TACOMA — The quarterfinal game of the Class 2A Gridiron Classic matchup between No. 7 Prosser and the No. 2 Steilacoom Sentinels validated the Mustangs’ resolve and overall desire to remain together on the field of play until the last whistle on Friday, Nov. 22, at Mount Tahoma Stadium.

“It’s just tough. Because more than anything, you just want to stay together. That’s what is so great about playing Prosser football… is the memories you get to create, and the moments shared,” coach Corey Ingvalson dejectedly expressed immediately following the team’s 48-15 loss. “For us to have the end tonight… the finality of it all is hard and that’s what we’ll miss most.”

The run and gun Mustang offense helmed by sophomore quarterback Kaiden Rivera threw for over 2,523 yards and 20 touchdowns on 216 completions with nine interceptions since replacing injured junior Haden Hicks in the second half of the season home opener against Sunnyside.

Senior running back Logan Candanoza rushed for 934 yards on 146 carries with 13 TDs, along with 33 receptions for 279 yards and one TD. The all-purpose player provided key leadership in guiding the CWAC Champion Mustangs to a 4-3 league South, 8-3 overall record.

The wide receiving corps was led by senior Will Thompson’s 37 receptions for 687 yards and six TDs, senior Anthony Kernan caught 32 passes for 423 yards and three TDs, junior Brock Weinmann hauled in 29 catches for 425 yards and one TD, junior Jake Jensen fielded 26 balls for 282 yards and three TDs, senior Diego Chavez snagged 21 receptions for 105 yards and one TD and senior Case Reinmuth had 20 catches for 273 yards and three TDs.

“One game is not going to define our season and how we feel about it. We didn’t get the desired outcome of tonight but all in all we’re very proud of what we were able to do. We thought we were playing our best football at the end of the year and that was our main goal,” Ingvalson stated.

Sentinel junior wide receiver Emeka Egbuka hurdled past the Prosser defense on his way for a six-yard rushing touchdown with 6:37 in the opening quarter as the home team went on top, 7-0. The Steilacoom standout is anticipated to be one of the nation’s top recruits for 2021 and has 1,286 receiving yards to accompany his 19 TDs upon entering the game.

Steilacoom added 21 unanswered points in the second quarter until Rivera connected with Kernan on a 21-yard TD with 17-seconds left in first half to cut the lead, 28-7 at halftime.

“It’s the playoffs, you have to go all out on every play and leave everything out there on the field, no regrets,” Reinmuth emotionally acknowledged. “I grew up with all these guys since freshman year. Everyday hitting the weight room with them. It sucks to be all over… the time just flies by and you have to take advantage it!”

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email PShelby@SunnysideSun.com

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