MANSON - Senior Pablo Sanchez is accustomed to being the Mabton High School football team's workhorse. Last Friday night, he again did his part in keeping the Vikings unbeaten on the year, scoring four TD's in Mabton's 47-20 rout of the Manson Trojans.
Mabton Coach D.J. Search reminded his charges that if one player stands out, as Sanchez did last Friday, it shows how successful the entire team has been.
"Nobody can do it alone," he said, quickly adding that last Friday he got a full team effort in the throttling of the Trojans.
"We're starting to come together as a team," said Search. "Everyone is starting to realize what their responsibilities, their assignments, are."
Friday's road victory ups the state ranked Vikings' Central Washington 'B' League record to 5-0, 6-0 overall.
But, as lopsided as the score was last Friday, Mabton didn't exactly dominate from the outset. The Trojans, early on, were able to move the ball almost at will, even scoring a touchdown in the first quarter.
"Manson came out hard. We had trouble stopping them," said Search. "They were quicker than they looked on film.
"We had to remind the kids about their assignments and to get after it," he said.
Get after it, the Vikings did.
After allowing the first period TD, Mabton clamped down on the Trojans and held them scoreless until the fourth quarter, well after Search put in most of his reserves to close out the game.
Mabton got on the scoreboard first, when junior Moises Gutierrez hauled in a 12-yard scoring strike from QB Alex Zavala. Luis Quintero's PAT kick gave the Vikes a 7-0 lead.
The Trojans countered with a 1-yard TD run by Rigo Perez to draw them into a 7-all tie.
Senior Ray Elizondo, the leading rusher on the night with 118 yards on six carries, gave Mabton the lead for good late in the first quarter, when he busted into the end zone from three yards out. Elizondo scored again on Mabton's next possession, early in the second quarter, on a 13-yard scamper. Zavala lobbed a toss to Guiterrez for the two-point conversion to up the Vikes' lead to 21-7.
Sanchez then scored the first two of his four TD's just before the half to increase Mabton's lead to 34-7. His two touchdown runs were for 1 and 33 yards.
After intermission, Sanchez added a third TD on a 4-yard burst. He finished the night with 101 rushing yards on 11 totes. Later in the third quarter, Sanchez fielded a punt and returned it 63 yards to pay dirt to increase the Vikings' lead to 47-7.
Search went to his bench late in the third period, which resulted in the Trojans punching in two touchdowns in the final quarter to account for the final 47-20 score.
Offensively on the night, Mabton tallied 370 total yards, 329 on the ground and 41 through the air. In addition to the 219 combined rushing yards of Elizondo and Sanchez, Mabton got 41 yards on five carries from the QB Zavala and 36 rushing yards on six carries from Ramon Castillo. Andy Rivera (4/20) Omar Sosa (5/8) and Cesar Macedo (1/6) combined for another 34 rushing yards. Zavala connected on 3-of-5 passes, two of which went to Gutierrez for a total of 27 yards.
"Our offense worked very well last Friday," said Search. "Alex (Zavala) is running our offense well."
This coming Friday, Mabton will play host to Pateros, currently with a 2-2 record in league play. Search said Pateros will attempt to open the field up with numerous pass plays. For the Vikings' defensive secondary, the game should provide one of their biggest tests of the season.
Mabton's defensive backs, said Search, should "...do fine as long as we get the right reads."