COLTON, Wash. — Trailing 36-12 at halftime here Friday night, the Touchet Indians took the second-half kick and drove for a touchdown.
The Indians then recovered an onside kick and were on the march again deep inside Colton territory. But a fourth-down play fizzled near the 10-yard line, the Wildcats regained the momentum and rolled to a 68-26 Southeast 1B-8 League football victory.
"We had two yards to go for the first down and we didn't get it," Touchet coach Jon Wright lamented of his team's missed opportunity. "If we had scored right there, it could have changed the whole outcome.
"We were hitting them on the left side the whole night," Wright added. "We scored most of our points on the left side, and we ran the play to the right.
"I'm not using that freshman excuse anymore. We are seven weeks into the season and we can't figure out which way to hand the ball off. It's just being dumb and not paying attention."
The loss dropped the Indians to 0-6 in league games and 0-7 overall with two games remaining. Touchet entertains Yakama Tribal School next Friday in a 3 p.m. game and then closes out the year the following week at DeSales.
Colton, meanwhile, leveled its league record at 3-3 and improved to 3-4 overall. The Wildcats travel to Pomeroy on Friday for a 7 p.m. game before wrapping up regular-season play the following weekend at Sunnyside Christian.
Led by sophomores Alexis Gonzalez and Bryan Vazquez, Touchet demonstrated a productive running game Friday night. Gonzalez carried 19 times for 227 yards and scored three touchdowns while Vazquez picked up 113 yards on eight trips and scored the Indians' other TD.
But the Indians defense had no answer for Colton quarterback Chris Wolf. The 5-foot-6, 135-pound senior was a terror all night long, rushing the ball 37 times for 537 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"He's fast and shifty," Wright said of Wolf. "We game-planned for him. We knew he was their whole team.
"But our open-field tackling wasn't very good," the coach added. "He would juke, our kids would stop in their tracks, and then he would take off.
"He was pretty good, I'll give him that. But our team made him look awesome."
Vazquez scored Touchet's initial touchdown on a 41-yard run in the second quarter and Gonzalez added a 33-yard TD jaunt later before the halftime break. The Indians couldn't get into the end zone on either two-point conversion try.
Gonzalez tallied his second touchdown on a 55-yard dash to open the second-half scoring, and he also ran in the two-pointer. His third TD came on a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Junior Kayden Gallaher rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries and freshman quarterback Deegan Dodd picked up 50 yards on 11 attempts for the Indians, who rushed for 451 yards on the night.
Dodd completed just 1-of-8 passes for 15 yards, his lone completion going to Gonzalez. Dodd was not intercepted.
Wolf passed 18 times and completed four of them for 42 yards.
The Indians' best and perhaps last hope for a victory will come Friday when Yakama Tribal comes to town.
The Eagles were 1-4 in league and on the season heading into a Saturday afternoon home game against DeSales. The Irish, who will host Touchet Nov. 7 in Walla Walla, took a 4-3 overall record, 3-2 in the SE1B-8 League, into Saturday's game.
"We're going to be studying a lot of game film," Wright said. "We want the kids to try and pull this next one out.
"On Monday we are going to be really focusing on our quarterback and our running backs and on communication. We're going to be going back to fundamentals and show them, this is how you hand the ball off."