WENATCHEE — When coach Scott Devereaux implemented the spread offense midway through last season, there was hope it would detract attention from a run-heavy attack that fed Isaiah Brandt-Sims the ball time and time again.
Devereaux hoped to open the field and utilize the Panthers’ deep supply of speed on offense. The 10th-year coach knew that when done right, the attack could be downright dangerous. But just about everybody was surprised by its insuppressible performance against Moses Lake on Friday.
Everyone except Devereaux.
“I’ve seen us do it before in practice,” he said. “When we’re clicking, we’re pretty darn good, and tonight, things were just clicking offensively. I think Moses Lake probably underestimated our speed a little bit and they had some alignment issues, but our guys were ready to play.”
Wenatchee hung 49 points against the then-undefeated Chiefs at the Apple Bowl and walked away with a lopsided 49-14 victory.
“I came in here thinking it was going to be a pretty close game,” said Blake Aguilar, who finished the contest with 94 total yards. “But we came out fired and ready to go and it was just awesome. It was a fun experience. In my four years, I’ve never had a game like this.”
While the win was a statement in itself, the unrelenting offensive rush was something else entirely — a team tapping into its deep pool of potential, showing a terrifying glimpse of how dangerous it is at its best.Defensively, the Chiefs had the best numbers in the Big Nine besides Sunnyside. They had given up just 647 total yards in two contests.
Their road trip to Wenatchee was a nightmare that started bad with a lost fumble on the opening kickoff and ended with 447 total yards surrendered. Seven of the Panthers’ eight first-half drives went for touchdowns. The other possession was with time winding down in the second quarter; Wenatchee elected to run the clock out, comfortable with its 49-0 advantage.
It’s no surprise the Panthers had a good game Friday. They entered the season ranked No. 10 in the Seattle Times preseason poll and with the fastest athlete in the league in their backfield. But what’s troubling for future opponents is the talent surrounding Brandt-Sims and the accompanying defense, which has quietly pitched back-to-back first-half shutouts.
Senior quarterback Dillon Sugg finished the evening 13-of-15 through the air with 250 total yards and six total touchdowns. He connected with Spencer Smith, Chase Resch, Brock Stone and Zach Larsen on touchdown scores.
For Sugg, who was coming off a record-setting performance last week against Davis, the supporting cast makes his job a lot easier.
“Oh my goodness, it’s unreal the amount of weapons I have,” he said. “I trust every one of my receivers and the three running backs I have, and that’s a huge confidence booster for a quarterback.”
This is what Devereaux envisioned months ago when he installed the spread system. It took a tough loss against Eisenhower in week one to jump-start the Panthers, but if they continue playing at this pace, there’s no telling how far they can go.
“This is what we were waiting for and we just need to keep rolling on this,” Sugg said.