KETTLE FALLS- On a misty night so cold spectators could see steam coming off of the players, the Tonasket Tigers put together four quarters against the Kettle Falls Bulldogs on Friday, Nov. 7 to come out with a win.
The game began at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. and after a long, sustained drive moving more than 60 yards down the field, junior quarterback Wade Detillian rushed for 21 yards into the end zone, giving the Tigers their first six points. When Detillian threw a completed pass to senior wide receiver Michael Hulse for the two-point conversion, the score was 8-0 with 6:30 left in the first quarter
The Bulldogs began their first possession of the night in their own territory and with 4:54 left in the first quarter Kettle Falls made a field goal attempt from 28 yards out. Senior Jake Ellison made the field goal and the score was 8-3.
The second quarter began with the Tigers in possession in their own territory once again. For their second drive of the game, Tonasket worked the ball down the field, ten yards at a time, and with 3:47 left in the first half, senior wide receiver Justin Mann ran in a two yard touchdown. With Hulse’s completed kick, the score was 15-3 as the clock wore down into half-time.
“Those two drives we had in the first half were the longest we’ve had all season and that’s how we wanted to play,” Jay Hawkins, Tigers head coach, said.
Kettle Falls head coach Curtis Corvino said he thought both teams were able to put together drives against each other’s defenses that wore the clock down.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs scored their first and only touchdown of the game. With 7:29 left in the quarter, senior quarterback Shelby Hite scored a 10-yard touchdown but the extra point kick hit the center of the field goal post. With the extra point no good the score was 15-9.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs twice came within scoring distance before trying passes from Hite. Both passes were intercepted by sophomore defensive back Tyler Laurie. The second interception from Laurie was caught near the Tiger’s end zone with less than one minute left in the game. The Tigers knelt on the ball during their last two plays, winning the game 15-9, making their record 2-5 in league, 4-5 overall.
“I’m really excited we could play so great for our seniors and our team,” Laurie said. “I was really excited for that last interception. My heart was racing and I was expecting a deep ball. It felt great.”
Mann echoed Laurie’s sentiments, stating that he was relieved the seniors came together as a core and won their last game.
“We wanted to come over and do what we needed to do to win,” Mann said. “We closed everything up. We wanted to play a full game and we put together four quarters.”
Hawkins said that after this season, the team will have more experience next year.
“We played with a lot of young guys this year and if experience is going to help, we’re going to have that ingredient,” he said.
Senior defensive back Brandon Wahl seemed to be thinking along the same lines.
“I’m excited for next year’s team,” Wahl said. “It gets them prepared for next season.”