The baseball saying about the basic strategic principle is much more colorful than the football cliché. Wee Willie Keeler, who played...
TACOMA — The baseball saying about the basic strategic principle is much more colorful than the football cliché.
Wee Willie Keeler, who played baseball a century ago, used to say, “Hit ’em where they ain’t.” The more stilted football equivalent is “take what the defense gives you.”
Prosser put those adages to work Saturday with a balanced offense to beat Burlington-Edison 42-7 to win the Class 2A state championship.
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“They dropped three safeties back,” said Prosser coach Tom Moore. “They had six guys against the run. I went to college, if you count six guys, you run the ball. It’s not real complicated.”
As Mustangs junior quarterback Jordan Durbin put it, “If they were going to drop [back] guys, we were going to run the ball.”
And run they did. Prosser rushed for 203 yards, with senior back Steve Natho getting 93 and setting a 2A title-game record with three rushing touchdowns. (The 2A record book begins in 1997).
The Mustangs, known primarily as an air academy, also threw well. Durbin completed 15 of 23 passes for 255 yards and two TDs.
The last one was to classmate Kirby Moore, a fellow junior and the coach’s son, and with it Moore set a Washington season record for all classifications with 29 TD catches.
Kirby’s older brother, Kellen, owns five state passing records and is redshirting as a freshman at Boise State.
Prosser took charge from the get-go as Burlington-Edison turned the ball over on each of its four first-half possessions and the Mustangs capitalized on two of them for TDs on their way to a 21-0 halftime lead.
“For a team that doesn’t turn the ball over much, that was uncharacteristic,” said B-E coach Bruce Shearer.
The second turnover was an interception at the 1-yard line by Prosser’s Cade Wandling. The Mustangs turned around and went 99 yards and scored. They got out of trouble immediately with a 45-yard pass to Washington recruit Cody Bruns and finished the drive 11 plays later with a 1-yard plunge by Natho.
Burlington-Edison was forced to punt on its first four drives of the second half. The Tigers’ only TD came late in the fourth quarter.
Burlington-Edison was held to 195 yards. Senior linebacker Kevin Pilot led the Prosser defense with 12 tackles, four for loss, including two sacks. He forced two fumbles.
Bruns caught six passes for 97 yards and finished his high-school career with 310 catches for 5,177 yards and 72 TDs, all state records.
The catches and yards rank second in the nation all-time in 11-man football.
Bruns said Prosser had extra motivation after being upset in the semifinals last year by Centralia.
“That loss kind of sparked things up,” Bruns said.
Prosser dropped from 3A, where it won three titles in the 1990s, to 2A last year. The Mustangs were nationally ranked last year and had been considered a near-lock to win the 2A title, but it didn’t happen.
Bruns said this year’s team worked hard in summer workouts and camps with a championship in mind. Coach Moore declared, “This game was won all summer long.”
P — Drake Washington 2 run (kick failed)
P — Steve Natho 1 run (Natho run)
P — Natho 3 run (Kyle Schutze kick)
P — Natho 27 run (Schutze kick)
P — Cade Wandling 22 pass from Durbin (Schutze kick)
P — Kirby Moore 15 pass from Durbin (Schutze kick)
B — Kolby Arendse 8 run (Furney kick)
|Time of Possession||25:28||22:32|
Rushing — B-E, Jeff Adams 9-35, Stetson Shearer 12-92, Kolby Arendse 13-minus-22, Col Sager 4-19, S. Berghuis 1-0. Prosser, Drake Washington 18-89, Steve Natho 16-93, Jordan Durbin 5-31, Cody Bruns 2-4, Dominic Garza 1-1, Tanner McCombs 1-(minus-13), Mike Johnson 1-(minus-2).
Passing — B-E, Kolby Arendse, 6-14-1-71-0; Jake Anderson 0-1. Prosser, Jordan Durbin 15-23-0-255-2; Cody Bruns 0-1.
Receiving — B-E, Jake Anderson 1-30, Stetson Shearer 3-24, Troy O’Neill 1-15; Sean Stransky 1-2. Prosser, Cody Bruns 6-97, Kirby Moore 2-33-1, Kellen Crawford 1-20, Cade Wandling 4-76, Keegan Pilot 1-25, C. Meeske 1-4.