Tigers not fast enough in 48-7 home loss

Tonasket defensive back Keegan McCormick tackling an Omak running back on Thursday, Oct. 29. The Pioneers were too fast for the Tigers and Tonasket lost at home 48-7. Photo by Terry Mills

Tonasket defensive back Keegan McCormick tackling an Omak running back on Thursday, Oct. 29. The Pioneers were too fast for the Tigers and Tonasket lost at home 48-7. Photo by Terry Mills

TONASKET – The Tigers weren’t fast enough to stop a balanced Omak football team during their home game on Thursday, Oct. 29 and they lost 48-7.

Despite recovering a fumble on Omak’s first possession and a flag on Omak which brought the Tigers into the Pioneer territory, Tonasket was unable to make a first down during their first possession and had to punt back to Omak, who took possession on their own 20-yard line.

With 6:01 left in the first quarter, Omak junior quarterback Brenden Aguilar connected with junior halfback Rylan Springer for an 80-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore Josh Arzola-Guzman kicked in the extra point, giving the Pioneers a seven point lead.

On the Tigers’ next possession, they again were unable to make a first down and had to punt back to Omak. An Omak turnover on downs back to the Tigers and penalties on the Pioneers brought the Tigers deep into Omak territory, but they were unable to score and turned the ball back over to Omak on downs. As the first quarter expired, Omak senior halfback CJ Lockwood made a 79-yard touchdown run, Arzola-Guzman kicked in the extra point and the Pioneers were up 14-0.

The next two Tiger possessions saw Tonasket unable to convert to a first down and after the second such possession, Omak began a drive that took them back to the end zone. With 4:53 left in the second quarter, Aguilar connected again with Springer on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Aguilar then completed a pass to senior halfback Austin Baker for the two-point conversion and the Pioneers increased their lead to 22-0.

Failure to convert to a first down from the Tigers again gave the ball back to the Omak, who, with 25 seconds left in the half, scored again on a 27-yard Aguilar to Springer pass. Arzola-Guzman kicked in the extra point and the game went into half-time with the Pioneers up 29-0.

“I was disappointed in how we executed offensively but I thought our defense did very well,” Jay Hawkins, Tonasket head coach, said. “We asked them all week to play faster and we did that.”

Nick Sackman, Omak head coach, said he thought the Pioneers threw the ball well and did a good job offensively.

“Tonasket didn’t play too bad but we hit them with a couple of big plays,” Sackman added. “They’re a very aggressive team. They hit well, they’re well coached and they play hard.”

The second half began with the Tigers in possession but a pass from Tonasket senior quarterback Wade Detillian was intercepted by Aguilar and returned 37-yards for a touchdown with 10:17 left in the quarter. After two illegal procedure penalties on the Pioneers, the kick from Arzola-Guzman was blocked by Tonasket junior defensive back Keegan McCormick, making the score 35-0.

On the next Tiger possession, Detillian fumbled the ball and Omak recovered it on the Tonasket 23-yard line. Runs from Lockwood and Aguilar took the Pioneers to the five-yard line and from there Lockwood scored his second touchdown of the night. When the kick from Arzola-Guzman was no good, the Pioneers were ahead 41-0.

The Tigers once again had to punt back to the Pioneers on their next possession. This next drive from Omak lasted most of the rest of the third quarter and ended with a four-yard Lockwood touchdown with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. After Arzola-Guzman kicked in the extra point, Omak was ahead 48-0.

The final Tiger drive last most of the fourth quarter, during which the Tigers worked the ball down the field from their own 38-yard line to the Omak five-yard line. From there, McCormick scored the lone Tiger touchdown with 4:12 left in the game and Detillian kicked in the extra point, bringing about the final score of 48-7.

“I didn’t think it would be quite that lopsided but I thought we had a good chance scoring some points and stopping their running game,” Sackman said.

Hawkins said that, with the exception of a couple of long runs from Lockwood, he thought the Tigers did a good job of stopping the Pioneers at the line of scrimmage.

“The offense was working as hard as it could but Omak had the upper hand,” Detillian said.

“The defense played really good and stopped Lockwood,” Andrew Grillo, senior defensive end, said. “We shut down their bread and butter basically.”

As of press time, the Tigers (2-5, 3-5) did not yet know who they would be playing this weekend. Freeman, Lakeside and Kettle Falls played for the second, third and fourth places in their league earlier in the week and the Tigers will play the fourth place team. The game, as of press time, was scheduled for Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

“The real thing for this week is to finish strong and finish playing our best game,” Hawkins said.

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