SHORELINE — Even if it is just for the time being, the days of Cascade Christian’s pass-happy ways are over.
Now the powerful Cougars are built right for chilly nights like Saturday — Class 1A state playoff weather in November.
Even if King’s knew what was coming, particularly in the second half, the Knights could not stop the Cougars’ rushing attack.
Scoring on its first four drives of the second half, Cascade Christian pulled away for a 37-13 quarterfinal win at Woolsey Stadium.
The Cougars (11-0) will face Mount Baker in the 1A semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Even if Cascade Christian got a few breaks, including a couple of acrobatic pass receptions by tight end Mason Tobeck (off an opponent’s helmet) and receiver Josh Seaton (a one-handed 36-yard catch), the bottom line about its performance Saturday was the run game.
“They obviously made big plays,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said.
Of course, getting a big pass play to get it going to start the second half wasn’t a bad thing, either.
Up 12-7 and facing third-and-8 from its own 24-yard line, Cascade Christian executed the throw-back screen pass to perfection. Most of the Knights’ defense was sucked in one direction, and quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith threw back to the left where Tobeck was stationed.
With three blockers in front of him, Tobeck barreled down the left sideline for a 76-yard touchdown catch-and-run.
“We ran it to perfection,” Tobeck said. “(Cascade Christian coaches) made sure I was max-protecting a lot early in the game to get the defense thinking I am in pass protection — all to set that up.”
King’s (9-3) scored on its first drive of the second half, too, on Lucas Swanson’s 23-yard scamper to cut it to 18-13. But that was as close as the Knights got.
Five of the Cougars’ six plays on their next drive were runs, and Goldsmith capped the 52-yard drive with his 4-yard touchdown run to push it to 24-13 with 51/2 minutes to go in the third quarter.
After forcing King’s to punt, Cascade Christian took over at its own 10 on its next drive — and marched downfield in the same manner a championship squad would.
The Cougars went 90 yards in 11 plays. Ten of them were runs of all varieties. Again, Goldsmith closed it out with a 5-yard run around the left end for a score, and Cascade Christian was in control, up 31-13 with 10:28 to play.
“We put forth a challenge to them to be physical,” Cascade Christian coach Randy Davis said. “And they responded.”Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles