After watching Orting score three unanswered touchdowns to overcome Charles Wright's big first-half lead, the Tarriers' launched a 10-play, 70-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, capped by Raheem Hughey's 5-yard touchdown plunge to claim a 38-35 win over the Cardinals on Oct. 6.
"We knew coming in how big this game was," said Charles Wright head coach Mike Finch. "It was a comeback for both teams, that last drive you saw was (linemen) Parker Rush and Nick Mungia saying to their guys 'suck it up, here we go, this is what we've worked for'...it was pretty impressive."
Charles Wright started quickly, marching 76 yards in 12 plays on the game's opening drive and scoring on Fritz Jacobson's 10-yard pass to Alex Nielsen. After recovering a fumble on the kickoff, the Tarriers punched it in again on Jacobson's 5-yard pass to Collin Hungate.
Orting answered with a 39-yard touchdown reception by Christian Yoro, whose 50-yard run earlier on the drive set up the Cardinals scoring chance. Charles Wright's Alexander Moore quickly took back momentum with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, putting the Tarriers up 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Yoro would score on a 68-yard catch in the second to cut the lead to 28-14, leading to a key moment in the game when Charles Wright rushed their field goal team on the field to hit a 25-yarder with no time left in the first half for a 31-14 lead.
Orting came out of the gates quick in the second half, as Yoro capped a long drive with a two-yard touchdown and Connor Rose scored early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 31-28. After the Tarriers' next drive was killed by penalties, Orting set up at the Charles Wright 35-yard line, and scored on Rose's 26-yard run with 6:28 left in the game.
Charles Wright's offense then stepped up, as Jacobson hit Chris Lee for a key third-down conversion and Reynolds later added a 12-yard run to the Cardinals'
5-yard line to set up Hughey's big moment.
"I just saw great blocks from my line, went (through) and dove over," said Hughey of his score.
The wildness was far from over, as Yoro's 30-yard run put the Cardinals in great shape on their final drive, and they would move the ball to the Tarriers' 19-yard line with 30 seconds remaining. The Tarriers broke up three passes, including one in the back of the end zone on fourth down, to snuff out the drive and clinch the key league victory.
"We came together as a team...it was a team effort that whole game," said Reynolds, who unofficially finished with 80 yards rushing on 12 carries. Jacobson finished 12-for-17 for 149 yards and two touchdowns for the Tarriers.
Yoro did most of the damage for Orting, with 13 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 107 yards and two scores. Rose added 89 yards rushing and two scores on 15 carries for the Cardinals.
The win puts Charles Wright at 4-1 and in control of their own destiny in league play, as they came back from a disappointing 33-0 loss to Cascade Christian last week.