If the Steilacoom Sentinels felt their focus reeling or effort lacking at all this week in practice, somebody would surely bring up the same September moment.
It was the Week 3 result – a 56-47 loss to Lynden.
Well, the rematch Saturday was not so dreadful – or close for the Sentinels, who handed the Lions their first shutout loss in the state playoffs since 1979 with a 42-0 victory at Mount Tahoma Stadium in the Class 2A state semifinals.
Emeka Egbuka scored four touchdowns – two runs, and two receptions – and Rasun Williams rushed for a game-high 183 yards and a score as the Sentinels racked up 412 yards of offense.
But the story was the Steilacoom defense, which held the Lions to 204 yards, only allowing them to cross midfield four times – with no trips to the red zone.
Steilacoom coach Colby Davies was quick to give credit to defensive coordinator Mike Martin.
“It showed how much we’ve improved since Week 3, especially on defense,” Davies said. “You just don’t see the that kind of score (flip) very often.”
Full game story at The News Tribune.
CLASS 2A SEMIFINALS
NO. 1 TUMWATER THUNDERBIRDS 55, NO. 4 HOCKINSON HAWKS 7
The T-Birds took advantage of four first-half Hockinson turnovers, then opened the second half with a huge exclamation point – Jack Jones’ 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – in ending the Hawks’ two-year reign as 2A champions.
Tumwater had built a 38-7 halftime lead.
Dylan Paine led the Wing-T attack with 188 yards on 15 carries, with a pair of touchdowns.
Full game story at The Olympian.
CLASS 1A SEMIFINALS
NO. 1 ROYAL KNIGHTS 42, NO. 13 CONNELL EAGLES 0
Royal has been an immovable force atop 1A throughout the course of the season, and on Saturday, the Knights offered nothing to dispute that.
Caleb Christiansen completed nine of his 14 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns to lead Royal past Connell at Lions Field in Moses Lake.
“We do, we knew we were running into a freakin’ freight train tonight,” Connell coach Wayne Riner said. “You just shake your head and go, ‘what do you do?’ They’re such a machine, coached so well,”
The Knights, who were upset in the 1A semifinals last year as the 1-seed to end a 53-game win streak, scored 28 points in the second quarter, highlighted by two touchdown catches of 25 and 46 yards.
They led 35-0 at halftime. Royal (13-0) has outscored opponents 168-13 in the playoffs.
For Connell, the loss puts an end to a run that included wins over 4-seed La Center and 5-seed Mount Baker.
Connell coach Wayne Riner said leading up to the game that he knew his team would be running into a “wall.”
“They can just hurt you in so many ways,” Riner said. “Usually you have one receiver you have to worry about, with them you have to worry about four of them. I’ve never seen anything like it at our level.”
FULL BOX SCORE via the Scorebook Live app
NO. 7 LYNDEN CHRISTIAN LYNCS 14, NO. 6 DEER PARK STAGS 7
Easton Stremler scored a two-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to help push Lynden Christian past Deer Park into the 1A state championship at Everett Memorial Stadium, its first appearance since 1997.
Junior Jackson Apol had the game-sealing interception with less than two minutes to play.
The Lyncs kept Deer Park’s offense out of the end zone all game. Early in the second quarter, Deer Park’s Ryan Durgeloh intercepted a pass from Trajan Schouten and ran it back 42 yards to tie the game at 7-7.
The Lyncs, a 7-seed, ran past Cascade Christian and La Salle in the first two rounds.
CLASS 2B SEMIFINALS
NO. 3 KALAMA CHINOOKS 44, NO. 2 NAPAVINE TIGERS 42 (OT)
Jackson Esary threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Brennon Vance in overtime, then clinched the two-time defending state champions a spot in the finals when he connected with the same target – again – for the game-winning two-point conversion pass at Centralia High School.
Napavine quarterback Laythan Demarest gave the Tigers a 42-36 lead in overtime on his 8-yard touchdown run.
Esary tied the game at 36-36 on his 1-yard touchdown run with 39 seconds remaining, but Napavine blocked the PAT kick to send the game into overtime.
Here is The (Longview) Daily News’ game story.
NO. 1 ONALASKA LOGGERS 44, NO. 5 ADNA PIRATES 13
It’s been 33 years since Onalaska won the state championship – and the Loggers will go for No. 2 next Saturday.
The Loggers’ big play came with just a few seconds remaining in the first half when Lucas Kreger hit Braedon Marshall on a 14-yard touchdown pass to give Onalaska a 28-7 lead.
CLASS 1B SEMIFINALS
NO. 2 NASELLE 70, NO. 3 ALIMRA/COULEE-HARTLINE 44
Turns out, the 1B championship game will be East versus West after all.
Naselle beat Almira/Coulee-Hartline 70-44 at Tumwater High School, fueled by a lopsided second half. The Comets led 32-30 at halftime.
Fa’aosa Tutu’u rushed for five touchdowns — four in the second half — to help the Comets pull away.
For Naselle, the win was a landmark. It lost to ACH in 1B state semifinals last season, 82-28.
Stats via The Longview Daily News
NO. 1 ODESSA TIGERS 84, NO. 4 ENTIAT TIGERS 20
Odessa will not be slowed.
The defending 1B state champion and overwhelming favorite to repeat defeated Entiat 84-20 at Lions Field in Moses Lake, a rematch of a league game earlier in the season.
Odessa led 68-0 at half.