EAST WENATCHEE — Eastmont came into the game as perhaps the favorite to win the Big-9 but upstart Moses Lake gave them all they could handle. The Chiefs used a running attack in the second half to run away with a 21-13 win.
“We made a lot of mistakes. I did a really poor job as a coach this week. We did not do a good job of getting our guys prepared. I got to do a better job next week as a coach in getting these guys ready to roll,” said Eastmont Head Coach Michael Don. “We’ve kind of let some things slip and slide and it showed tonight. We’re really struggling in those barn-burner games.”
It was a balanced first half between the two teams. Both struggled to get the offense going, but the defenses were stout.
Eastmont muffed a punt attempt, giving Moses Lake great field position at the Wildcat 34-yard line, but the defense recorded a sack on third down forcing a punt.
Moses Lake, on their second possession, drove 57 yards for the score. The big play was a 45-yard pass from junior quarterback Brock Clark to sophomore Hayden Throneberry to the Eastmont 2-yard line. Next play, Clark ran it in.
Moses Lake led 7-0 with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Eastmont’s first score was set up by a sack from the defense. Senior defensive end Anthony Lopez sacked Clark, forcing the fumble. The Wildcats took over the Chiefs 39-yard line. Runs from juniors Gunnar Peterson and Austin Ruffins set up the 15-yard TD run by junior Colby King.
Eastmont tied the game at 7-7 with 10:04 left in the half.
Next Wildcat possession, the team went 76-yards in seven plays for the touchdown. Ruffins excited the crowd with a 56-yard run, showing off his speed.
Eastmont now led 13-7 after missing the extra point.
The Wildcats drove into Moses Lake territory toward the end of the half but the drive stalled. A halfback pass from senior Ivan Corona was intercepted.
Moses Lake took over at the Eastmont 42-yard line with just 53 seconds remaining before the half. The Chiefs drove down to the 10-yard line, but the defense held them out of the end zone.
Junior kicker Iden Bone attempted a 27-yard field goal but missed.
Moses Lake started the second half in a new formation with three in the backfield, and primarily running the ball. The Chief marched 80-yards in 16 plays as Clark run it one yard for the score. Eastmont called two timeouts during the drive trying to figure out the new attack.
The Chiefs led 14-13 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.
Don said the Moses Lake formation did surprise him in the second half.
“That’s a goal-line formation they’ve shown just a little bit. Honestly, they just pounded us and there was nothing we could do about it,” Don said. “We had to burn timeouts and waste them and do things.”
Eastmont responded with a drive to the Moses Lake 13-yard, but a penalty pushed them back. Senior Cameron Pope tried a 36-yard field goal but missed as the third quarter came to an end.
Next Moses Lake possession, a fumble gave the Wildcats the ball at the Chief 20-yard line. But another penalty forced a field goal attempt, this time from 40-yards. However, the kick was blocked at returned to the Eastmont 32-yard line.
Moses Lake used their running attack to pound the ball down the 5-yard, converting a fourth down along the way. Clark passed 5-yards to Willem Jensen for the wide-open touchdown.
The Chiefs extended their lead to 21-13 with 5:11 remaining in the game.
Eastmont drove down to the Moses Lake 10-yard line but fumbled with 3:11 remaining.
Moses Lake was able to pick a big first down by a Clark run which allowed the Chiefs to run out the clock.
“We had chances, we just have to make plays. Right now, we just don’t make plays when they matter. We’re really good when we’re rolling and when things are not going our way, it’s a snowball effect and we have to get better at that,” Don said.
Eastmont fell to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Big 9 play. Moses Lake improved to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
Next up for Eastmont, a non-league game at Hanford next Friday.