PASCO, Wash.–The Tri-City Rush ran out the clock on the Idaho Horsemen to win their regular season finale 47-40 Friday night. The game looked like it was shaping up to be a shootout of sorts when both teams scored in three plays on their first possessions, but Idaho led just 14-6 after the 1st quarter, and 20-19 at the half.
Tri-City took its first lead of the game early in the 3rd when Quarterback Les Obie connected with Dashun Salgado Jr. for a TD pass. Salgado caught the ball close to the 3-yard line and by-stepped a defender to get the six points. The point after try was good, and the Rush jumped up 26-20. It was a short-lived lead, though, as Horsemen RB Jaquan Blackwell rushed for a touchdown mere moments later to tie the game at 26 a piece. Idaho went for a two point conversion, but QB Giovanni Sanders’ pass was intercepted in the end zone by Rush defensive back Marcellus Pippins. With quick maneuvering and help from a couple of nice blocks, he returned the the pick the full length of the field to earn what might be the best two points any team has scored at once all season.
The Rush would score on their following possession, and led 35-32 after three quarters of play.
The Tri-City special teams unit blocked a punt early in the 4th to set up another Rush touchdown, courtesy of running back Keithon Flemming. The Idaho offense threatened to get back within one score later in the 4th, but the Rush defense held a goal line stand.
Running back Marco Garcia would punch the ball in one more time for TCR shortly there after, giving the home team a 47-32 advantage. Idaho return man Rashad Flanders scored a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff return, and the Horsmen converted a two-point try to make it 47-40 with about three minutes to play. From there, the Rush were able to run out the clock, and claim the top spot in the American West Football Conference standings.
The Rush finish the regular season with eight wins and two losses. They will host the AWFC Championship game inside the HAPO Center on September 4th.