A wet night proved to be to the Wahkiakum Mules' liking as they dominated the Winlock Cardinals for an 18-2 Central League football win last Friday.
The Cardinals fumbled the ball seven times under pressure from the wet weather and the Mule defense, and the Mule offense unleashed a balanced running and passing attack that moved the ball on the visitors.
"It was huge," Mule Coach Eric Hansen said of the victory. "It's nice when everyone does their assignments."
Winlock looked like they would be in the driver's seat as they picked up big yards on their first possession. The Cardinals moved into midfield and faced a fourth down with less than a yard to go. They decided to run the ball on fourth down; the intended ball carrier went the wrong way, and the Mules dumped Cardinal quarterback Dalton Sturza for a big loss.
The Mules in turn moved the ball down field and scored their first touchdown on a 20-yard run by Cameron Elliott with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
Leading 6-0 in the third quarter, the Mules again punched in a touchdown, with quarterback Lars Blix scoring on a five-yard run to put the Mules up 12-0.
Winlock got on the scoreboard with a safety at 9:45 of the fourth quarter. Mule Wyatt Parker intercepted a pass at the goalline but fumbled, and the ball rolled out of the endzone, making the score 12-2.
The Mules forced a Cardinal turnover, however, and Elliott scored his second touchdown of the night on a one-yard run. The conversion kick failed, leaving the score 18-2.
The Mules gained 161 yards on 41 rushing plays and 91 yards as Blix completed seven of 11 passes without an interception. Parker gained 67 yards on 11 carries; Elliott had 36 on seven runs; Joel Nicolazzi gained 27 yards on nine runs, and Blix had 13 yards on 10 carries. Parker caught three passes for 64 yards; Nicolazzi caught three for 21 yards, and Ryan Helms caught two for 18 yards.
Winlock had 63 yards rushing, with 50 coming in the first quarter, and 47 yards passing. The Mules had two penalties for 20 yards, while Winlock had four for 40 yards.
Elliott led the Mule defense in tackles with 11. Nicolazzi and Blix each had 10, Parker nine, Tylor Russell eight and Eli McElroy six. Blix and Parker each intercepted Cardinal passes. McElroy recovered two Cardinal fumbles, and Nicolazzi and Elliott each recovered one.
The 1-2 Mules head to Pe Ell this Friday to play the 0-3 Trojans.
Spring Sports Schedules
Home events in bold
Wahkiakum Mule Golf
21-22 State at Oakbrook Golf Course, Lakewood
Wahkiakum Mule Track
16 District at Raymond
24-25 State at EWU (Cheney)
Wahkiakum Mule Fastpitch
18 District at Borst Park, Centralia