An overpowering offensive line and one of the top running backs in the area have the undefeated Graham-Kapowsin Eagles looking forward to an exciting ride through the Class 4A state playoffs in the coming weeks.
The third-ranked Eagles took the first step toward a deep run Saturday night, beating Central Kitsap, 42-7, in a 4A district playoff game at Art Crate Field.
Graham-Kapowsin (10-0) will host Bothell next week in the first round of the state playoffs.
Halfback Teague James rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries for the Eagles, who last season suffered a season-ending district loss to Union at home.
“To keep getting knocked off in the first round of the playoffs ... we had to change that,” James said.
Graham-Kapowsin wasted little time doing so, scoring on its first five offensive possessions to grab a 35-0 halftime lead.
James scored on runs of 17 and 6 yards, and the threat of big runs made the Cougars vulnerable against the pass.
Quarterback Trevor Asbjorsen took advantage, hitting Dylan Campbell on a 27-yard screen pass. The pair hooked up again on a play-action pass for a 45-yard score.
James piled up 137 yards on the ground in the first half, while Asbjorsen passed for 145.
“(James is) doing an outstanding job,” G-K coach Eric Kurle said. “Kids are blocking well. We were able to throw the ball and mix it up ... just be a complete team.”
Central Kitsap (7-3) had a hard time getting out of its own way on offense in the first half, getting held to minus-8 rushing yards while falling into a deep hole it just couldn’t dig out of.
“They were doing pretty much whatever they wanted ... that’s a good football team,” Central Kitsap coach Mark Keel said. “You watch them on film and you see what they do, and then you get (that) in real life. They are good.”
Jordon Bautista scored the Cougars’ only points on a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.