Tuesday, October 6, 2015/lk
KITTITAS – Sometimes, a team’s ‘A’ game isn’t needed to get the job done. Such was the case last Friday, when Mabton’s football team – despite committing several blunders - still handily put away the Kittitas Coyotes, 27-0.
“We overcame our mistakes,” said Mabton Coach Trevor Curtis. “And, we capitalized on theirs.”
Especially early on, when the visiting Vikings forced a couple of turnovers. Both gave the Mabton grid team good field position, and both resulted in first-quarter touchdowns.
The first short drive was capped off with a 5-yard plunge into the end zone by sophomore Max Ruiz. The tailback, the leading rusher in the game with 82 yards on eight carries, broke off a longer TD run after halftime. That third-quarter score was the result of a 48-yard scamper.
Mabton’s second touchdown of the night, which upped the Vikes’ lead to 12-0 in the opening quarter, came on a 1-yard burst over the goal line by QB Roy Zavala. The speedy quarterback added an insurance touchdown for the winners in the final quarter, zipping to pay dirt on a 3-yard run.
Zavala packed the most totes for Mabton last Friday, picking up 52 yards on his team-high 20 carries. He only took to the air seven times on what proved to be a windy night, completing three of his tosses for 31 yards.
Besides the 134 combined rushing yards of Ruiz and Zavala, Mabton received a seven-carry, 26-yard rushing performance from Christian Mendoza. Also for the Vikings, Albert Sanchez toted the rock three times and gained 20 yards, and Marco Fuentes rushed the ball five times and picked up 17 yards.
Curtis said his team should have put up 40-plus points against Kittitas in the 2B league opener for both clubs. Twice, however, the Coyotes took the ball away from Mabton when the Vikes were knocking at the door.
“We coughed up the ball twice inside their 5-yard line,” Curtis said.
As it turned out, those extra points weren’t needed. Which, said Curtis, surprised him, considering Kittitas knocked off his team last season on the Vikings’ home turf. Curtis said he was expecting an even tougher match-up this time around.
The way it worked out last Friday, Mabton limited the Coyotes to just 65 yards in total offense.
Curtis, while describing the shutout as a strong defensive effort by the entire team, especially praised the performances of Ruiz and Mendoza. The two linebackers, he said, stepped up their outside containment and kept the Coyotes bottled up in the middle of the field.
In looking ahead to this coming Friday, Curtis and his Mabton crew (1-0, 4-1) will be seeking their second league victory when Lake Roosevelt (0-1, 2-3) rolls into Viking territory.
“Our approach this coming Friday will be the same one we take each game…that we are playing the best team in the league,” said Curtis.