Resilient Prairie runs to victory in second half

Key interception, Hamiel's rushing sparks 34-28 win

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

BATTLE GROUND -- Two plays by Ronnie Evenden encapsulated the night for the Prairie Falcons.

One play after being beaten for a 52-yard pass play, Evenden came up with a big interception that helped turn the tide in the Falcons' 34-28 victory Friday over Battle Ground.

"That turned it around for us," Denzel Hamiel said of Evenden's play. "We knew we couldn't lose hope in the second half, and we can thank Ronnie Evenden for that. His play changed everything for us."

Little went well for Prairie in the first half as Battle Ground took a 14-0 lead.

Evenden's interception came with Battle Ground leading 14-7 in the third quarter and looking to answer Prairie's first score.

After taking the ball on Evenden's interception, the Falcons (2-0) drove 65 yards and scored on a 4-yard run by Hamiel to make 14-13.

Battle Ground reasserted itself by going 63 yard in three plays to take a 21-13 lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass play from Colston Vukanovich to Parker Randle at the end of the third quarter.

But Prairie struck quickly as Jason Bracken scored on an 82-yard pass from Tyler Armstrong on the next play from scrimmage that got the Falcons within 21-19.

"We weren't playing as a team in the first half," Bracken said. "We really came together in the second half once we figured out that Battle Ground just wasn't going to lie down and let us win. So we had to take it up to the next level."

Hamiel took his game up to the next level in the fourth quarter, when he rushed for 78 of his 135 yards.

"I probably wouldn't have got nothing without our line," Hamiel said. "They were doing great, doing their assignments, doing what they were told. I mean we got a great line. We're going to do big things with that line."

With Prairie leading 27-21 and Battle Ground looking to get a stop, the Falcons sealed the win with a 38-yard touchdown pass play to Hamiel for 34-21 lead with 3:21 left in the game. It was Hamiel's fourth touchdown of the night.

"With Skyview last week, our kids got some confident and learned 'hey we can play with anybody,' " Prairie coach Terry Hyde said. "Today, they showed a lot of character because they were down and facing a lot of adversity, and they didn't quit. They just went work, made adjustment and do what they had to do."

The loss wasted a stellar game from Vukanovich, who completed 27 of 38 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 66 yards. Hayden Humphrey had 10 receptions for 104 yards for Battle Ground (0-2).

PRAIRIE 34, BATTLE GROUND 28

Prairie 0 0 13 21--34

Battle Ground 0 14 7 7--28

Second quarter

BG -- Parker Randle 5 pass from Colston Vukanovich (Hayden Humphrey kick)

BG -- Vukanovich 4 run (Humphrey kick)

Third quarter

P -- Denzel Hamiel 5 run (Scott Keyser kick)

P -- Hamiel 4 run (kick failed)

BG -- Randle 23 pass from Vukanovich (Humphrey kick)

Fourth quarter

P -- Jason Bracken 82 pass from Tyler Armstrong (run failed)

P -- Hamiel 8 run (Hamiel run)

P -- Hamiel 38 pass from Armstrong (Keyser kick)

BG -- Colby Cahoon 13 pass from Vukanovich (Humphrey kick)

Individual statistics

RUSHING -- Prairie: Hamiel 20-135, Ronnie Evenden 12-80, Dallas Goodpaster 13-42, Bracken 2-2, Armstrong 2-(-16). Battle Ground: Vukanovich 12-66, Justin Smalley 8-39

PASSING -- Prairie, Armstrong 6-15-1-171. Battle Ground: Vukanovich 27-38-1-349.

RECEIVING -- Prairie, Bracken 3-123, Hamiel 1-38, Goodpaster 2-10. Battle Ground: Randle 4-112, Josh Lemar 5-89, Humphrey 10-104, Cahoon 3-20, Smalley 2-13, Conner Agar 3-11