Pullman vowed to get tougher and more physical after getting thumped by Class 1A Freeman two weeks ago.
That vow paid off Friday night when the Greyhounds overcame a 12-point deficit with less than eight minutes to play and knocked off Cheney 29-26 in a Great Northern League opener at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field.
“If you saw that game (vs. Freeman), you saw that we were just manhandled,” a gleeful Pullman coach Dan Lucier said. “We’re still a young team and that game was the turning point for us. We vowed we would get tougher after that game. We had to be more physical last week against Moscow because that’s a tough football team, too. To come into a great place like this and win a game this way, this is great!”
Austin Kline gave Cheney the lead with 6:16 to play in the third quarter, breaking through a big hole on the right side and racing 52 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. But the PAT missed and the score stood at 20-14.
Logan Clayden added a 35-yard run on a counter with 7:49 to play in the game. After another missed PAT, the Cheney lead was 26-14.
Pullman (3-1, 1-0) got up off the mat on its next series.
David Ungerer returned the Cheney kickoff 29 yards to give the Greyhounds a first down at their own 42. Quarterback Mason Petrino needed just seven plays to get the team into the end zone. He threw a 9-yard scoring pass to Ungerer as the Greyhounds closed to within 26-21.
The Pullman defense stopped Cheney (3-1, 0-1) on three downs and the Blackhawks punted, then punted again after being called for holding at their own 36, ultimately kicking away from their 16.
Starting from their 44, the Greyhounds stalled at the Cheney 43. On fourth-and-10, found Ungerer 20 yards downfield. He raced into the end zone, only to have the play called back on an illegal block. That left Pullman with a first down at the Cheney 24.
One play later Petrino rolled right and found Pintak in the end zone. Pintak juggled the ball, but came down with it to give Pullman the lead. Petrino added a 2-point conversion on a quarterback draw.