High School Sports

Cal commit Evan Weaver runs for 133 yards, lifts Gonzaga Prep 34-16 4A title victory over Skyline

The Gonzaga Prep football team didn’t need a flashy spread offense or 400 passing yards.

Its ground-and-pound run game and a dominant defense did just fine.

The Bullpups of Spokane capped their undefeated season and won their first state title since 1986 and fourth overall with a 34-16 victory over Skyline in the 4A state championship game on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Standout defensive lineman Evan Weaver, a University of California, Berkeley commit, started at running back for one of the few times this season. He had 24 carries for 133 yards and two touchdowns while also forcing a fumble with Skyline inside the Gonzaga Prep 10-yard line.

Gonzaga Prep held a Skyline offense that compiled 542 yards of total offense — including 436 passing yards from quarterback Blake Gregory — in a semifinal victory over Lake Stevens to 338 yards (after 102 in the first half) Saturday.

The Bullpups (14-0) allowed just 12.7 points per game and allowed 18 points or fewer in 12 of its 14 games.

Gonzaga Prep only needed to toss the ball to Devin Culp in the first half.

The sophomore wide receiver put Gonzaga Prep on the scoreboard late in the first quarter with a reverse pitch for a 16-yard touchdown.

Jared Kutsch then hit a 27-yard field goal to put the Bullpups up 10-0. Culp took another reverse pitch, again to the left, on the following Gonzaga Prep drive and swerved back across the field for a 59-yard touchdown run.

Weaver added a 1-yard touchdown run and Gonzaga Prep led, 24-0.

Gonzaga Prep was sloppier to start the second half. In a comedy of errors, the Bullpups fumbled the ball to Skyline inside their own 10 on the opening drive, then Weaver forced Skyline’s Rashaad Boddie to fumble and Gonzaga Prep recovered, only to fumble it back to Skyline — all in less than a minute.

Skyline scored its first touchdown when Gregory hit Jake Pendergast for a 4-yard score with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter.

But Weaver added his second TD run and Kutsch his second field goal as Gonzaga Prep pulled well ahead, 34-9, in the fourth quarter.

Danny Sinatro caught a late 2-yard, one-handed TD pass. But that was indicative of how difficult it was for Skyline to score. The Spartans (12-2) lost for the first time since losing at Graham-Kapowsin, 38-34, on Oct. 8.

Skyline coach Mat Taylor was looking to pass former Curtis coach Bob Lucey and Chiawana coach Steve Graff for the most 4A state titles in state history. They remained tied with four each.