As the weather turned, so did the fortunes for the East Valley Knights.
Just when blustery winds and hail moved into the area, the Knights were seeing an early lead evaporate and turn into a 25-20 Othello victory in the first round of the State 2A playoffs.
The Huskies took advantage of a high snap over East Valley quarterback Connor Ramm late in the third quarter that resulted in a fumble recovery on the EV 10-yard line. A couple plays later, running back Tanner Wagner ran 19 yards for a touchdown. The Huskies missed on a two-point conversion. At that point, they trailed the Knights 20-19.
The Huskies caught the Knights off guard on the ensuing kickoff and recovered an onside kick. The Huskies marched down the field and fullback Josiah Peterson stumbled into the end zone from 6 yards out to give the Huskies the lead. Othello again missed a two-point conversion.
East Valley, with the harsh wind and hail at its back, threatened and looked as if it was destined for the late victory. However, Ramm threw an interception with 2 minutes left to all but seal the deal for the Huskies.
The Knights had one last chance with the ball deep in their own territory, but could not muster much movement and turned the ball over on downs. The Huskies took two knees to end the game.
The Knights opened the scoring when Dan Keplin-Jensen took a short pass from Ramm, broke a few tackles and found himself in the end zone after scampering 47 yards.
Othello got on the board when freshman quarterback Adrian Garza ran in from 4 yards out.
The Knights’ J.T. Phelan pulled in a 5-yard TD reception in the first half and soon followed with an interception return for a score. The Huskies lined up to punt only to fake it with a pass, but Phelan was there to pick it off and take it to the house.
The Knight’s 20-7 lead heading into halftime seemed strong, but once the weather turned in the second half, it was all Othello.
With the loss, East Valley – the regular-season champion of the Great Northern League – will see its season end with an overall record of 6-4.
The Huskies advance and will play Ellensburg – a 27-6 winner over Colville – in the next round of the playoffs.