TONASKET – Brewster used aerial dominance taking a 21-13 first half lead while the Tigers couldn’t convert scoring opportunities when they had to.
After a scoreless second half defensive struggle, the Bears made their victory stand up, walking away with a road win and their second Caribou Trail League victory.
“It was kind of an interesting game in that there were 34 points scored in the first half and there was a 0-0 deadlock in the second half,” Tiger coach Jay Hawkins said. “We’re disappointed in the result and that the game didn’t work out in our favor, but we continue to see improvement in many areas.
“This (Tiger) team just continues to get better.”
And Hawkins acknowledged that so do the Bears and senior quarterback Austin Benson, who was only cleared to play for Brewster the day before, but threw for 296 yards connecting for 12 of 20 passes.
“(Benson) adds a whole new dimension” to Brewster’s office, Hawkins said.
Brewster launched a quick first strike with Benson connecting for a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jason Brown midway through the first quarter. Jesse Villalobos’ point after kick failed.
Tonasket answered right back with a 27-yard touchdown run by freshman Keegan McCormick and took a one-point lead on Sean Timmerman’s extra point kick.
“Keegan certainly has run the ball extremely hard for us,” Hawkins said and is “really maturing at the varsity level.”
Brewster launched yet another touchdown bomb with Benson connecting for a 51-yard touchdown grab, this time to Wade Gebbers. The Bears took a touchdown lead after the same pair again connected moments later for a two-point pass conversion.
A three-yard touchdown scramble by Timmerman again brought the Tigers within a point after Timmerman’s extra point kick was blocked.
And add another connection between Benson and Gebbers with less than a minute remaining and the Bears had a 21-13 halftime lead. .
“It was an extremely exciting game, both teams,” Hawkins said. “There were big plays and both teams were real physical.”
Justin Mann “played real solid football for us,” Hawkins said, with Jeremy Dellinger and Mann “both consistent” as the Tiger cornerbacks.
And it was “fun to see” Zach Clarkson get two interceptions, Hawkins said.
Clarkson contributed to an aspect of what Hawkins and his coaching staff like to term “ball disruption” with Clarkson making key interception stops in both the first and second halves.
The Tigers good fortune turned to heartbreak late in the fourth quarter as Tonasket lined up at first and goal inside the Brewster 10-yard line, yet were unable to score. Brewster took over the ball on downs at their own one-yard-line.
Brewster tucks in behind Cashmere and Cascade at 2-1 (CTL) and 4-1 (overall), while Tonasket is tied with Chelan at 1-2 (CTL) and 2-3 (overall).
The top four CTL teams make the playoffs.
The Tigers meet undefeated Cascade (3-0, CTL and 5-0, overall) in tomorrow night’s Homecoming game, but face beatable foes in Omak, Chelan and finally Lake Roosevelt to finish out October and the regular season.