WARDEN — It’d been a strange week for the Wahluke football team. Five guys were dismissed from the varsity and two more walked in solidarity.
So Friday night’s SCAC East game with Warden was a matter of who wanted to wear Wahluke maroon and gray with pride, who wanted to be there. It got away early with the Cougars scoring 30 points in the first quarter against a predominantly freshman-sophomore team, but no one quit in their 76-13 loss.
“Even though we got blown out, we never quit. We never stopped playing,” Wahluke junior Jose Celaya said. “The attitude was, ‘Are you still playing with me?’ ‘Do you still got my back?’
“Even the scoreboard said something else, we never gave up. We’re making a difference. Were getting it going, we’re getting in place with our new coach. We’ve always had a solid defense and we play with pride.”
The Warden secondary picked Wahluke quarterback Sebastian Soto four times in the first half and seven total. The Cougars offense fed off the defensive energy, the defense fed off the offense, which scored 30 points in the first quarter, and Friday night’s SCAC East game was over before it started in Warden’s victory on homecoming night.
Warden quarterback Ryan Arredondo was 10-of-13 for 245 yards passing and three touchdowns. Ayzaiah Pruneda, the 6-foot, 170-pound junior, had eight carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three balls for 75 yards and a score.
Holden Haworth rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns. He was also on the receiving end of a Arredondo 33-yard pass to make it a 30-point game at the end of the quarter.
Wahluke (3-5, 1-5 SCAC East) was without seven varsity seniors, who left the team, and their starting quarterback Oscar Rodriguez. Since they are out of the playoff picture first-year coach Ryan Antos went with a predominantly sophomore-freshman lineup to build for next year.
“We went with pretty much a JV team, so I wanted the keep competing and working hard,” Antos said. “We just wanted to get everything out of it we could.”
Freshman Oscar Perez made a nice one-handed grab on a 47-yard touchdown pass in the first half and Nathan Ponce caught the second TD pass on an 8-yard catch and carry.
Warden wraps up the regular season at Benton City against Kiona-Benton and Wahluke has Highland at home on Friday.
Wahluke 0 6 7 0 - 13 Warden 30 22 8 16 - 76
War - Ayzaiah Pruneda 10 run (Pruneda run)
War - Holden Haworth 1 run (Tyson Wall pass from Ryan Arredondo)
War - Wall 35 pass from Arredondo (Haworth run)
War - Haworth 33 pass from Arredondo (pass fails)
War - Haworth 1 run (Zach Richins pass from Arredondo)
Wahl - Oscar Perez 47 pass from Sebastian Soto (kick fails)
War - Pruneda 18 run (pass fails)
Wahl - Nathan Ponce 8 pass from Soto (Alex Valdez kick)
War - Rodrigo Ozuna (Kaden Skone pass from Arredondo)
War - Ozuna pass interception (Haworth pass from Arredondo)
War - Haworth 5 run (kick fails)