Even to this day, the man with the gray beard and the jolly old laugh still enjoys winning the Nisqually League 1A football championship.
Coach Randy Davis has a good team at Cascade Christian, which clinched its sixth league title in the past seven seasons by rolling past Charles Wright Academy, 48-14, at Sunset Chev Stadium on Saturday night.
Riley Ramos led the No. 2 Cougars with 145 rushing yards and three touchdowns – with 124 yards coming in the second half. As the league winner, Cascade Christian (9-0) earned an automatic berth into the state playoffs, and will be off next week.
The Tarriers (6-2) will have to wait out a Northwest League mini-playoff Tuesday to know who they will host in the round of 32 in University Place either Friday or Saturday.
Even though the Cougars totaled 447 yards of offense, this showdown with the defending league champions had nervous moments Cascade Christian had rarely experienced this season.
Charles Wright went on an 18-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by Alexander Moore’s 2-yard touchdown run, that ate up 8 minutes, 18 seconds off the clock to cut the Cougars’ lead to 14-7.
Cascade Christian scored right before halftime on Jaelin Goldsmith’s 3-yard pass to Marshall Coleman to push the lead to 21-7.
Up 14, game over, right? Not so fast.
The Tarriers started the second half with two big passing plays, and easily chewed up 97 yards in 58 seconds. Moore scored again, this time on a 1-yard plunge.
“That is the first time I’ve seen that happen this year, getting up by a couple scores and our defense kind of let off,” Davis said. “I think they thought they had it in the bag.”
And Charles Wright’s Travis Sowell executed the perfect dribbling onside kick that he plucked off the ground, giving his team possession of the football.
The Tarriers marched to the Cougars’ 19 before stalling. And Sowell’s 36-yard field goal attempt missed at the 8:05 mark of the third quarter.
“Not converting on the drive was pretty crucial,” Tarriers coach Mike Finch said. “What we had been talking about all week is that Cascade Christian is a third-quarter team. If you cannot score points, and allow them to score points, that is a recipe for losing.”
Goldsmith increased the Cougars’ lead to 28-14 on his 25-yard touchdown pass to Mason Tobeck 21/2 minutes later. And after that, Ramos powered through the Charles Wright defense for his three touchdowns.
“Our offense was clicking tonight,” Davis said.
As they keep racking up wins, the Cougars also keep losing key players. They should get running back Hunter Austin back for the playoffs, but they might have lost Tobeck for an extended period with a leg injury.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles