TONASKET – The 14 seniors on the Tonasket Tigers football team had a rough final home game on Friday, Oct. 29 when they lost to the Okanogan Bulldogs 42-7.
The evening began on a high note for the Tigers when, on their second play from scrimmage, senior running back Keegan McCormick ran in a 59-yard touchdown just 48 seconds into the game. With junior kicker Lazaro Ortega making a good point-after-touchdown, the Tigers scored the only points in the first quarter. The game went downhill from there for Tonasket.
“We got off to a great start with our TD on the second play from scrimmage,” Jay Hawkins, Tigers head coach, said. “After that, we struggled to find that emotional level a team needs.”
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs scored three touchdowns. The first was an 11-yard touchdown pass from junior tight end Joe Townsend to junior wide receiver Haden Bristol with 9:38 left in the first half. The second was an 81-yard pass from Townsend to Bristol with 5:34 left in the second quarter. The third Bulldog touchdown was a six-yard run by junior wide receiver Danny Parks with 2:32 left in the first half. Parks also played kicker for the Bulldogs, sending in three good PATs in the second quarter. The game went into half-time with Okanogan up 21-7 over the Tigers.
“Okanogan played a great game against us,” Hawkins said. “We had a difficult time stopping their offense.”
In the third quarter, the Tiger defense was able to hold the Bulldogs off from scoring for most of the quarter, but with 4:10 left in the quarter, Townsend passed to Parks who then completed a 35-yard pass to Bristol. With 1:04 left in the third quarter, Townsend completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Parks. Parks gave the Bulldogs two more points with good PATs after each touchdown.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, the Tigers were able to hold the Bulldogs to just one touchdown, which occurred on a two-yard run from senior running back Connor Tupling with 4:08 left in the game. Parks’ final PAT of the night was good, bringing about the final score of 42-7.
“It was a strange night of football for the Tigers,” Hawkins said. “We committed penalties we have not had all season and turned the ball over in areas we have been solid on this year.”
Tonasket senior lineman Zach Neal, disheartened after the loss, said he thought the game didn’t go well.
“We’re disappointed,” Neal said. “I guess you can’t control how anything works out, but still. We threw the ball a little better this game and we had one interception, so that was good.”
Despite the loss, McCormick led the game in rushing with 149 yards while Okanogan’s top rusher was Tupling with 107 yards. For the Tigers, senior running back Tyler Laurie received the ball twice for 20-yards and senior wide receiver Corbin Moser received once for 18-yards while Bristol received the ball 10 times for 195-yards for the Bulldogs and Parks received it eight times for 62-yards. Tonasket junior quarterback Dylan Fewkes completed three of five passes for 28-yards and had one interception while for the Bulldogs, Townsend completed 21 of 24 passes for 257-yards.
For their final game, the Tigers (1-4, 3-5) will play against the Newport Grizzlies (0-5, 2-6), the Northeast A League #6 team. The game will be in Newport, but as of press time the game time had not yet been set.
Finally, for coverage of Tonasket’s game against Chelan on Friday, Oct. 22, see the sports page of the Gazette-Tribune’s Web site at gazette-tribune.com.