Cheney Picked Off In Playoffs Interceptions Help Prosser Beat Blackhawks
Prosser wide receiver Matt Hoefer caught five of quarterback Joey Williams’ eight pass completions and gained 70 yards.
His four interceptions of Cheney QB Richard DeMulling throws were what broke the Blackhawks’ heart.
Two of Hoefer’s picks led to touchdowns, including the winning score as No. 2 Prosser downed No. 3 Cheney 20-13 in a State AA football playoff game at Cheney.
“I just read my reads and did what I was supposed to,” said Hoefer, who was moved to free safety midway through the season and played this game nursing a pulled groin muscle.
Cheney coach Tom Oswald got the weather he wished for, a biting storm that covered the field with about an inch of wet snow.
But even with the sloppy conditions he didn’t get the results he had sought.
After the Blackhawks took the second half kickoff out to the 31-yard-line with the score tied 13-13, Hoefer intercepted DeMulling for the second time in the game and returned it to the 3-yard-line.
Three plays later Williams rolled to his left and passed to Shane Vasile for the winning score with 9:33 left in the quarter.
Cheney had several opportunities to get even. It moved inside Mustang territory four times and once got as close as the 17-yard-line.
Twice DeMulling threw incomplete on fourth down and twice more Hoefer stepped up and picked him off.
The weather didn’t bother either Hoefer or his coach Tom Moore.
“It was an opportunity to play in the snow,” said the senior receiver-DB. “We don’t get that much at home.”
Moore is originally from Chicago where snow is a football fact of life.
“It’s a beautiful night for football,” the everenthusiastic coach said. “It’s just like a game in Soldier Field.”
Oswald had hoped inclement weather conditions would favor his power-running team over the quicker Mustangs. The visitors, however, exploited the perimeter of Cheney’s defense with the mushing of Tom Ollinger, got several timely conversions on third down and made the most of the interceptions.
Prosser scored 3 minutes into the second period after Hoefer’s first interception. It came a play after Cheney’s Javier Salazar recovered a fumble at the Blackhawks 43.
It took nine plays, a 17-yard reception by Hoefer on third-and-9 and five carries by Ollinger for 38 yards and the score.
Chad Randall got it back in a hurry, dashing through the snow 86 yards on the kickoff to tie the game.
But Prosser answered in six plays, including a 21-yard catch by Hoefer. Williams rolled right and hit Taryn Hartley from 2-yards away.
Cheney tied the score less than 3 minutes later, DeMulling finding Abdul Odood on a 53-yard bomb and sneaking it over. It was one of only two completions in 16 attempts by Cheney’s QB.
Despite 101 yards rushing on 18 carries by Joey Medeiros and fumble recoveries by Nathan Meese and Randall, Cheney self-destructed with penalties and turnovers in the second half.
“In weather like this you can’t play perfect football,” said Moore. “If things like that happen you just have to come back.”
Prosser, now 9-0, did. Cheney didn’t and ended the season at 9-1.
“When the quarterback doesn’t make the plays, you can’t win,” said Oswald.
Prosser 20, Cheney 13
Prosser 0 13 7 0 - 20
Cheney 0 13 0 0 - 13
Prosser-Ollinger 5 run (Andrews kick)
Cheney-Randall 86 kickoff return (Reynolds kick)
Prosser-Hartley, 2 pass from Williams (kick failed)
Cheney-DeMulling 1 run (run failed)
Prosser-Vasile 3 pass from Williams (Andrews kick)
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo