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Mabton battles through adversity, shuts out Soap Lake

SOAP LAKE - Even a knee injury to quarterback Alex Zavala couldn't derail the Mabton express on its way to a 48-0 win this past Friday night against Soap Lake (1-7, 2-7), which improved the team's record to 9-0 on the season.

The Vikings, who are unbeaten in conference play at 7-0, scored early and often.

Ray Elizondo returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown on Soap Lake's third offensive play of the game to open up the scoring for Mabton.

Running back Pablo Sanchez added four more scores, gaining 137 yards on 19 carries.

Despite his injury, Zavala returned for one play in the second quarter, completing his only pass of the game for a 35-yard touchdown bomb.

Zavala left for good after that play and was replaced by Sal Lopez.

"He was ready to play," said Mabton coach D. J. Search of Lopez.

Lopez connected on three of his five passes for 54 yards and connected on a two-point conversion attempt.

Soap Lake never really threatened to score, Search said, making its way to only the Mabton 35 yardline.

The Vikes' defense held Soap Lake's leading rusher, Camden Eckhart, to just 37 yards on eight carries and stifled their passing attack, intercepting quarterback Adriane Guzman twice.

Guzman was 6 of 18 for only 76 yards passing.

With the win, the Vikings have secured the top stop in the Central Washington 'B' League and a berth in the State 'B' playoffs.

Only winless Entiat (0-7, 0-8) stands between Mabton and a perfect season this Friday night at home.

Search said he wants to make sure his team doesn't look past Entiat to the playoffs.

"It's an important game," Search said. "It's senior night."

And those seniors have been there for the amazing turnaround the team has experienced.

Search said in the four years the seniors have played they've gone from winless to undefeated. Their victory Friday proved to Search just how much his team is willing and able to battle through adversity.

The entire defense and the offensive line stepped up, Search said.

The injury to Zavala also proved something to Search.

"We're definitely not a one-man team," he said.

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