Coaches pleased with teams effort against Omak
By Richard Uhlhorn
The entire Chelan Football Team stepped up its season long standard of play against the Omak Pioneers this past Thursday, September 25. “What our kids did was lift each other up all game,” reported Coach Darren Talley. “Our coaching staff was elated with the effort.”
Chelan won this game 38 to 23 on a great offensive and defensive effort. “It was Senior Night, and we as a team wanted our senior leaders to have a perfect memory.” Talley considered Omak a very talented team and was proud of the overall effort of everyone on the team.
Chelan’s front line of Mat Engstrom, Brooks Gatzemeier, Coulter Courtney, Reece McClellan, Kramer Cannon, Will Nielsen, Cody Olsen and Brett Linehan consistently opened up holes for the Goats running game. Derrick Talley ran for 215 yards on 26 carries giving him a total of 1506 yards on 169 carries this season breaking the record Josh Rogge had for a nine game season. Quarterback Zane Sandum had one of his best running games of the season, keeping the ball four times from the quarterback position for 49 yards. Greg Schultz broke open for a 23 yard run on a much needed first down and Danny Zavala ran up the middle, averaging 5.25 yards per carry.
Both Sandum and Joe Harris had great nights throwing the ball. The front line really protected these two quarterbacks allowing them to get the ball into the air. At the receiving end was Brett Linehan who caught six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for a two point conversion. In the past nine games, Linehan has 571 yards on 32 receptions. Mat Engstrom pulled down a touchdown pass in the later part of the game also.
Sandum, who plays on both offense and defense, got a rest when Joe Harris entered the game as quarterback. “He is able to come into the game and not just rest Zane, but he comes in and makes a difference,” said Talley.
“Defensively this game was one of our best team efforts of the year,” stated Talley. “Omak has as many fast and dangerous athletes as we have seen on any team this year.”
Chelan’s defense held Omak’s offense in check during the first half to set the tone for the game. Friday night’s tackle leaders were Derrick Talley with 19, Luke Laughlin with 13, Davey Anderson and Greg Schultz each with 12, Zane Sandum with nine, Mat Engstrom with five, and Matt Pittsinger and Cody Olsen with four each followed by Brett Linehan, Gage Schmidt and Jaime Guerrero with three each. Reece McClellan had one tackle on the night.
Zane Sandum caused one fumble. Brett Linehan had one interception and run back. One fumble recovery by each of the following players; Luke Laughlin, Cody Olsen, and Will Nielsen gave our team great field position and momentum during the game.
Chelan’s special teams continued to work well. Julio Juarez nailed a field goal from 31 yards out and continued his great kicking on PAT attempts and kick offs. Jaime Guerrero continued to punt well and while he is not the biggest guy on the team, he continued to be in on the tackles after the ball was kicked off.
“I was very pleased to be able to coach this game after being wrongly ejected in the Tonasket game,” wrote Talley. The Head Umpire of the Tonasket game misapplied a rule stating that even though the sideline infractions were not called on Coach Talley personally, he was the one ejected from that game. The following Monday Chelan’s Athletic Director Scott Raab checked with the WIAA and was notified that this was the wrong interpretation of the rule and it should not have happened.
“I want everyone to know that no foul language was used (during the infraction) and no sexually derogatory language was used in the two simultaneous infractions on our sideline,” reported Talley. “The comments were regarding hometown favoritism by the referee in question. I state this because I have heard from more than one source that they thought the infractions were based on a sexual innuendo about the referee. We as a staff apologize for this incident and will do our best to not ever have this situation again, but in no way was the comment sexually orientated at all. I also, want to go on record that I understand how hard it is to referee a football game, or any sporting event for that matter, and I have no ill feelings toward the Head Umpire who thought he was making the correct ruling on the field. We appreciate all the hard work that our referees do for our kids, without much glory or thanks. Thank you to all referees reading this.”