As his Curtis High School football team raced right by him, coach Chris Paulson saw his wife before going into the locker room at halftime.
He asked if she had the Graham-Kapowsin at Bethel football score handy?
She did. And she countered by asking him a follow-up question — do you really want to know?
Paulson said his heart sank.
Well, in the end, he did not have to worry. After Curtis demolished Stadium, 49-16, in a nonleague game in University Place, he got the news he wanted to hear.
Fourth-ranked Graham-Kapowsin won — and Curtis was in the Class 4A state play-in round as the SPSL South’s No. 2 seed. The Vikings will play Bellarmine Prep next Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium. It will be the first time the two teams have met in the postseason in 1967.
“It was awfully strange and difficult because you have no control of what is going on,” said Paulson, who is in his first season as coach at Curtis. “I think our kids feel we are a playoff football team. I think we felt that way all year.”
Because Curtis played the second half under the WIAA’s running-clock mercy rule, the game was finished well before the Graham-Kapowsin at Bethel tilt.
On the flip side, Puyallup — which dominated Rogers, 42-7, at Sparks Stadium to take home the city championship — needed Bethel to upset the Eagles at Art Crate Field.
“We were honest with our kids going into the week,” Puyallup coach Gary Jeffers said. “We knew we were not in control of our own destiny.
“We had a lot of really good seniors that we will miss, but we have a lot of young kids coming back.”
At Olympia 35, Yelm 9: David Woodward ran circles around the Tornados defense, rushing for 204 yards on 15 carries and four touchdowns for the Bears.
Scott Gunther (shoulder) scored his first touchdown since Week 6 after returning from injury. He finished with 26 carries for 302 yards. The Bears offense combined for 517 yards rushing.
4A SPSL NORTH CROSSOVER
At Jefferson 36, Kentlake 14: The 10th-ranked Raiders exploded for 27 fourth-quarter points, but it was a non-scoring run that sparked the turnaround.
Facing third-and-long deep in their own territory, Jefferson called a “Statue of Liberty” play for Kenny Turner, who broke loose for a 68-yard gain to end the third quarter.
Ninety seconds later, Turner finished off the drive with a 5-yard TD run to give the Raiders a 14-9 lead.
Turner rushed for 200 yards, and scored four times (three rushing, one receiving).
Jefferson earned the SPSL North’s No. 2 seed to the state play-in round against Mount Si.
At Tahoma 26, Federal Way 22: Amandre Williams threw three touchdown passes, and the Bears locked up the final seed to the state play-in round with a victory in Maple Valley.
Williams’ 64-yard scoring strike to Austin Brown with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter gave Tahoma a 26-14 lead.
The Eagles scored late with a minute to go, but failed to recover the onside kick.
Kentwood 14, Todd Beamer 0: The Conquerors clinched the top seed out of the 4A SPSL North.
Chavez Kalua-Fuimaono gave Kentwood a first-quarter lead on his five-yard touchdown run and Devonte Sanchez added an insurance TD when he returned a fumble in the third quarter.
Todd Beamer is the No. 4 seed following the loss.
At Wilson 16, Central Kitsap 9: The Rams had to turn away Central Kitsap twice in their own territory in the final three minutes, but hung on at Lincoln Bowl to grab the 3A Narrows League’s No. 2 seed to the state play-in round.
A.J. Ruffin ended the Cougars’ final bid with a sack on fourth down at their own 47 with 1:01 to go. It was the senior defensive end’s fourth sack of the game.
Wilson broke a 9-9 tie by marching 66 yards in 12 plays, capped by Alex Motonaga’s 1-yard touchdown run with 4:45 to go.
The Rams will play Lake Washington, while No. 3-seeded Central Kitsap plays Ballard and No. 4 seed Capital faces off against Columbia River.
At North Thurston 28, Mount Tahoma 0: Anthony Salazar rushed for 124 yards and three scores, and the Rams’ defense held the Thunderbirds to 38 yards in a shutout victory at South Sound Stadium.
At Lakes 42, Auburn 21: Jaiave Magalei threw for three scores, ran for another and the Lancers pulled away in the second half for a victory at Harry E. Lang Stadium.
Andrew Bostic opened the fourth quarter with a 22-yard touchdown run to extend the Lancers’ lead to 42-21.
Lakes entered the game already having clinched the league’s No. 3 seed to the state play-in round.
At Sumner 42, Auburn Riverside 7: Josh Riley rushed for 112 yards and a TD, and the No. 4 Spartans completed the sweep of league play with a convincing win at Memorial Stadium.
Dennis Beard gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead with his 2-yard touchdown run, but the Spartans responded with two quick scoring passes by Luke Ross and never looked back.
At Fife 48, Clover Park 0: Tanner Knapp rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns, and the Trojans blanked the Warriors at home.
Fife is the No. 2 seed to the Class 2A state play-in round, followed by Franklin Pierce (No. 3) and Steilacoom (No. 4).