Despite managing only 98 yards of total offense, Kettle Falls High found a way to pull out a come-from-behind 13-12 Northeast 2B football win over visiting Davenport last Friday night.
In front of a big Homecoming crowd, the Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1) spotted the Gorillas (1-3, 0-2) an overtime touchdown before getting a two-yard run from Austin Anderson and the game-winning Kyle Dodson PAT kick.
“We played a bend, but don’t break defense and were able to find a way to get it done at the end,” KHFS head coach Curtis Corvino said of the late-game heroics. “Our defense came up huge…our defensive play and the play of our special teams on punts were the keys.”
Davenport totaled 261 yards of offense, but the Gorillas turned the ball over four times, three on interceptions to Conner McKern, Logan Cook and John Coots.
Davenport got on the board first on an end around that had quarterback Nolan Lilje hitting wide-open Derrek Oliver on a 67-yard pass and run play. The opening play of the game carried to the KFHS three-yard-line.
Oliver scored on the next play to give Davenport a quick 6-0 lead with only 15 seconds gone in the first quarter.
The two-point PAT was no good.
Davenport, putting pressure on McKern with a variety of blitz packages, stifled Kettle’s offense for the most part.
McKern, rushed and hurried often, particularly in the first half, completed 7 of 15 passes for 57 yards. He didn’t throw an interception. Anderson rushed for 66 yards on 23 carries.
Not much success on offense against rugged Davenport
“We didn’t have a lot of success,” KFHS head coach Curtis Corvino said of his offense. “But we were able to find a way. And Conner took some shots, but stayed in the pocket and made throws.”
Kettle didn’t see the ball a whole lot in the first half. The Bulldogs rushed for minus 27 yards in the opening quarter after sacks were factored in. It wasn’t much better in the second quarter. KFHS rushed for 17 yards.
“That first half was really tough,” Corvino admitted. “But we were able to make some halftime adjustments as far as our pass protection as concerned.”
Kettle Falls tied the game up at 6-all in the third quarter. Jesse Dodson’s kickoff returned set up the Bulldogs in great field position at the KFHS 45-yard-line.
Kettle Falls, relying mostly on its running game and a Jumbo Package that had been installed during the practice week, took 10 plays to cover 55 yards.
Anderson scored up the middle from seven yards out to cap the drive.
“Our offensive line was getting a good push there compared to the first half,” Corvino said.
The Dodson PAT kick was wide right.
While the offense continued to struggle, Kettle’s defense continued to come up big with turnovers and key stops.
Starting at their own 49-yard-line, Davenport drove to the Kettle Falls 19-yard-line before Jessie Dodson tipped a Lilje pass and Coots intercepted. The Bulldogs had dodged another bullet.
The game stayed that way until the overtime period.
KFHS won the overtime toss and elected to defer. Davenport scored first in the overtime period. Quarterback Lilje rolled left and found tight end Cole Evers for a 21-yard touchdown.
Key stop on two-point DHS conversion attempt
But on the key play of the game, John Coots made the initial contact on Davenport tailback Daniel Stauffer on the attempted two-point PAT run. He got plenty of help from his teammates and the Bulldogs stopped the conversion attempt.
“That was big,” Corvino said, adding that the Bulldogs were confident they could answer Davenport’s touchdown.
After a one-yard loss on a run, McKern found Cook on a quick post pattern that moved the chains to the DHS nine-yard-line.
On third and goal from the Davenport 10, and running out of the spread, McKern attempted to squeeze one in to Luke Beardslee on a slant route. An interference call on Davenport and Beardslee moved the ball to the Gorilla’s five-yard-line and KFHS had a first down.
Back came Kettle’s jumbo package. Anderson picked up two yards up the middle and after a Davenport offside, Kettle was in business at the two-yard-line.
Anderson scored from two-yards out on the next play and the Bulldogs and Dodson were set for the game-winning PAT kick.
“He made a great kick and we pulled it out,” Corvino said.
“Corvino was pleased with the way his kids stayed after it. He was also impressed with Davenport’s improvement.
“Davenport is much improved from a year ago,” Corvino said. “They have some really good players and they’re going to surprise some people.”
The Bulldogs will step out of league play and host Oroville (3-1) on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Oroville beat Kettle Falls 31-13 last season. Their only loss was a 62-0 drubbing by Okanogan.
“They have been putting up points on teams in their league,” Corvino said, adding that the Bulldogs need to get untracked offensively. “We need to do a better job of pro¬tecting Conner (McKern) and we have to get our running game going. Those will be points of emphasis this week (in practice).”
In other Northeast 2B football action last Friday night, Lind-Ritzville/Sprague blasted Springdale 39-6, scoring 27 second quarter points.
The Broncos (3-0, 1-0) got 146 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Conner O’Neill. Quarterback Dylan Hartz was 7 of 14 through the air for 111 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown.
Springdale fell to 1-2, 1-1.
Colfax scored 26 first quarter points en route to an easy 46-0 drubbing of winless Liberty (0-4, 0-2).
Alvin Li ran for two first quarter touchdowns.
Colfax led 39-0 at halftime.
KFHS 13, Davenport 12 (OT)
DHS 6 0 0 0 6—12
KFH 0 0 6 0 7-- 13