OTHELLO — Othello fell at home to Ellensburg 17-7 on Friday, in a game that would have clinched the CWAC North division for an automatic playoff bid.
The Huskies missed wide on a field goal in the first quarter that would have given the home team a lead as both teams entered the second quarter tied at 0-0. The Bulldogs converted on a field goal of their own early in the 2nd quarter to take a 3-0 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the half.
The Bulldogs pressured again later in the quarter, with Ellensburg able to convert on a pass on the outside to take an 11-0 lead after the two-point try.
The Huskies drove into the red zone late in the half, but were forced into another missed field goal attempt at the end of the half as the Bulldogs took an 11-0 advantage into the third quarter.
Ellensburg opened up the scoring again in the second half, with a 24-yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldogs a 17-0 lead after the missed two-point attempt. Isaiah Perez was able to cap off a drive for Huskies near the end of the third quarter, with a rushing touchdown from just off the goal line for the score.
Neither side was able to convert in the fourth quarter, as the Bulldogs held on for the 17-7 victory on the road.
Isaac Barragan finished with 88 rushing yards on 22 attempts for the Huskies, while Steven Ochoa tallied 67 yards on the ground on 11 tries. Perez rushed four times for 19 yards and the lone touchdown of the game.
Othello defensive coordinator Jacob Johnston said after the game that he believed the better team won the game.
“We made too many mistakes all over the board,” Johnston said. “It was offense, defense, special teams. We had a game plan, we didn’t execute the game plan and the score pretty much showed it.”
Johnston said he feels the team needs to work on building chemistry moving forward late in the season.
“When you play a tough opponent, you’re gonna face adversity, and we had some sideline stuff we had to work through,” Johnston said. “And so I think keep getting better as a team and keep moving forward.”
The Othello defensive coordinator said he felt the Huskies’ secondary played well in the matchup, while he felt they lost the battle in the trenches up front.
With a lot to gain from a victory, Johnston said he and the other coaches had stressed the importance of the matchup, with a chance to be sole league champs for the first time since 2012.
Moving forward, Johnston said the goals for the season remain the same, and that the coaches told their players that now they just will take the harder route.
“It’s not a route we don’t know, we’ve taken it the last six, seven years,” Johnston said. “Keep battling, that’s what we keep telling the kids. Rest up and come back on Monday and back at it.”
Next up for the Huskies is a game against Pullman on Othello’s Senior Night on Friday.