In an era of spread formations and kids who play 7-on-7 all summer, we don’t see many 6-0 games anymore. But they’re still out there and we’ve just had two.
A week after nobody could pierce the end zone until the second overtime in Ellensburg’s win over Davis, Gary Ely’s crew from Granger earned its second straight shutout with a 6-0 home victory over Wapato last Saturday.
Fabian Cisneros’ touchdown came in the first quarter and the Spartans’ defense held up the rest of the way, which reminded me of a game I staffed during my first week here. It required a visit to our aging relic of a microfilm machine to see if my memory was correct because it was 35 years ago.
I was delighted, squinting at the tiny type against the harsh light, to find out I was right. Any issue with memory that doesn’t prove embarrassing is a good day.
The day after covering my first prep game for the YH-R, a West Valley-Prosser tilt that featured future Hall of Fame coaches Joe Ortolf and Tom Moore, I took a lazy drive down the Lower Valley to check out Grandview, which was hosting Camas for a nonleague game on a Saturday afternoon.
I met longtime radio broadcaster Gary Staggers and settled into a spot next to him in the press box. It could’ve been just another game of hundreds I’ve covered, long since banished to the backwaters of my foggy mind by now, but it stood out for this reason: Grandview took the opening kickoff and drove 85 yards for the lone score, an I-formation march that consumed all but 39 seconds of the first quarter.
Bob Shook’s Greyhounds won 7-0, leaning on its defense to make that single early score stand up — just as Granger did during its afternoon nonleaguer last week. It was also very likely the quickest game I ever staffed since Camas used a full-house backfield and neither team showed much interest in throwing the ball. Now one of the state’s football powerhouses, Camas never crossed midfield and had only five first downs.
The night before at West Valley, Moore’s Class A Mustangs jumped ahead 13-0 but West Valley rallied to win 28-13, starting a 12-game victory run that took Ortolf’s Rams to the AA state final in the Kingdome for the second straight year.
Prosser completed five passes that night for 46 yards, an interesting stat to note considering how quickly Moore turned the program into an offensive and aerial juggernaut.
OK, that’s enough. I’m afraid the microfilm machine will overheat and shut down for good.
Five is fine
When Ellensburg sophomore Colton Magruder ran for five touchdowns in last week’s win at Selah, he joined quite a crowd in EHS history.
Not surprisingly, Notre Dame-bound speedster Dan Kelleher was the first to punch in five scores in a game and he did spectacularly, scoring on runs of 30 and 15 yards, a pass reception of 80 yards and two kickoff returns covering 90 and 91 yards in a 1972 win over Toppenish.
Since then four others matched the five TDs — Brody Kunz (1987), Ja’Warren Hooker (1995), Nolan Teasley (2001) and Gabe Caskey (2014). Teasley did it twice in ‘01, including during his school-record night of 360 yards on 38 carries against Hanford.
Magruder, who had all of seven carries in the previous two games, was a short-yardage bull against Selah, scoring four times in the first half on gains of 1, 5, 2 and 2 yards. He broke out for a 27-yard scoring dash for his fifth touchdown early in the third quarter and a record-breaking sixth score seemed eminent.
But even though Ellensburg drove into Selah territory three more times, including reaching the 8, the record logjam at five remains.
Game of the week
West Valley and Sunnyside have a recent history of playing some high-scoring, intense football games and they’ll meet up Friday with the Grizzlies not only eager to challenge their new rival but get their first win of the season.
To have quarterbacks Skyler Cassel and Brent Maldonado on the same field will certainly be a show. Cassel is already at 1,051 yards and nine touchdowns in just three games, and while Maldonado is in his first season at the position he’s got an elite target in Noah McNair, who has caught 10 passes in each of Sunnyside’s three games.
The Rams will be looking to clean up the issues that stalled their momentum in last week’s win over Davis, namely a barrage of seven penalties for 70 yards in the third quarter alone. An interesting note from that odd quarter was Cassel, the team’s punter, taking out his frustration with a booming 54-yard kick that pinned the Pirates on their 13.
Last season, Sunnyside prevailed in this game 41-35.
Nobody’s hiding in 2A
Four of the top six teams in this week’s Class 2A state volleyball coaches poll were in the SunDome last Saturday and even in a 32-team tournament they got plenty time on the court against each other.
No. 3 Ellensburg and No. 6 Burlington-Edison were in the same pool and split two sets, while No. 4 Selah and No. 9 North Kitsap did the same in their pool.
Ellensburg won its pool on a tiebreaker, gaining a spot in the top-seeded bracket. But while Selah was second in a three-team tiebreaker out of its pool, that gave the Vikings a shot at Lynden in the second-seeded bracket and they excelled. After beating Mark Morris and Snohomish, Selah outlasted Lynden, ranked second in the 2A poll, 25-18, 20-25, 18-16.
Ellensburg, which pushed eventual champion Chelan to three sets in the top-seeded quarterfinals, will see Burlington-Edison again this weekend. The Bulldogs are hitting the road to play at Anacortes on Friday and B-E on Saturday.
The first CWAC showdown is coming on Oct. 4 when Selah hosts Ellensburg. The rematch is Oct. 27.
West Valley, which debuted at No. 7 in the 4A poll, is headed for another long day of heated competition when it travels to Spokane this weekend for the 28th annual Linda Sheridian tournament.
Every week matters
Last year’s Prosser football team played only eight regular-season games, leaving Week 5 as a bye and having to move a CWAC game to Week 10 for COVID reasons.
Coach Corey Ingvalson was told that likely impacted the Mustangs’ state seeding, which at No. 7 gave them a first-round home game against No. 10 W.F. West but then led to a quarterfinal in Bellingham against eventual champion Lynden.
Ingvalson made sure this season’s slate was full and that includes a Saturday matinee at home against Aberdeen. The third-ranked Mustangs (3-0) will face a team from the Evergreen 2A League that is 2-1, having defeated Hoquiam (40-0) and Centralia (25-6) but with a 29-0 loss to Montesano. It’s the first meeting for the two programs, and Aberdeen will host next year.
There’s no let-up in Toppenish’s stout schedule before SCAC West play starts next week.
The Wildcats, at 2-1 ranked sixth in 1A with the loss to No. 1 Royal, have a trip on Friday to Cashmere, which is 3-0 and unchallenged to date. The Bulldogs have outscored those three teams 146-26.