One of Graham-Kapowsin’s assistant coaches walked up to Dylan Morris after the game, standing almost face to face with his team’s junior quarterback.
He told him that he played like the best quarterback in the state on Friday night.
Morris might have proved something to those in the stands at packed stadium at Art Crate Field in Spanaway in a thrilling 34-28 victory against No. 2 Sumner, but not to himself.
“I feel like I’m playing how I always have,” said Morris after a near flawless performance – completing 29 of 33 passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns in the 100th victory in the G-K football program’s history.
“My coaches put a lot of confidence in me, my receivers put a lot of confidence in me. I don’t feel like I need to prove anything – I just need to play how I always play.”
And that play from the University of Washington commit helped the third-ranked Eagles (4-0) get their long-awaited payback win over Sumner (3-1), handing the Spartans their first league loss since Oct. 17, 2014 against Lakes when they were in the 3A South Puget Sound League.
They’re the defending 4A SPSL champs coming off a trip to the state semifinals, and they stunned the Eagles last year in a 34-27 win.
“We wanted it bad,” Morris said. “We watched the film from that game and we outplayed them. They just had bigger plays. We wanted it back since the next day – and we got this win.”
Graham-Kapowsin scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1 minute, 47 seconds to play when Morris hit Tre Mason for a three-yard touchdown (the point-after was blocked). Mason, who finished with 11 catches for 154 yards, had earlier left the field because his legs were cramping.
“It was painful,” Mason said of the TD catch. “But it was definitely worth it.”
So a Graham-Kapowsin kickoff was coming up.
Remember last year?
G-K had tied the game late only for Sumner’s Connor Wedington to make what was probably the play of the year with his zig-zagging 87-yard kick return TD.
But no Wedington this time. He’s now playing alongside former G-K five-star offensive lineman Foster Sarell at Stanford.
“I thought it was funny when they kicked it short on the opening kickoff,” Sumner coach Keith Ross said. “I’m like, “Connor isn’t there anymore.”
Sumner started its final drive on its own 33 and quarterback Luke Ross was sacked on back-to-back plays. Two holding penalties then pinned the Spartans back at their 5, facing fourth-and-38.
They tried some trickery, throwing a pass to Tre Weed, who lateralled it to Ben Wilson, who pitched it to Luke Ross — but Sumner didn’t travel nearly as far as it needed and it turned it over on downs.
“I thought we were going to go two-minute, kick the PAT and win the game,” Keith Ross said. “I really did with the way the game was going.”
Sumner struck first. Morris completed each of his first seven passes to get the Eagles to the 2, but Micah Smith, who missed last week’s game with a thumb injury and had a splint on it Friday, fumbled the ball.
Sumner recovered and ended the ensuing drive with a 13-yard TD pass to Tre Weed and a 7-0 lead.
But Graham-Kapowsin followed with three unanswered touchdowns to lead 21-7 in the third quarter.
Then, Sumner’s turn.
Luke Ross hit Weed for a 19-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 19. Then it’s top ranked defense, led by reigning 4A SPSL defensive player of the year and TCU commit Ben Wilson at linebacker, forced G-K to punt. But it was blocked and two plays later Weed caught his third touchdown pass to tie the game at 21-21 with 1.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
G-K coach Eric Kurle was asked if he was having flashbacks of last year.
“Oh yeah, you bet I was,” he laughed.
But the Eagles answered. Smith, who had 20 carries for 105 yards, finished the next drive with his second rushing touchdown. Sumner then got a 49-yard touchdown pass from Luke Ross to Thane Birrer. Ross completed 13 of 21 passes for 200 yards and four TDs.
This is a different Morris at quarterback for G-K. And Kurle has tossed some of his usual pro-style schemes to the wind this year to give Morris opportunities to be a spread gunslinger.
Morris completed five consecutive passes to end the game, including a 34-yarder to Tyler Wheeler off a play action and the three-yard TD to Mason.
“He’s lights out,” Kurle said. “He’s the best quarterback I’ve seen in high school football. When I let the strings off, he can make every throw. But he would have been happy if we had won and he threw it five times. That’s wonderful about him.
“Our offense is a lot different and now his abilities are showing. The college coaches could see it. But a lot of the fans couldn’t see it because of what we were doing.”
Morris threw for 89 yards, including a pick-six, in last year’s game against Sumner.
“You know, my teammates were telling me I had to have a big game,” Morris said. “They were telling me I struggled a bit last year. I had great coaches, and play calling was great tonight, the line blocks were incredible, my receivers did everything for me – I just had to throw it to them.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
NO. 2 SUMNER
NO. 3 GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN
S – Tre Weed 13 pass from Luke Ross (Colton Sigafoos kick)
GK – Tyler Wheeler 29 pass from Dylan Morris (kick failed)
GK – Micah Smith 19 run (Smith run)
GK – Viliami Hansen 1 run (Colin Manners kick)
S – Weed 19 pass from Ross (Sigafoos kick)
S – Weed 10 pass from Ross (Sigafoos kick)
GK – Smith 3 run (Manners kick)
S – Thane Birrer 49 pass from Ross (Sigafoos kick)
GK – Tre Mason 3 pass from Morris (kick failed)
RUSHING – Sumner: Ben Wilson 14-105, Tre Weed 7-17, Luke Ross 4-11. Graham-Kapowsin: Micah Smith 20-105, Aaron Olmos 5-24, Viliami Hansen 5-24.
PASSING – Sumner: Luke Ross 13-21-1-200. Graham-Kapowsin: Dylan Morris 29-33-0-378.
RECEIVING – Sumner: Tre Weed 6-69, Thane Birrer 2-75, Alex Fraser 2-40. Graham-Kapowsin: Tre Mason III 11-154, Eython Daugherty 6-73, Tyler Wheeler 5-79, Malaki Roberson 4-49.