CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 1 RICHLAND BOMBERS (13-0) VS. NO. 2 CAMAS PAPERMAKERS (13-0)
7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome
Road to the Dome
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Richland: Beat Sunnyside, 41-0, in the first round; beat Bothell, 49-28, in the quarterfinals; and beat Skyview, 35-7, in the semifinals.
Camas: Beat Graham-Kapowsin, 55-6, in the first round; beat Skyline, 28-14, in the quarterfinals; and beat Sumner, 45-21, in the semifinals.
Richland: 17 appearances, two state titles, 24-15 overall.
Camas: 11 appearances, 12-10 overall.
About the Bombers: Coming this far, the Bombers feel that the best way to earn the state title is to do what they’ve done all season: play defense. “Our kids thrive on playing good teams,” coach Mike Neidhold said. Offensively, Mid-Columbia Conference passing leader Paxton Stevens (152 of 290, 2,215 yards, 22 TDs in the regular season) and running backs Ben Stanfield (116 carries, 784 yards, 7 TDs) and Parker McCary (106 carries, 591 yards, 11 TDs) will have to give the defense a chance by limiting mistakes.
About the Papermakers: Camas wants nothing more than to right what happened the last time it reached the state-title game (a final-second loss to Chiawana in 2013). And the Papermakers just might behind 4A Greater St. Helens offensive MVP QB Jack Colletto (177 of 284, 2,662 yards, 25 TDs; 146 carries, 1,165 yards, 20 TDs). This offense is balanced, with three receivers boasting more than 40 receptions each (Cooper McNatt, Drake Owen and Ryan Rushall).
TNT pick: Camas, 28-24.
4A Gridiron Classic records
Passing yards: 384, Max Browne, Skyline (vs. Bellarmine Prep), 2012.
Rushing yards: 254, Tyree Clowe, Central Valley (vs. South Kitsap), 1997.
Receiving yards: 204, Raul Vigil, Pasco (vs. Bethel), 2000.
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CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 1 ARCHBISHOP MURPHY WILDCATS (13-0) VS. NO. 8 LIBERTY PATRIOTS (12-0)
1 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome
Road to the Dome
Archbishop Murphy: Beat North Kitsap, 34-0, in the first round; beat Tumwater, 48-10, in the quarterfinals; and beat Lynden, 52-14, in the semifinals.
Liberty: Beat Steilacoom, 20-13, in the first round; beat River Ridge, 21-14, in the quarterfinals; and beat Ellensburg, 35-26, in the semifinals.
Archbishop Murphy: 11 state appearances, two state titles (both 1A), 27-9 overall.
Liberty: Nine state appearances, one state title (3A), 15-8 overall.
About the Wildcats: Archbishop Murphy is as advertised — big up front, stacked with athletes, seemingly impossible to beat. In the eight games the Wildcats have played (not including five teams that forfeited), they have five shutouts, have allowed 30 total points, and average 50.9 points per game offensively. QB Connor Johnson (61 of 86, 1,392 yards, 19 TDs) has his pick of targets, and WR Anfernee Gurley (1,217 all-purpose yards, 13 total TDs) is a threat everywhere.
About the Patriots: Bellevue, the perennial 3A state powerhouse, has been on Liberty’s schedule 17 of the 18 years Steve Valach has coached there. So, playing a proverbial juggernaut is at least familiar territory. Now in its third year in 2A, Liberty has cruised with its gashing, multifaceted rushing attack — led by RB Cameron Spaeth (104 carries, 749 yards, 7 TDs), RB Dulin Hayden (83 carries, 608 yards, 17 TDs) and QB Austin Regis (99 carries, 526 yards, 21 total TDs) — as its focal point.
TNT pick: Archbishop Murphy, 38-14.
2A Gridiron Classic records
Passing yards: 390, Jeff Bennum, Meridian (vs. East Valley of Yakima), 1999.
Rushing yards: 250, Steven Stoker, Connell (vs. Elma), 2002.
Receiving yards: 271, Zac Vis, Lynden (vs. Tumwater), 2012.
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CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 1 ROYAL KNIGHTS (13-0) VS. NO. 3 CONNELL EAGLES (12-1)
10 a.m. Saturday at Tacoma Dome
Road to the Dome
Royal: Beat Colville, 27-6, in the first round; beat La Salle, 42-12, in the quarterfinals; and beat Deer Park, 56-0, in the semifinals.
Connell: Beat Montesano, 48-28, in the first round; beat Meridian, 56-21, in the quarterfinals; and beat La Center, 24-7, in the semifinals.
Royal: 25 state appearances, six state titles, 46-20 overall.
Connell: 25 state appearances, three state titles (one in 2A, two in 1A), 36-21 overall.
About the Knights: The South Central Athletic Conference is undoubtedly the top league in 1A football. And Royal is the league’s three-time defending champion and riding a 26-game win streak dating back to last season, which ended with a 1A state title. Offense is centered around QB Kaden Jenks (134 of 209, 2,260 yards, 34 TDs; 76 carries, 399 yards, 14 TDs), who also plays defense. His top target is Corbin Christensen (47 catches, 1,094 yards, 18 TDs), who also has six interceptions defensively.
About the Eagles: Connell has lost four games in a row to its league counterpart Royal, including a 28-21 defeat on Week 7. But consider that Royal beat its other opponents by a combined average of 34 points per game. QB Brian Hawkins (141 of 225, 2,214 yards, 33 TDs; 89 carries, 758 yards, 13 TDs) has a big target in 6-foot-2 TE Steven Kroontje (51 catches, 1,009 yards, 19 TDs). Coach Wayne Riner said that to win this game, Connell must prevent Jenks from making big plays in the passing game like earlier in the season.
TNT pick: Royal, 35-21.
1A Gridiron Classic records
Passing yards: 332 Ray Valle, Royal (vs. Freeman), 2004.
Rushing yards: 227, Jevon Butler, Archbishop Murphy (vs. Royal), 2002.
Receiving yards: 219, Spencer Hadley, Connell (vs. Meridian), 2006.
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CLASS 1B STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 2 ODESSA-HARRINGTON TITANS (12-0) VS. NO. 4 NEAH BAY RED DEVILS (9-1)
4 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome
Road to the Dome
Odessa-Harrington: Beat Entiat, 72-16, in the first round; beat Almira/Coulee-Hartline, 60-28 in the quarterfinals; and beat Sunnyside Christian, 42-40, in the semifinals.
Neah Bay: Beat Taholah, 58-22, in the first round; beat Tacoma Baptist, 66-26, in the quarterfinals; and beat Lummi, 28-22, in the semifinals.
Odessa-Harrington: Four state appearances, 4-3 overall (Odessa has 17 appearances, two state titles, 16-15 overall; Harrington has two appearances, 1-2 overall).
Neah Bay: 17 state appearances, three state titles, 23-14 overall.
About the Titans: The brothers Sage and Gaven Elder have each rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season. Sage, the eldest of the two, has ran for 1,425 yards, scoring 23 rushing touchdowns. Gaven has rushed for 1,096 yards with 19 touchdowns. Colton Hunt (53 of 71, 780 yards, 16 TDs) quarterbacks an offense that is averaging more points (68.0) than any Class 1B team in the state. Oh, and its defense is only allowing 13.8 points per game, fewest in Class 1B.
About the Red Devils: What would a Class 1B state title game be without Neah Bay or Lummi Nation School? One of those schools has been playing for a title in each of the past eight years. This year it’s Neah Bay because of its talented offense. QB Rwehabura Munyagi (53 of 94, 813 yards, 15 TDs; 69 carries, 673 yards, 18 TDs) is as great a dual-threat as the Red Devils have had, and RB Cole Svec (111 carries, 997 yards, 8 TDs) was the 1B state player of the year as a sophomore.
TNT pick: Odessa-Harrington 41-40.
1B Gridiron Classic records
Passing yards: 552, Will Hoppes, Tri-Cities Prep (vs. Lummi), 2009.
Rushing yards: 342, Nick Koller, LaCrosse-Washtucna (vs. Touchet), 2002.
Receiving yards: 214, Travis Maitland, Pateros (vs. Inchelium), 1991.
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