Frustrating season for Kettle Falls
Kettle Falls (0-9) saw a disappointing high school football season come to an end last Friday afternoon when Omak of the Caribou-Trail League downed the host Bulldogs, 32-15.
As has been the case this fall with Kettleâ€™s return to the Northeast A League, KFHS was solid on both sides of the ball at times, but not nearly solid enough or consistent enough.
â€śThere were moments against Omak when we did some great things and other moments when we couldnâ€™t do anything,â€ť KFHS head coach Curtis Corvino said. â€śIt was kind of a microcosm of the season.â€ť
Omak rushed 44 times for 206 yards. Pioneersâ€™ quarterback Alex Aguilar was 8 of 17 through the air for 145 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore had one pass intercepted.
Kettle Falls rushed 30 times for 129 yards. Quarterbacks Cole Wren and Luke Beardslee were a combined seven of 23 through the air for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Beardslee, running mostly out of the Bulldogsâ€™ Wildcat offensive set, had one pass picked off. Wren threw a pair of interceptions.
Senior running back Tyler Vining led KFHS with 59 yards on the ground (nine carries).
Simply stated, the Bulldogs are much better served competitively in the Northeast 2B League than in the more rigorous Northeast A League. KFHS simply isnâ€™t able to effectively compete at 1A.
That said, KFHS will have to endure one more year of a two-year WIAA enrollment cycle before high school student counts put the Bulldogs back in 2B.
Whatever the league affiliation, Corvino knows that his football players need to get bigger, faster and stronger. There needs to be an across-the-board commitment to the weight room that the Bulldogs arenâ€™t getting now.
More work in the weight room for the Bulldogs
â€śWe are going to have to make sure we make a commitment to the weight room in the off-season,â€ť Corvino said. â€śWe have some good young guys coming back. We need to get them in the weight room.â€ť
Kettle Falls will lose seven seniors off the 2012 roster. Several of them have been key contributors: Tyler Vining, Brandon Thomas, Luke Beardslee and Alex Pratt.
Vining has been nominated to play in the annual East/West High School All-Star game next June in Yakima.
In addition to some key contributors on the roster, longtime assistant coach Dave Tupek has announced his retirement.
Tupek, who has coached for over 30 years, was named NEA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2012. Jim Fisk, head coach of NEA champion Chewelah, is this yearâ€™s Head Coach of the Year.
All Conference picks for the Bulldogs include second team selections Austin Anderson (junior) and Vining at linebacker and Kyle Dodson (junior) at center on the second team offense.
Vining was also named first team All-Conference as a running back.
Omak got on the board in the first quarter, capping a 10-play, 64-yard drive when Aguilar rolled in from two yards out. The PAT pass failed.
Senior tailback Sammy Trudeaux had a 16-yard run on the drive and Aguilar found receiver Leighton Boyd on a 20-yard pass and run play that set up the score.
Omak initiated a drive late in the first quarter that culminated in the second quarter when Trudeaux scored on a one-yard run. The PAT run failed and OHS led 12-0.
The drive covered 75 yards and took 12 plays (all on the ground).
Kettle Falls got on the board late in the second quarter. Starting at the Omak 49 with 1:56 left until halftime, the Bulldogs put together an impressive drive. Key plays included a Vining 15-yard run out of Kettleâ€™s spread set and a Wren to Beardslee pass play one play later that covered 14 yards.
Beardslee, on a slant route, caught Wrenâ€™s four-yard toss just inside the goal line with 18 seconds left in the second quarter. The Dodson PAT kick cut the Omak lead to 12-7.
Omak dominated most of the second half.
â€śThere were some momentum shifts in the third quarter,â€ť Corvino said.
On the first possession, KFHS fumbled at its own 31 yard-line. The Pioneers took advantage, taking five plays to cover the yardage.
Aguilar hit Tieler Sheheen on a 19-yard scoring strike. Aguilar ran in the two-point PAT and Omak led 20-7.
â€śWe just couldnâ€™t do anything offensively in the third quarter,â€ť Corvino said, adding that the Pioneers utilized a 3-3 defensive front that caused KFHS some problems.
Trudeauxâ€™s 22-yard scoring run upped the Omak lead to 26-7 in the fourth quarter.
Kettle Falls scored its final TD of the game later in the fourth quarter when Wren hit Beardslee on an X-fly pattern. The throw was tipped by an Omak cornerback, but Beardslee was able to haul it in and outrun the secondary on the quick strike, one play drive.
Vining ran in the two-point PAT and KFHS trailed 26-15.
Bryson Morris hauled in a 32-yard pass from Aguilar for the final OHS score of the afternoon.
In a State 1A play-in game at Chewelah, senior quarterback Derek Smith led the NEA champion Cougars to a 26-20 win over Okanogan.
Chewelah (9-1) led 20-7 after the first quarter in soggy conditions. But the Cougars held on from there against the Bulldogs.
Smith ran for 137 yards on 17 carries for Chewelah, who won its ninth straight game. Cordell Bean added rushing and pass receiving touchdowns for the Cougs.
That was the highlight on a night when CTL teams dominated their NEA counterparts.
Quincy eliminated NEA no. 2 Freeman 16-7 in a defensive battle. The Jackrabbits led 3-0 at halftime and scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter to hold off Freeman, who got a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Wyatt Smith to Kian Gentman in the third quarter.
Second-ranked CTL champion Cashmere eliminated Lakeside 66-9 in a mismatch between the CTL and NEA. Cashmere led 28-0 after the first quarter.
NEA no. 3 Medical Lake was eliminated at Leavenworth by Cascade, 44-14. After leading only 2-0 after one quarter, Cascade outscored ML 28-0 in the second quarter.