Just about everything that could go wrong for the No. 5 Toledo football team early did against No. 4 Chewelah (Jenkins) in Moses Lake on Saturday, and the Riverhawks couldn’t overcome the rough start in a 36-0 loss in the 2B state quarterfinals.
“It was one of those games where I think we’d have to play the perfect game to beat them, and we didn’t,” Toledo coach Mike Christensen said.
Things snowballed in a hurry. After the Cougars drove down the field to hit the end zone on their opening possession, Toledo quarterback Austin Norris took a hard hit on the ensuing kickoff and had to leave to get a bloody nose tended to. Without its starter under center, Toledo fumbled its first snap, Chewelah recovered, and within moments it was suddenly 14-0.
The Riverhawks got the ball back and started to piece a drive together, getting the ball all the way down to the Chewelah 2-yard line, but Geoffrey Glass was yanked down — by his facemask, in the eyes of the Toledo sideline — and fumbled it away.
“It’s one of those momentum things where if we punch that in, it’s 14-7 and maybe we have a fighting chance,” Christensen said. “But that took the wind out of our sails.”
The Cougars rode the momentum the rest of the first half, taking a 30-0 lead into halftime. Toledo’s defense showed up in the second half to limit Chewelah to just six points in the final 24 minutes — and avoid the running clock — but the offense never put enough together offensively to crack the scoreboard.
Toledo finishes its season with a 10-2 record. The Riverhawks are only set to graduate five seniors: Norris, Glass, Zane Ranney, Austin Nichols, and John Rose.
“I told our seniors I’m really proud of the season they had,” Christensen said. “They did a good job of leading this team after that first loss to Raymond-South Bend, and they should be proud of their season. And the underclassmen should take this as an opportunity to see what they need to do to get to the next level, and that’s get in the weight room, work hard, and get bigger, faster, stronger.”