WIAA Class 2B state football championship game preview: Will Onalaska complete its dominant undefeated season?

Here is a breakdown of this weekend’s 2019 WIAA Class 2B football championship matchup:

NO. 3 KALAMA CHINOOKS (10-2) VS. NO. 1 ONALASKA LOGGERS (12-0)

12 p.m. Saturday at Harry Lang Stadium, Puyallup

How to watch

Stream live on the NFHS Network (subscription required); Follow for live updates on the Scorebook Live app

Game nugget

If Kalama wins, it will be the first team to win three consecutive 2B state titles since DeSales did it in the late 1990s.

Coaches

Sean McDonald is in his fifth season at Kalama and adds his third 2B state title appearance in his tenure. Jeff Eaton is coaching his 26th season at Onalaska.

State championships

Onalaska: one (1986).

Kalama: three (1998 (1A), 2017, 2018).

Road to the Gridiron Classic

Kalama: Defeated No. 14 Rainier 46-14 in the first round, beat No. 6 Roosevelt 43-0 in the quarterfinals and outlasted No. 2 Napavine in overtime 44-42 in the semifinals.

Onalaska: Beat No. 16 Brewster 60-7 in the first round, No. 9 Tri-Cities Prep 50-0 in the quarterfinals and rolled No. 5 Adna 44-13 in the semifinals.

About the Chinooks

Kalama Chinooks football
Kalama Chinooks football holding up the 2018 2B championship trophy.

Kalama fancies itself a “big-play” team and has the playmakers to do it. That starts with Brennon Vance, returning all-state selection at wideout, who had an 83-yard kick return for touchdown in addition to catching both the tying touchdown and two-point conversion in an overtime win over No. 2 Napavine, a team it lost to in Week 2. Vance’s playmaking has led the two-time defending 2B champs, and has been aided by his budding connection with sophomore receiver-turned-quarterback Jackson Esary, an athlete who isn’t 2B POY quarterback Alex Dyer, but cas beat defenses on his feet and in the air. That chemistry in past years has been held together in large part by Dyer, who graduated. That chemistry, Vance says, didn’t click until  a few weeks into the season after Kalama had started 2-2. “It was a little rough,” Vance said. “First few games were kind of rough, but we’re getting there.” Kalama won despite being nearly doubled in offensive production. But the Chinooks know they will need to not stop altogether, but slow the Onalaska run to remain competitive. 

About the Loggers

onalaska loggers football

Onalaska was the preseason favorite, and held the No. 1 spot across the entire regular season for a reason. The big, tough and imposing Loggers have bullied their way through three blowouts so far in the postseason. They run often and effectively thanks to a sturdy offensive line and all-state running back Ashton Haight. Haight, a 6-foot 200-pound senior, is a 30-plus-carries-per-game bruiser, had 269 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 38 touches in the semifinals. Quarterback Lucas Kreger added three rushing touchdowns and threw another — a 13-yarder to Loggers’ top target Braedon Marshall. Can the Loggers contain Kalama big plays, play near-mistake free football and bring Onalaska its first 2B title in the Mazen Saade era?

Scorebook Live WA pick

Onalaska, 29-14.

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