MABTON - Like a knife slicing through warm butter, the Waterville Shockers ran through Mabton's defensive squad last Friday night enroute to posting a convincing 42-7 victory.
Waterville, the defending Central Washington 'B' League champs, tallied 250 rushing yards in pinning the overwhelming defeat on the Viking football team. The Shockers didn't try to confuse Mabton in mixing up offensive plays, as they threw the ball just twice. Instead, Waterville just came right at the Vikings, shoving the ball down their throats.
"Waterville had to replace four of their five starters off last year's offensive line," said Mabton Coach D.J. Search. "But it was like nothing was missing. They're as strong as ever.
"Their line got off the ball quick. They dominated us," Search said.
With the huge gaps the Waterville line created, the trio of James Creel, Jarod Biggar and Robert Craig ran wild. Creel toted the ball just six times, but totaled 78 rushing yards and scored twice. He busted loose for a 27-yard TD scamper to open the scoring, and found the end zone just before the half on a 40-yard breakaway. Biggar had eight carries for 48 yards, and Craig piled up 45 yards on five totes.
Mabton didn't fare all that badly when it had the ball. Unfortunately, whenever a promising drive got started, it stalled. The Vikings did manage to find the end zone once. Trailing by a 35-0 count midway through the third quarter, Mabton got on the scoreboard when freshman fullback Eli Perez bulldozed his way up the middle for 9 yards to pay dirt.
The underclassman Perez showed lots of promise last Friday. He ran for 41 yards on 11 carries. Mabton's fullback, Ramon Castillo, was the leading ground gainer for the Vikes, picking up 75 yards on 14 carries.
Mabton didn't mount much of an attack through the air, as Viking QB Ryan Harris only completed 1-of-5 passes for 28 yards. Harris was picked twice by the Waterville defensive unit. Running Mabton's option offense, Harris did scamper for 18 yards on six scrambles.
The league opening loss to Waterville followed Mabton's 9-0 non-league victory over Lyle two Fridays ago. The Vikings look to regroup this coming Friday with a conference game at LaSalle.
"LaSalle has a new head coach this year," said Search. "They have a lot of kids out for their team.
"We know they run a wing T offense and a 4-4 defense. To shut them down, we're going to have to play assignment football," Search explained.