MATTAWA — Warden football picked up a commanding win on the road, defeating Wahluke 48-6 on Friday in Mattawa.
Both sides got off to a slow start, as blustering winds across the field played a factor in a 0-0 tie going into the second quarter.
Tyson Wall opened up the scoring for the Cougars with a 2-yard rushing touchdown after Warden had moved the ball down near the goal line to give the visitors an 8-0 lead. Ryan Arredondo hit Edgar Hernandez with a 12-yard touchdown pass with just over four minutes to play in the half to double the lead to 16-0 in the first half.
The Warriors were able to drive late in the second quarter, but a pass into the end zone was picked off by Warden with just over two minutes to play in the quarter. The Warriors got the ball to open the second half, but were again picked off by the Cougars early in the third quarter.
Arredondo and Hernandez connected for the second time less than two minutes later to give the Cougars a 22-0 advantage early in the third quarter. Arredondo connected with Holden Haworth on a screen to the outside with just under five minutes to play in the quarter to put the Cougars up 30-0.
Hernandez capped off the scoring in the third quarter with his third touchdown catch of the game on a 10-yard pass from Arredondo, giving Warden a 36-0 lead heading into the fourth.
Jose Celaya was able to put the Warriors on the board in the fourth quarter, with a 1-yard run after the Warriors were able to drive down the field, cutting the lead to 36-6. The Cougars were able to respond, as Arredondo threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yard pass to Hernandez with just over four minutes to play in the game.
Wall picked up his second rushing touchdown of the game with two minutes left in the game, to give the Cougars the 48-6 lead on their way to the win.
Arredondo finished with 272 yards through the air in addition to his five touchdown passes. Hernandez finished with four touchdowns, with 84 yards receiving on five catches. Haworth finished with 51 rushing yards, and six catches for 60 yards and a score.
Oscar Rodridguez threw for 86 yards and a pair of interceptions for the Warriors. Celaya led the way on the ground with 39 yards and a score. Luke Yorgesen finished with six catches for 61 yards.
Warden head coach Robert Arredondo said after the win that having his team finally healthy helped a lot in the game.
“It helps when your horses are back,” Robert Arredondo said. “The wind kind of played a factor in the first quarter, but I’m fairly happy with the win. We’ll celebrate for a day and then we’ve gotta get back to work on Monday.”
With the connection between Hernandez and Ryan Arredondo working all game, the Warden coach said his whole group has helped lead them in some games they probably shouldn’t have been in, crediting the senior leadership.
“Those guys can play,” Robert Arredondo said. “We go into every game thinking we can win every game because we’ve got guys who can throw and catch and run the ball. We’re coming together. We’re healthy, and that’s huge.”
With a win on Friday night, the Cougars can help solidify their postseason chances. As the season winds down, Robert Arredondo said they’ll look to fine tune things but at this point, “it is what it is.”
Wahluke head coach Ryan Antos said after the loss on Senior Night that the Cougars just played harder in the game.
“We just got some guys back from injury, we just really weren’t in sync,” Antos said. “They played a harder game. They played tough.”
As the seniors played their final home game of the season, the second-year head coach said this group has worked hard for him in his two years at the helm.
“They play hard every game, and they come to practice, they come to the weight room,” Antos said. “I’m gonna miss them.”
With a short time left in the season, Antos said they’ll look to finish out strong, ending the season on a high note with momentum going into the offseason.
Next up for the Cougars is a home game against Kiona-Benton on Friday, while the Warriors will travel to face Highland.