LACEY – McCarthy Tonuao scored twice on short runs, Chris MacNeil hit Justace Buhl on a 56-yard touchdown pass, and Timberline Highwon its eighth consecutive game with a 34-16 district playoff victory over Chief Sealth Friday at South Sound Stadium.
Timberline (9-1) will advance to the Class 3A state tournament, marking the eighth time over the last 10 seasons the Blazers have made it to the field of 16.
Up next is the winner of today’s matchup between WesCo 3A runner-up Marysville-Pilchuck (7-2) and Mountain View (5-4), the No. 3 seed out of the 3A Greater St. Helens League.
Regardless of the outcome, the Blazers will host the game.
“There’s a reason why they’re 9-1,” Chief Sealth coach Luther Carr III said. “(They are) just a very sound football team. ... They put a lot of players in the box on defense and make it difficult for you.”
That defense has been stout all season, especially against the run. Brandon Wetzel, the Narrows League 3A defensive MVP, and his cohorts have taken it to another level recently.
A week after holding Shelton’s Ralph Kinne, the state’s leading rusher to a season-low 112 yards, the Blazers held Chief Sealth (4-6) to minus-11 yards rushing in the first half. All four of their first-quarter possessions were three-and-outs.
“The defense has been dialed in all season,” Mullen said. “... Any time you hold a team to negative yards in the first half you have to be pleased.”
Tonuao scored on runs of 1 and 2 yards, helping Timberline to a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter before Tanner Risk capped the first half scoring with his 1-yard plunge, pushing the advantage to 20-0 with 21/2 minutes left.