Tri-City Rush Rout Wenatchee in Second Home Game of Season
(Pasco, WA) -- Another game; another route. That seemed to be the case inside the HAPO Center Saturday night as the Tri-City Rush toppled the visiting Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks 65-13. The win makes for three-in-a-row to start the season--all of which have been by double-digits.
A Slower Start Than Last Week
It took almost half of the first quarter for the Rush to get the on the board courtesy of a touchdown pass from Ja’Vonte Johnson to Moe Strong at the 7:33 mark. Things picked up shortly thereafter, though, when the Wenatchee return man fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Tri-City special teams unit at the WV 12-yard line. The short field led to Strong's second TD reception of the night, and a 14-0 Tri-City lead with 5:41 remaining in the first. Wenatchee rolled the dice on the following drive when they tried to convert a fourth-and-short yardage situation near midfield, but turned the ball over on downs. Again, working with a short field, Johnson was able to connect with Dashun Salgado Jr. for a 16-yd touchdown completion. The PAT was good and the Rush led 21-0 just 15 minutes into the game.
The Skyhawks were driving early in the second quarter, but QB Adam Kruse threw a long pass that was intercepted in the end-zone by Rush DB Kevin Simmons. The Rush offense capitalized on the turnover with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Salgado. The point-after try was no good. Nonetheless, the team led by four scores with just under 10 minutes remaining. It appeared as though the Skyhawks might finally get on the board later in the half, but the Rush defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs at the 2-yard line. A Wenatchee penalty gifted the offense some breathing room, and ultimately led to another score, and a 34-0 lead with just over a couple minutes to go.
Tension Boils Over, and the Skyhawks Fall Hard
The Skyhawks had one more possession before the half, but it began with extra-curricular violence when an offensive lineman took exception to a hard hit on Kruse during a quarterback draw. #79 (not listed on roster) charged the Rush defender, tackling him to the ground. The action prompted a short skirmish between the two sides, which ultimately led to the Wenatchee player being ejected. Wenatchee would go on to score by way of a TD pass from Kruse to Devine Darden. The first half ended with a score of 34-7.
It didn't stay that way for long, though. The Rush returned the second-half kick all the way to the Wenatchee 20-yard line, and Salgado hauled in his third touchdown catch less than five minutes in--making it 41-7. With very little to lose at that point, Kruse and company continued to gamble on long, risky pass attempts. That led to more picks, and more big hits on Kruse, who exited the game late in the third. Calvin Low stepped in to fill the QB position, but the Skyhawks failed to convert on fourth down at their own 16. Unsurprisingly, Tri-City scored again through a Johnson-Salgado reception and led 49-7 entering the fourth quarter. It was an equally ugly quarter for Wenatchee. Though the squad did score once more late, the Rush blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for six plus a two-point conversion. They also punched the ball across the goal line with an Antoinne Wafer run set up by an interception.
Final Score: 65-13
Suffice to say, the game was over long before the final whistle blew. Tri-City sits atop the American West Football Conference at 3-0. They will host competitive rival Idaho in the HAPO Center this Saturday. The Rush bested the Horsemen 33-20 on the road in the season opener.