TONASKET - Tonasket’s defense kept Kettle Falls at bay for nearly all of Friday’s contest, and an offense that sputter in the second half picked up a pair of key first downs in the final minutes as the Tigers held off the Bulldogs 13-7.
Kettle Falls had the ball at its own 28 with 4:15 to go, but the Tigers stopped the Bulldogs on four plays. Michael Orozco ran for a first down to keep the clock running, and quarterback Trevor Terris converted a 4th-and-3 with a 7-yard run inside the final minute to deny Kettle one final chance.
The Tigers got off to a quick start, taking its first possession 90 yards on 11 plays. Orozco scored on a 10-yard run to give Tonasket a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Tonasket wasn’t nearly as methodical on its second possession as Terris hit a wide-open Roberto Juarez for a 51-yard touchdown catch on its first play from scrimmage.
The Tigers held Kettle to just 90 yards and three first downs through the first three quarters and seemed to have the game well in hand. But Kettle ran a 14-play, seven-minute drive that ate up half of the fourth quarter, with Austin Anderson taking it in from four yards out to make a game of it.
Tonasket had its chances to put the game away early. Orozco had a 52-yard run for a touchdown off a fake punt erased by a penalty, and the Tigers came up empty on three other trips inside the Kettle Falls 25-yard line before the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 13-7.
Orozco led the Tigers with 121 yards rushing on 21 carries, while Terris finished 4-of-11 passing for 79 yards.
Austin Anderson ran for 77 yards on 18 carries for Kettle Falls (0-2).
The Tigers (2-0) open Caribou Trail League play at Brewster (1-1) on Friday, Sept. 20.