Shocker defenders Zane Salcido (41), Andy Caballero (74) and Lakin Thomsen (80) charge the Yakama Tribal line. (Joel Harding photo)
By Joel Harding
Empire Press Correspondent
The Waterville/Mansfield football team overwhelmed Yakama Tribal, 62-36, Oct. 30 at Kellen Biggar Field. The Shockers scored early and often, dominating the first and fourth quarters. Quarterback Nolan Ruud, tailbacks Zane Salcido and Dillon McCullough and tight end Lakin Thomsen led the scoring, but it was a welcome win for all the Shockers. Place kicker Alex Capi and punter Joe Dahlke also made strong contributions.
Salcido was the early game hero. After center Andy Caballero recovered an onside kick, Salcido reeled off a 20-yard run followed by a touchdown run of 20 yards. Ruud passed to Thomsen for the conversion. Ruud then picked off a Yakama Tribal pass for another touchdown, but a penalty brought it back. Immediately, Salcido broke through the opposing line for 33 yards and another score. He then took it across the goal for the two-point conversion. After another Shocker touchdown was called back, McCullough responded with his first touchdown of the night. Ruud passed to Thomsen for two more points. It was only after this third score that the Yakama Tribal team scored its first touchdown.
After the Yakama Tribal touchdown, the teams exchanged the ball. After a Yakama play, the runner fumbled. Salcido picked up the ball and, looking back toward the official several times, took it across the goal line. The referee signaled another Waterville/Mansfield score. Salcido converted on his own touchdown. Before the half, Ruud hit Thomsen at the 50-yard line with a bullet pass. Several times on his way to the goal line, Thomsen dropped his shoulder and bulled the opponent out of his way. The Shockers did not convert after that score.
In the second half, Yakama Tribal was the first to score but McCullough came back with a 30-yard scamper to paydirt. On the conversion, Ruud turned a broken play into two more points by sprinting into the end zone. After another Yakama score, Waterville/Mansfield coaches decided to deprive the opposition of more touchdowns by controlling the ball. Alternating Salcido and McCullough, the team moved down the field, taking about five minutes to do so. McCullough crossed the goal from 10 yards out for another Shocker score. Waterville/Mansfield used up more time with the same approach which ended in another McCullough touchdown. The final Shocker counter was on a 35-yard pass from Ruud to Thomsen.
This was the last home game and Waterville/Mansfield honored senior members of the team and their parents. Shocker seniors were Nolan Ruud, Taylor Riggs, Zane Salcido, Tyler Tollackson, Joseph Dahlke, Matt McCullough, Andy Caballero and Lakin Thomsen.
Waterville plays the Liberty Bell Mountain Lions at Winthrop Nov. 6 to close out the season.