The Morton-White Pass Timberwolves are in the Class 2B state finals for the third straight season.
All it took was a complete performance on both sides of the ball.
The top-ranked Timberwolves used a couple key stops on defense — coupled with a 14-point fourth quarter — to upend Raymond, 27-14, in the 2B state semifinals Saturday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome.
Morton-White Pass (13-0) will take on the Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos in a rematch of last year’s final at 4 p.m. next Saturday at the Dome.
“I’m just happy to be back right now,” Morton-White Pass coach Aaron Poquette said. “The pressure is on them right now. I really believe that. They’re the defending state champions. We just get to come and play, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Trailing a 7-0 at halftime, fifth-ranked Raymond (9-2) scored on its opening possession of the second half, getting a 3-yard touchdown run from Darol Ratsavongsy to tie the score at 7 in the third quarter. But Morton-White Pass answered on its ensuing possession, as Ben Powell took a counter play on fourth-and-2 from the 46-yard line and went the distance for a touchdown with 6:35 left in the quarter.
The Timberwolves added another score early in the fourth quarter when Rylon Kolb tossed a 37-yard TD pass to Kalen Dunlap. The defense also held strong on two key possessions, holding the Gulls out of the end zone twice when they had the ball inside the Morton-White Pass 30-yard line.
“They’re a team that works on momentum, for sure,” said defensive lineman Tommy Seaman, whose first career interception thwarted another Raymond drive earlier in the game. “They feed off momentum. You stop that, you can stop their team.”
Raymond rushed for 222 yards in the game, but the Timberwolves held strong when they needed it most.
“I thought those were big plays,” Poquette said of the defensive stops. “This is a game of big plays when you get to this level.”
Brian Reynolds’ 8-yard touchdown run capped off the scoring for the Timberwolves, who gained 146 yards on the ground and got rushing touchdowns from three different players.