SPOKANE Oroville ran into a bigger, faster and more determined Reardan in the opening round of the state 2B football playoffs Friday.
The Indians advanced to the quarterfinals with a 41-20 victory.
“They came ready to play and we weren’t, I guess,” Oroville coach Tam Hutchinson said. “They were pretty physical. They were bigger and faster. They plowed us over, basically.
“I watched some of the film, and they came out at us like gang busters. They ran through us. We’ve played better.”
Despite a long bus ride to the game at Gonzaga Prep, Oroville looked good on defense early when Connelly Quick picked up a fumble and ran 58 yards for a score about midway through the first quarter.
Dustin Nigg converted the PAT kick.
Reardan then ran off three scores, including a 53-yard interception return for a 22-7 halftime lead. Reardan led 28-7 in the third period before quarterback Luke Kindred scored on a 45-yard run. Nigg got the PAT.
“It was cold there, it was wet,” Hutchinson said. “I don’t know if that played a factor. I know the kids were real cold. It was snowing when we were going there, rain and snow. It was cold at the beginning of the game.
“It was not real pleasant conditions. We’ve never played in that before. I’m not offering excuses, but I am not sure if that was a reason. We got pretty wet from the wet turf.”
Hutchinson said many on team also were standing up, not tackling well.
Kindred caused a fumble in the fourth quarter and returned it 75 yards to cut the margin. After a two-point PAT failed, the Hornets trailed 35-20 with 9: 12 to go.
Reardan responded by running back the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
Kindred, a senior, proved a leader on both sides of the ball.
He ran 11 times for 69 yards. He completed 7 of 12 passes for 16 yards.
Tanner Smith rushed 10 times for 47 yards. He caught 5 passes for 5 yards.
Sean DeWitte rushed 10 times for 23 yards. He caught 2 passes for 11 yards.
In all, Oroville finished with 152 yards of offense.
“So that was disappointing,” Hutchinson said of the low offensive numbers. “We played much better last year against Waitsburg-Prescott than we did this year.
On defense, Kindred easily led with 14 primary and 10 assisted tackles.
Smith had 4 tackles and an assist. DeWitte had 4 tackles.
“We had a great season,” said Hutchinson after the Hornets (7-3) reached the opening round of state for the second straight year. “They beat us statistically and everything.”
Oroville graduates eight players – Kindred, Quick, Smith, Abraham Capote, Boone McKinney, Jake Scott, Lukas Mieirs and DeWitte.
The coach said the team will need replacement at quarterback, center (McKinney) and on defense (especially Kindred and the speedy Smith).
The majority of the lines are juniors and sophomores, so there will be little to replace there.
The playoff game was the first for McKinney since he hurt a knee against White Swan. Colfax eliminated White Swan, 22-14, on Friday.
“I will have some good running backs, too,” Hutchinson said. “And I will have some good receivers next year. All my ends will be coming back.”
The team, which left Oroville around 11 a.m., got back from the game around 4 a.m.