LEAVENWORTH – Looking at the statistics of Tonasket’s away game against Cascade on Friday, Sept. 25, the final score of 41-13 seems like a mistake, but an inconsistent Tonasket team and a fast-moving Cascade team made the difference.
Both teams had eleven rushing first downs and eight passing first downs, but Tonasket had an extra five first downs from Cascade penalties. The teams were close in passing percentages, with Tonasket completing 11 of 24 for 114 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 45.8 percent passing game. Cascade completed nine of 20 passes for 194 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for a 45 percent passing game.
On the rushing game, Tonasket had Cascade beat with a net gain of 228 yards over the Kodiak’s 202 yards, but Cascade had three rushing touchdowns over Tonasket’s one. In penalties, Tonasket had the Kodiaks beat again. The Tigers had one penalty for 15 yards while Cascade had 12 penalties for 79 yards.
“I didn’t think the game was going to be 31-0 at halftime,” Jay Hawkins, Tonasket head coach, said. “We were moving the ball effectively but weren’t able to get points on the board. They’re a great team but my gut feeling is that they weren’t 28 points better than us. I thought we were more evenly matched than that.”
Cascade head coach Elia Ala’ilima-Daley said he was surprised at the difference in scores as well.
“I thought we had a good chance of winning, but 31-0 at halftime was surprising,” Daley said. “I really expected the game to be closer than that. I never expected to have that kind of lead going into the second half.”
In scoring, the Kodiaks controlled the board for the first half. In the first quarter, Cascade senior quarterback Evan Parton connected with junior wide receiver Ethan Nash for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Senior kicker Matthew Stefanko kicked in the extra point and also completed a 25-yard field goal later that quarter.
In the second quarter, senior running back Martin Forchemer made a 78-yard touchdown fumble return and senior running back Roberto Mendoza made a one-yard touchdown run. Stefanko kicked in extra points for each touchdown.
The only score in the third quarter was a 28-yard field goal from Stefanko. Tonasket finally made it onto the board in the fourth quarter. The first Tiger touchdown came from a three-yard run from junior running back Keegan McCormick. Senior quarterback Wade Detillian kicked in the extra point. Half-way through the fourth quarter, Detillian connected with senior wide receiver Damon Sprague for a 25-yard touchdown pass but Detillian’s extra point kick was no good. The final score of the game came from a one-yard run from Mendoza accompanied by an extra point kick from Stefanko.
“We had some shining moments but we’ve got to get more consistent,” Hawkins said. “There were times where we played really well and then made too many mistakes. We’ve got to strive for consistency now.”
McCormick rushed for 173 yards while sophomore running back John Stedtfeld rushed for 59 yards for the Tigers. For the Kodiaks, Mendoza rushed for 134 yards and Forchemer rushed for 44 yards.
Junior tight end Tyler Thornton received five passes for 43 yards and Sprague received two passes for 52 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers. Senior running back Taylor Isadore received four passes for 87 yards for the Kodiaks while sophomore running back Dwight Stoddard, III received one pass for 49 yards.
In passing, Detillian completed 10 of 19 attempts for 102 yards while Parton completed eight of 19 for 145 yards. Junior wide receiver Tyler Laurie intercepted one pass and junior wide receiver Corbin Moser intercepted another Kodiaks pass for a 20-yard Tiger gain. Stefanko intercepted one pass for 16 yards.
“We played with a lot of heart but we had a lot of trouble breaking down and making tackles,” junior line backer Dustin Silverthorn said. “In the second half, we started making plays and played a heck of a second half. We basically won the second half and I was proud of the team.”
Hawkins said he was proud of how the team showed character in the second half and stayed together as a team throughout the game. He said he’s optimistic about the upcoming game against Brewster and that he knows the team will work hard and be ready to play on Friday.
Tonasket (0-2, 1-2) plays their Homecoming game against Brewster on Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.