Ephrata Tigers take Battle of the Basin in rout, 37-3
The Ephrata Tigers rode a strong third quarter effort en route to a resounding 37-3 victory over the Quincy Jacks in the 2018 Battle of the Basin, Oct. 5 at Jaycee Stadium, in Quincy’s Homecoming game.
In a rare autumn rainstorm in the Quincy Valley, the Jacks fought hard until the very end but could never find their footing on the slippery sod of their home field. Ephrata had three turnovers in the first half, and the Jacks could not cash in.
One of the turnovers looked like a golden opportunity for the Jacks late in the first quarter, when it came coupled with a personal-foul penalty on the Tigers. On first-and-10 at the Ephrata 35, Ruben Vargas drove the ball inside the 20-yard line, but on the next play, the Jacks fumbled the ball at the Tigers’ 15-yard line.
The Jacks still had some fight in them, as Isaiah Ayala cut short the Tigers’ drive with an interception in the last minute of the first quarter, putting Quincy on the Ephrata 16-yard line. The Jacks carried the ball to the Ephrata 5-yard line but could get no closer, settling for a field goal try that went wide early in the second quarter. A penalty on Ephrata forced a do-over on the kick, this time 10 yards closer and the Jacks’ Ayala put three points on the board.
The Tigers scored on their first drive of the second half and then recovered the ball off another Quincy fumble, this time on the kickoff return. Less than two minutes later, the Tigers had their second TD of the third quarter and their third of the night.
The scoring had begun halfway through the first quarter, on a six-yard TD run by Ephrata’s Tony Oneel. Running back Mac Laird scored twice in the second quarter.
Mental and physical mistakes doomed the Jacks, head coach Wade Petersen said.
“False starts again, some facemasks, some offsides,” Petersen said. “And way too many turnovers. You can’t have that many turnovers and penalties and win a game.”
One silver lining was the play of the defense near the end of the game. Composed mostly of JV players by that time, the defense held off one last charge by the Tigers, stopping the visitors’ offense at 4-and-1 on the Quincy 1-yard line.
Ruben Vargas had nine carries for 27 yards, Pablo Mariscal had 10 carries for 31 yards and Israel Cavazos had four carries for nine yards. Isaiah Ayala had one carry for 15 yards.
Cavazos completed four out of 11 passes, for 26 yards and had one interception.
Ayala had one catch for 10 yards, Kenzie Realme had one catch for six, Connor Donovan and Vargas had one catch each, for five yards apiece.
Mariscal had 11 total tackles for the Jacks, followed by Trevor Moloso with nine, Macario Vega with seven and Vargas with seven. Roberto Corona had six and both Jose Avila and Hunter Harrington had five.
“Early on, in the first half, we had some opportunities to break through and get the ball in the end zone and we just could not do it and had to settle for a field goal,” Petersen said. “We didn’t take advantage of the mistakes they made in the first half, and in the second half, they drove right down on us, it was rumble-in-the-jungle the whole way and just ran the ball right down our throats. We just could not stop it.”
The loss dropped the Jacks to 0-2 in the CWAC’s North Division, and 2-3 overall. Next week, the team travels south to face East Valley-Yakima Oct. 12. The Red Devils are also winless in the division, with a 2-4 record overall. The week after that, the Jacks host division leaders Ellensburg, with both games starting at 7 p.m.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org