WAITSBURG — The Waitsburg Elite raced to a 6-0 lead here in the first 15 minutes of Washington Football League action Saturday. Spokane owned the next 30 minutes, however, as the Wolfpack scored 28 unanswered and went on to up finish the Elite 34-14.
John Williams stopped the Wolfpack’s Marquis Allen a yard short on a third-and-two from Spokane’s own 38. Williams’ stop forced a three-and-out on Spokane’s first possession of the afternoon.
Zach Clow’s 46 yard punt backed the Elite up to their own 15 to start their first possession. Following a Wolfpack offside penalty — their first of 10 penalties for 90 yards — quarterback George Martinez came to the line on second-and-eight from his own 17.
Martinez found Brandon Mitchell along the far side line, and Mitchell raced to the house to complete an 83-yard scoring play. The point after failed and the Elite led 6-0 with 11:35 left in the first.
“We started out good,” Elite coach Brandon Tate said. “This was an exhibition game as we try to get ready for the playoffs. We didn’t want to show too much. We just went pretty basic.”
A.J. Walker recorded a first quarter sack for the Elite as Waitsburg kept Spokane bottled up and took a 6-0 lead to the end of the first.
The Elite got backed up by Clow’s 32-yard punt and Jesus Solis, who punted five times for an average of 43.2 yards on the night, boomed a 45-yard punt from his own five and Spokane opened its second quarter in Elite territory.
Quarterback Travis Martin ran a naked bootleg in from 3 yards out to get the Wolfpack on the board with 9:38 left in the half. Clow added the point after and Spokane never looked back.
A 31-yard pass from Martin to Adam Anderson with 3:47 left in the half ran the score to 14-6. Following a 38-yard interception return by Cooper Wilson, the Wolfpack tacked on one more with nine seconds left in the half and went to intermission up 21-6.
Martin hit the Wolfpack’s go-to guy, Justin Meusy, on a 10-yard scoring pass with 8:42 left in the third. Meusy finished the game with 110 rushing yards and six receptions for 94 yards to lead the Wolfpack. Meusy’s score was the only score in the third as Spokane went to the fourth up 28-6.
“They are really good,” Tate said of the Wolfpack. “They have enough people for two teams. They are solid, but we’ll have a better game plan for them for the playoffs.”
The Elite got a safety on a bad Wolfpack snap and Martinez connected with Mike McGee on a 39-yard scoring pass in the fourth to run the final score to 34-14. Martinez finished 9-of-23 with one interception for 192 yards and two TDs.
“We rested a lot of starters,” Tate said. “We wanted to get out and get some work in to get the kinks out.”
The Elite finish the regular season at 5-2, both losses coming at the hands of Spokane, and will take the WFL’s No. 2 seed into the postseason. Waitsburg will host Wenatchee, a 22-21 overtime loser to the Elite, Saturday. The winner advances to the league championship game.
“We’ve got to prepare for the playoffs now,” Tate said. “We’ve got to come out firing.”
Spokane 34, WAITSBURG 14
Spokane 0 21 7 6 — 34
Waitsburg 6 0 0 8 — 14
Waits — Mitchell 83 pass from Martinez (kick failed).
Spo — Martin 3 run (Clow kick).
Spo — Anderson 31 pass from Martin (Clow kick).
Spo — Allen 5 run (Clow kick).
Spo — Meusy 10 pass from Martin (Clow kick).
Spo — Meusy 11 run (kick failed).
Waits — Safety (Spo snap out of end zone).
Waits — McGee 39 pass from Martinez (kick failed).
First downs 16 7
Rushes/yards 43-207 21-18
Passing yards 138 200
Passes (att-comp-int) 22-11-0 27-11-0
Punts 5-41.6 5-43.2
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 10-90 5-37
RUSHING — Spo: Meusy 14-110-1, Allen 8-52-1, Martin 9-22-1, Hughes 3-4, Anderson 6-33, Clow 1-2, Team 2-(-16); Waits: Summers 3-5, Beal 8-7, Romero 1-0, Martinez 1-(-2), Moore 6-21, Gillentine 1-(-7), Team 1-(-6).
PASSING — Spo: Martin 11-22-0, 138 yards, 2 TDs; Waits: Martinez 9-23-1, 192 yards, 2 TDs; Smith 0-1-0; Boling 2-3-0, 8 yards.
RECEIVING — Spo: Meusy 6-94-1, Perry 1-2, Anderson 2-31-1, Word 1-(-3), Clow 1-14; Waits: Mitchell 2-100-1, Beal 1-5, Summers 1-8, Atkinson 3-22, Smith 1-16, Moore 1-1, McGee 2-48-1.