Tonasket homecoming week

Tigers fall to Quincy in Friday homecoming game

TONASKET – Quincy plays a close-to-the-vest, grind-it-out brand of football that isn’t spectacular, but gives an opponent few chances to take advantage of self-inflicted wounds.

Tonasket hung with the Jackrabbits for awhile, but Quincy physically hammered on the smaller Tigers until Tonasket made its own set of mistakes, which the Jacks happily availed themselves of.

The result was a 44-7 bummer of a homecoming game for the Tigers, who for a quarter looked like they could make a game of it.

“They’re solid with what they do,” said Tonasket coach Jay Hawkins. “For us to be successful we had to check a lot of boxes … they overwhlemed us with their defense. Physically they just wore us down.”

Early on the Tigers did what they had to in order to stay in the game.

That meant a pair of clock-chewing drives that, while they didn’t lead to points, get the ball in Tonasket’s hands for nearly six minutes at a stretch with drives of nine and 12 plays.

They also avoided giving up the big play early. Quincy took a 12-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but did so on lengthy drives that featured efficient, if not spectacular, inside running of five or six yards a play.

The Tigers weren’t able to stay on track as Quincy broke off a couple of big plays late in the first half. John Lindquist’s 72-yard run set up one score. A Quincy interception, followed by a 39-yard pass to Lindquist set up the real emotional dagger – a 10-yard Dallas Bassett to Connor Trevino pass as time expired in the half for a 24-0 Quincy lead.

“We had a couple drives where we kept the clock running and got some first downs,” Hawkins said. “And then we had some silly little penalties that put us into some bad situations. We suffered with some drives we might have been able to sustain. That kind of led to those explosive plays, especially right at the end of the half.

“That last play really deflated the guys. We had to do some rallying at halftime.”

The Tigers’ defense actually played better in the second half, particularly in bouncing back to force Quincy to punt after its first possession of the third quarter.

But the offense wasn’t able to maintain the grind-it-out modus operandi of early in the game, turning the ball over on its first four possessions of the second half. Three scoring drives traversing a total of less than 90 yards turned the game into a rout.

“Defensively we played a lot better in the second half, but we kept giving them short fields,” Hawkins said. “We made a couple subtle adjustments at halftime that helped us.

“It was weird – offensively we were OK in the first half and the defense wasn’t very good. In the second half, the defense played better but the offense stunk. Watching them defensively in the second half, they brought lots of blitzes at us and just overwhelmed us.”

Isaiah Yaussey-Albright scored on a six-yard run with 6:36 left in the game to get the Tigers on the scoreboard.

Michael Orozco led the Tigers with 52 yards rushing on 12 carries, with Collin Aitcheson adding 36 yards on 11 carries. Quincy piled up 331 yards on the ground to the Tigers’ 110 and held a 422-132 edge in total offense.

Tonasket (2-5, 0-5 Caribou Trail League) travels to winless Omak on Friday, Oct. 25, hoping to snag their first CTL win of the season. As Hawkins noted, there’s even a bit more on the line than that.

“Basically whoever wins gets a crossover (with a non-playoff Northeast A League team),” he said. “Mentally, it will be who can handle it upstairs. It would be great to extra to get another home game. So with something on the table, it will help.”

About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

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