MOSES LAKE — The Wenatchee Panthers’ crushed Moses Lake 42-13 on Friday night in their first road game of the season. Despite the lopsided win, the game was close at the end of the first half with Wenatchee leading 14-6 before the Panthers blew up in the second half.
The first quarter was owned by the Panthers, putting up two touchdowns and over 100 yards rushing on the ground. That’s when Moses Lake’s defense stiffened, and their offense came alive thanks to some trick plays. One such play was on their touchdown when the Chief’s running back Logan Sperline took the pitch and threw the ball back to quarterback Everett Ashley for a 19 yard score.
After halftime, the Panthers regrouped and seem to have a fire in their bellies after the poor second quarter effort. On the first play in the second half, running back Nate Blauman burst through the line for a 64 yard gain down to the Moses Lake 6. Blauman then capped off the drive on the next play with a 6 yard touchdown run.
Then the Panthers’ defense got their opportunity to shine, and shine they did when DB Sebastian Esquivel snagged the ball out of the air for an interception and raced to the end zone for the score.
With under 5 minutes into the third quarter, the Panthers extended their lead to 28-6.
This proved to be the turning point of the game as Wenatchee was in command the rest of the way. Blauman followed up his 326 yards on the ground last week against Eisenhower with another impressive showing of 229 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns behind a controlling offensive line, led by offensive lineman Sim Cass who was named player of the game.
Blauman also completed a pass to quarterback Camden Sirmon after taking the pitch for a 57 yard completion in the first half.
It was a team effort for Wenatchee, and a greedy Panthers defense forced 6 Chief turnovers, consistently giving their offense great field position. Esquivel finished with 4 tackles to go with his intercept, and Josh Bushong had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery
Wenatchee remains undefeated in the Big 9 at 2-0 (4-1 overall) and Moses Lake stays winless at 0-2 in the league and 0-5 overall. Wenatchee’s next foe is West Valley next Friday in Yakima.