Shockers edge Inchelium 24-20

Dillon McCullough (43) heads into the line on a run. (Joel Harding photo)

 

By Joel Harding
Empire Press Correspondent

In their first game of the season, Waterville/Mansfield ground out a victory against the Inchelium Hornets 24-20. With the exception of two long breakaway runs, the Shocker defense was stalwart, wearing their undermanned opponents down. The Hornets only brought 10 players for the game. The Shockers have some work to do on their long passing game, but short passes over the middle to Lakin Thomsen and Tyler Tollackson worked well. The running game was excellent with Dillon McCullough and Zane Salcido piling up the yards. Coaches Mike Gray, Del Mires and Tayn Kendrick substituted liberally, giving the younger players experience. As the game moved to a close finish, it was clear that Waterville, with so many more players, had an advantage.

The Shockers scored in the first, third and fourth quarters. On their second series of downs in the first quarter, Nolan Ruud connected on passes with Thomsen and Taylor Riggs during the series and then completed one to Tollackson for 6 points. The conversion failed. When they got the ball, the Hornets lost 16 yards on a fumble. Then a Hornet running back fumbled the ball out of the end zone. The Shockers were awarded a safety and two more points. Shortly thereafter, an Inchelium back ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run. There was no conversion. When the Hornets got the ball back, they were in Shocker territory and after a faceguard penalty, they scored again and converted. The score was 14-8 at halftime in favor of Inchelium.

In the third quarter, McCullough’s running and Ruud’s nice 9-yard pass to Thomsen brought the Shockers to the goal line. McCullough took it across to make the score 16-14. Early in the fourth quarter, Inchelium was on offense and Joe Dahlke made a nice stop on an Inchelium back. But on the next play, a Hornet flew by the Shockers for another long touchdown. There was no conversion making the score 20-14. Waterville/Mansfield went to work. McCullough and Salcido ripped into the Inchelium line on play after play with a couple of 20-yard gains for McCullough in the process. He took it over the line to put the Shockers ahead. Will Osborne caught his second conversion play pass and the score ended 24-20. The home team was able to hold the Hornets on the next series of downs, including a nice tackle by Angel Lucero. When the ball went back to Waterville/Mansfield, Ruud took a knee on three plays to run out the clock.

Ruud passed 25 times and completed 14 for a total of 127 yards. His targets were Thomsen with 6 receptions for 47 yards, Tollackson with 1 for 35 yards, Osborne with 3 for 29 yards and Riggs with 3 for 16 yards. The running game netted 230 yards. Salcido ran 18 times for 82 yards, and McCullough packed the pigskin 24 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns. The Shockers will host Soap Lake on Sept. 11.

 

Andy Caballero (74) encourages his teammates as they march to a touchdown. (Joel Harding photo)

Andy Caballero (74) encourages his teammates as they march to a
touchdown. (Joel Harding photo)

 

Cheer captain Kim Parcells cheers from on high against Inchelium. (Joel Harding photo)

Cheer captain Kim Parcells cheers from on high against Inchelium. (Joel Harding photo)