Scheel 6-158-1, Healy 4-30, Richard 2-26-1, Leahy 1-6, Team 1-(-9).
PASSING — Day: Warner 2-4-0, 18 yards; DeS: Richard 8-15-0, 180 yards, 2 TDs, Galloway 1-1-0, 34 yards, Leahy 0-2-1.
RECEIVING — Day: Smith 2-18; DeS: Galloway 3-115-2, Kent 2-28, Jacobson 1-17, Scheel 1-17, Eskil 2-37.