The Mt. Spokane football team’s defense made a cameo appearance here and there, and the Wildcats’ offense wasn’t on the field much for that matter.
When Mt. Spokane’s offense was on the Albi Stadium turf, though, it was efficient and destructive as the Wildcats sprinted past the Kennewick Lions 62-35 in a 3A play-in Friday.
Mt. Spokane (9-1) stays at Albi and will take on University (6-4) next Friday in the first game of a doubleheader as the postseason reaches the first round of the WIAA playoffs.
Junior slotback Chase Naccarato scored five of Mt. Spokane’s touchdowns. He finished with 126 yards rushing and had seven receptions for 71.
“Our line blocked really great and it sprung me into the open field and I took care of business from there,” Naccarato said.
Naccarato scored on runs of 1, 2, 43, 2 and 3 yards.
Mt. Spokane needed just seven plays to score on the game’s first possession when fullback Kellen Clute plunged in from a yard out.
Then on the ensuing kickoff, Kennewick (7-3) fumbled and Brady Roberts recovered for the Wildcats at the Lions’ 14-yard line.
Four plays later, Naccarato scored his first TD. Barely 4 minutes into the game, the Wildcats were up 14-0.
Kennewick needed just two plays to cut the lead in half when Grant Woods dashed 55 yards.
Mt. Spokane followed with an 11-play series, scoring on Naccarato’s second TD.
The offensive flurry continued on the kickoff when Woods broke loose for a 78-yard TD, pulling the Lions within 21-14 with 2:27 to go in the opening period.
Both teams would exchange TDs again, Kennewick’s next score pulling it within 28-21 with 8:29 to go before halftime.
That would be the last time the Wildcats would be within eyesight of Kennewick.
The Wildcats scored two more TDs to close the half ahead 42-21.
In the third quarter, Naccarato’s fourth TD doubled up the score, extending the Wildcats’ lead to 56-28 at the 5:50 mark.
“It’s the most points we scored on purpose, I know that,” Mt. Spokane coach Mike McLaughlin said, when asked if it was the most points in school history. “We just executed and got out front. We couldn’t stop them and they couldn’t stop us.”
Mt. Spokane, which had 356 yards total offense at halftime, finished with 548. Kennewick, led by the 192 yards rushing and 96 passing from quarterback Drew Loftus, ended with 373.
“We’ve got to get better (defensively),” McLaughlin said. “We’re still playing and that’s the key. There are no style points at this point. They’re (Kennewick) a pretty sound defensive team and I don’t think they’ve give up anything like that this year. But we couldn’t stop them at all. This is not quite the script we had in mind.”
Both Naccarato and Blumenthal praised their offensive line.
“Our guys up front played really well,” Blumenthal said. “They needed to step up and that’s what led us to victory.”
Defense will definitely be a point of emphasis next week for the Wildcats.
“We’ve got to go back and re-evaluate it and tackle better and have a little more sense of urgency,” McLaughlin said.
University 21, Eastmont 6: The Titans scored their first postseason victory in school history, and they did it on the road.
Their reward is a rematch with Mt. Spokane, which topped U-Hi 42-23 when the teams played Oct. 1.
Running back Jory Zettle put the Titans ahead 7-0 in the first quarter on a 3-yard run.
Moments later, Eastmont (6-4) pulled within 7-6. but in the second period, the Titans took the lead for good when Zettle caught a 24-yard TD pass from quarterback Connor Johnson.
In the fourth period, Jeff Moe put the game out of reach with 2:18 to go when he returned an interception 32 yards for a TD.
Zettle finished with 106 yards rushing and caught two passes for 51. Johnson passed for 108, completing 7 of 15.
The Titans limited Eastmont to 208 yards.