Big Win And Back On Track
WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks played their most complete game of the season last Saturday as they trounced the visiting Tri-Cities Fire 66-28. The offense was moving the ball, mostly on the ground and the defense was playing stout, keeping the pressure on the opposing quarterback all night long.
“Once they got locked in, they played excellently. That was definitely the best game we’ve played all season for 60 minutes. I’m very pleased,” said WV Head Coach Keith Evans.
The Skyhawks scored a touchdown on their first two plays from scrimmage, a 25-yard run by receiver Devonte Solomon and a 20-yard run by running back Tommy DeJohnette. That gave WV a 14-6 lead early on.
The Fire got a great kickoff return to the Skyhawk 9-yard line on their second possession. Two plays later, Dequincy Reed scored on a 4-yard run. Their 2-point conversion tied the game at 14-14 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.
The next Skyhawk possession started on their own 9-yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Jarvis Alston ran 1-yard for the score. WV was playing without a kicker, so their 2-point conversion made the score 22-14 early in the second quarter.
On the next Fire possession, they drove down to the Skyhawk 5-yard line but fumbled. Gabriel Collins recovered the fumble and returned it to midfield, where he handed the ball off to another defender, who ran it in for the score.
With the 2-point conversion, WV now led 30-14 with 9:46 to go before the half. The next Fire possession, their field goal attempt was blocked. WV took over at the Fire 19-yard line. Four plays later, Alston scrambled 2-yards for the score.
The Skyhawks now led 38-14 with the 2-point conversion. The WV defense snuffed out the final Fire possession before half as they were forced to give it up on downs.
WV led 38-14 at the half.
“I didn’t change anything in the playbook. I did consistently stay with the game plan, which was run the ball down their throat. They were going to get a big dose of that fly sweep with the zone read. I figured we would play that all night,” Evans said.
The first possession for the Fire in the second half ended with a Collins pick. WV took over at the Tri-Cities 20-yard line. Alston connected 20-yards to Steve Morgan for the score. That made it 44-14 as they missed the 2-point conversion.
The Fire came right back with a score on their next possession, an 8-play, 30-yard drive as quarterback Travis Martin threw 2-yards for the score. That cut the lead to 44-22 as they converted the 2-point conversion.
After a great kickoff return to the Fire 10-yard line, the Skyhawk scored again on 3-yard run by Alston. With the 2-point conversion, they led 52-22. On the ensuing kickoff, ultra quick Ronnie Rosendahl returned it for a TD to cut the lead to 52-28 with 2:46 to go in the third quarter.
The two teams traded interceptions heading into the fourth quarter. Wenatchee Valley was able to convert their turnover for a touchdown as Solomon ran 3-yards. That increased the lead to 66-25.
The final score came on the game’s final play as Alston scrambled 44-yards for the TD. The Skyhawks won 66-28.
“The d-line brought the heat again. I was pleased with their effort. I just want us to be consistent with what we are doing. That is my thing. We need the consistency,” Evans said.
The Skyhawks rushed 23 times for 215 yards while the Fire ran 10 times for 15 yards. Alston was 2-for-10 passing for 40 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Martin was 11-for-21 for 114 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
Wenatchee quarterback Alston is a tremendous athlete from Florida who did not play college ball. He is an interesting story.
“Jarvis is a special athlete with the pass and run. He comes from a place I coached in Florida. Nothing but pros come out of that area, between Tampa and Orlando. It is a very small community,” Evans said of Alston. “Those athletes live and breath football. If they don’t go to college, a lot of them become professionals playing indoor and semipro football. They are that good.”
WV had 8 first downs, while TC had 7. The Skyhawks were penalized 6 times for 40 yards. The Fire was penalized 2 times for 15 yards.
Wenatchee Valley improves to 4-4 in the American West Conference. Tri-Cities fell to 0-8. Next Saturday, the Skyhawks play at unbeaten Idaho. The Horsemen are 8-0 with three victories over Wenatchee Valley.
“It’s a big game for us. We just need to be consistent and execute. Anybody who has seen the Idaho games knows we can beat them. They very well could be 5-3, but this isn’t horseshoes. They’ll be ready and they are hungry. It’s going to be intense. We need consistency, execution and ball security,” Evans said
photos by Russ Alman