PULLMAN – Once the defense and special teams had done everything Pullman needed to get a win over Prosser in Tuesday night’s winner-to-state game, it was only fitting that the defense have the game in its hands on the last drive of Pullman’s 14-13 victory.
The Greyhounds (8-2) defense kept shutting the door on the Mustangs (8-3) in the red zone, forcing two turnovers on down and intercepting a pass once Prosser got inside the Pullman 20-yard line.
Even when Prosser scored a potentially tying touchdown with about six minutes left in the game, Pullman’s Isaiah Strong blocked the extra point.
“Our defense and our special teams again,” said Pullman coach Dan Lucier. “Two weeks in a row we’ve won on blocked extra points and we figured coming in that the team that hit the hardest would win. Boy, we had our best-hitting game of year tonight.”
And the defense even scored the go-ahead touchdown after Great Northern League MVP Jake Cillay, the Pullman quarterback, sacked his Prosser counterpart Tanner Bolt, who tried to throw the ball from his own 21-yard line but ended up fumbling it backward into his own end zone, where Pullman linebacker Montre Green recovered it.
Garrett Wenger was also a force defensively for the Greyhounds with a pair of sacks.
Prosser got one more shot with from its own 14-yard line with 1:43 to play, but the Mustangs forced four incomplete passes to seal the win.
Pullman’s first score was set up by a defensive play by linebacker Ben Moos, who broke up a third-and-nine pass over the middle that would have surely extended the drive.
The Mustangs got the ball back and had prime position thanks to a 17-yard screen pass from Cillay to Joe Tingstad. Cillay had a 13-yard run of his own, to set up his one-yard plunge into the end zone for Pullman’s only offensive touchdown.
These two teams have some history. The last time Pullman made state was in 2012, which was Lucier’s first year. Their run ended when the Mustangs, who entered this year having made the state tournament in 27 of the past 29 years, knocked out the Greyhounds 59-19.
Pullman will have a short rest before faces Sedro-Woolley at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the first round of the state tournament.
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