Archbishop Murphy Routs King’s, Remains Undefeated By Steve Dion
There are two leaders in the Cascade League that have emerged from the rest of the pack and week eight would retain one of two blemish-free records between Archbishop Murphy and King’s. The visiting AM Wildcats entered the ballgame with a remarkable 353-19 scoring tally in the first seven games. Jim Shapiro’s home King’s squad opened the season with an impressive victory over perennial 2A contender Lynden and kept winning. It was senior night for King’s at Woolsey Stadium; would the Knights defend their home field against league rival?
After receiving the opening kickoff, Wildcat tailback Kerry Jackson rumbled 82 yards to the house and gave AMHS an early lead. This immediate strike gave the visitors an upper hand off the bat and would serve as a catalyst for the remainder of the contest. Midway through the first, the Knight’s defended a fake punt by AM in Wildcat territory. Would the Knight’s make them pay? Nope. Anfernee Gurley intercepted a Knight’s pass thirty seconds later and was rewarded with a 10 yard touchdown pass by Connor Johnson on the first play of the second quarter. King’s put together a scoring drive set up by a Jake Welch pick that allowed Andrew Cline to pound the rock into the endzone and bring the score to 21-7. Archbishop Murphy didn’t blink. Kerry Jackson scored another touchdown minutes later after steamrolling a King’s defender at the goal line. At the half, the visitor led 21-7.
The opening drive for King’s in the second half seemed important to set the tone for the remainder of the ball game. Unfortunately, they were unable to move the sticks and were forced to punt immediately. The Wildcats put the game out of reach on the ensuing drive when Jackson completed the hat trick on another touchdown run. The rout was in full effect as Archbishop Murphy recorded 21 more points before the final whistle. With a 49-7 final score, Archbishop Murphy has emerged as the clear favorite in the Cascade League. However, King’s has the ability to steer the ship back in the right direction moving forward. They need to get some key starters healthy and put this fluky loss behind them.
King’s Caps off Perfect League Record Against Archbishop Murphy By Steven Dion
Friday- February 6
King's High School
King’s Sophomore Corey Kispert
The end of the regular season has arrived and the top dogs of the Cascade League in King’s and Archbishop Murphy would see the rivalry renewed on senior night for the Knights. A packed Mike Martin gymnasium was excited to see undefeated King’s take on second place Archbishop Murphy who was hungry to avenge a 65-40 loss earlier in the season. Would Rick Skeen and Co. finish conference play blemish-free or would the Wildcats play spoiler in the league finale?
Archbishop took a quick 7-0 lead to start the contest which got the home team off balance. Coach Skeen switched up his normal starting lineup for senior night and it appeared the chemistry early on was affected. The Knights proceeded to roll out a 14-2 run and capture a lead by the end of the first frame. Corey Kispert drained one of his four three-pointers en route to a game-high 27 points. The dynamic sophomore would go on to show his all-around versatility as a top player in the state. The Wildcats responded in the second quarter by increasing the intensity on both ends of the floor. D’Andre Bryant knocked down some tough shots and the Cats rebounded well as a team. At halftime, the home squad led by a single point at 28-27.
With anticipation for an exciting second half, the seesaw ride continued for the majority of the third quarter. Points were at a premium and with a chance to take control of the contest, King’s stood up. Their length advantage paid dividends as tenacious defenders like Noah Bundrant forced turnovers that led to buckets at the other end. Kispert scored nine in the frame including a pair of triples which proved to be daggers. AMHS could not climb back the double digit lead built in the fourth quarter despite efforts by Abraham Lucas and Anfernee Gurley. The Knights finish Cascade play undefeated and poised to make a run at the 1A state title.
Kentwood Exhibits Strength Against Cedarcrest By Steven Dion
Friday- December 26
Kennedy Catholic High School
Kentwood Sophomore Rayvaughn Bolton
The opening round of the 2014 Oberto Christmas Classic at Kennedy HS featured 4A power Kentwood against Cedarcrest from the 2A class. A stark contrast between these two teams heading into the contest was team size and how it would affect the outcome of the game as the Conks are built like a football team on the hardwood. The Red Wolves are slighter in stature but have some crafty guards that do not back down. Would Cedarcrest give KW a challenge in the first round of the holiday tourney?
Kentwood challenged CHS from the start as they applied full-court pressure which resulted in backcourt turnovers. The Conks did not take advantage of the defensive effort early as they chose to take 3 point attempts that did not fall early. However, Cedarcrest’s early bit of momentum on offense went ice cold for the majority of the first half. After scoring only 8 first quarter points, the Red Wolves were in trouble. Preston White and Marcus Lubom both notched 10 points for the Conquerors in the first half which was more than CHS’ scoring total through quarters one and two. Nik Rearson tallied 5 for the Red Wolves as he went 5/6 from the line in the first 16 minutes. Mark Prince would hope to rally his Cedarcrest squad at the break to close the gap as the halftime score read 48-17 in favor of Kentwood.
Cedarcrest was able to play a competitive second half as the lead grew by a much smaller margin than it did in the first half. They held the Conks to 15 third quarter points and were able to drain a pair of three-balls from Alex Paulsen and Robert Cha. The fourth quarter featured quality minutes for Kentwood Coach Blake Solomon’s reserves. Jordan Jones knocked down two from downtown in the final frame as Kentwood secured a 76-39 victory. There was exceptional sportsmanship displayed by Kentwood as they overmatched their opponent, but showed respect for Cedarcrest.
The Final Score: Kentwood 76 Cedarcrest 39
Top Performers: Kentwood
5 players in double figures (Preston White-14, Davonte Sanchez-12, Marcus Lubom-11, Rayvaughn Bolton-11, Malik Sanchez-11)
Sedro-Woolley Faces off Against Lynden for 2A State Final By Steven Dion
The 2A final appears to have the best chance of becoming an instant classic. The interesting storylines heading into this game are seemingly endless. Lynden has won the last 3 titles including six of the previous 8 whereas Sedro-Woolley is in rare territory playing December football. Both teams hail from the highly competitive Northwest League that produce hotly contested games in the regular season. They squared off at Lynden on October 24th and the home team escaped with a 33-30 victory. I caught up with Dave Ward this week and he said Lynden’s ability to create a half-dozen big plays was a key factor in the first go-around and will be a point of emphasis on Saturday. Based on the quarterfinal and semifinal games, expect an enormous sea of blue in support of S-W and likewise for the Lions.
The playmakers that are bound to make a splash in this contest include Sterling Somers (QB) and his favorite targets Jordan Wittenberg and Scooter Hastings who stands 6’7”. The Lynden defense has been slightly more porous than in recent years allowing opponents to push them including a rare loss against Ferndale in mid-December. The Cubs boast a dynamic offensive weapon in Mason Elms who appears to play every position on the field. If he and fellow tailback Carter Crosby can tally over 80 yards on the ground and find the end zone, the Cubs have a good shot.
The strength of Sedro-Woolley is their linebacking corps. The speed and tenacity of Chad Wilburg, Jacob Farrell, and Jay Burger has the ability to hold talented offenses like Lynden, but will they put it together on Saturday to take down the champ? The action takes place on Saturday at 1pm at the Tacoma Dome.
1A State Finals Preview, Colville vs. Cascade Christian By Steven Dion
Saturday will mark the fifth time since 2008 that Cascade Christian has played for a 1A state title with the Cougs from the Puyallup Valley claiming the hardware in ’10. The senior class for CCHS is loaded and appears to have the pieces to overturn the close-calls in recent years. Colville will present a hefty challenge though as the Indians have had an impressive run in ’14 en route to their first state championship appearance. There was a 4 game stretch midway through the season where Randy Cornwell’s team outscored opponents 191-7! Colton Vining’s ability to run the ball against a Cougar defense unit which packs a punch in addition to its speed with the likes of Mason Tobeck and Riley Ramos will be an interesting matchup.
The ability of Colville to stop the rushing attack of Zach Bartolome and Robert Terhune who tallied 310 yards on the ground last week will also dictate the outcome of this contact. I talked to CCHS head coach Randy Davis this week and he mentioned how his team used last year’s overtime loss in the semis as motivation to get in the weight room to take care of unfinished business in 2014. Quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith is playing his best football when it matters most and has his sights set on repeating a similar performance as last week when he threw for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. So far, the extra work has paid dividends, but he also said in his few game tapes of Colville understands the challenge ahead of his team Saturday morning. A long road trip across the state and a chance to grab the first state title in school history is certainly enough motivation for a hungry Colville squad.
Clash of Nobility Resulted in King’s Knights Victory over Royals By Steven Dion
Game three of the first round of the Christmas Classic at Kennedy High School mashed up a 1A school in King’s against the 4A Royals of Kent-Meridian. The guard duo of Quincy Brown and Romaine Jackson would prove to be a tough matchup for a King’s roster loaded with forwards. However, Rick Skeen’s has prepared his Knights to be able to play up against higher classification teams.
The Royals quickly established they wanted to run up and down the floor on both sides of the ball. King’s adjusted nicely and their ball movement was able to counteract KM’s energy. The backcourt presence of Royals guards opened up the King’s attacking zone and their superior ball-movement led to easy buckets. Seven Knights scored in the first quarter and as a result led 16-12 after the first quarter. KMHS head coach Brian Lockhart made a defensive adjustment in the second frame to apply slightly less pressure in the King’s backcourt forcing them to move the ball up the floor. Brown and Jackson began to jump into passing lanes and set up the Royals for some transition buckets. Junior Chris Lewis nailed another three pointer in the period; one of his five from downtown in the contest. However, King’s was able to match their sixteen points from the first quarter to carry a 32-22 lead into the break.
Trailing by double digits meant Kent-Meridian would have to take some chances on the offensive end to claw back into the contest. Shooting triples appeared to be their strategy in doing so. Lewis knocked down a pair from downtown in the third, but the team shooting percentage was low. King’s continued their gritty attack in the paint and protected their ten point lead going into the fourth. The Royals put together a solid fourth quarter, but failure to bury buckets from close range dashed their hope of vying for the lead. Freshman Knight Corey Kispert pulled down several critical rebounds in addition to scoring a game-high twenty points. When the buzzer sounded, King’s claimed a 64-56 win.
Top Performer: King’s
Corey Kispert – 20 points (4/7 FT’s)
Cascade Christian Dethrones King’s in Castle By Steven Dion
Playoff football is exciting for every classification, and the crowds increase greatly from regular season play. For 1A schools like King’s, Saturday night’s game filled parking lots to capacity and nearby streets served as overflow. A meeting with the Puyallup powerhouse Cascade Christian put a trip to the semifinals on the line. The crowd on the home side of Woolsey Stadium were hoping they would be in the same seat next week in the semis, but the Cougs had other plans.
After a scoreless first quarter, CCHS got onto the scoreboard on the first play of the second frame on a goal line blast by stocky senior Hunter Austin. Hunter was one of many productive ball carriers out of the backfield by Cascade Christian as Riley Ramos ran the ball with regularity, one of which a 5 yard run for six points. With less than a minute remaining in the first half, King’s capitalized on a lengthy drive by pounding in a two yard run with Chris Yand. The Cougars led 14-7 at intermission.
With only seven points of separation going into the second half, it appeared that game was up for grabs. However, the Cougs were able to deflate the home team by combining circus catches with defensive pressure leading to turnovers and putting Knight’s QB Koa Wilkins in a pressure cooker. A pair of 5 yard quarterback sneaks by Jaelin Goldsmith forced KHS to adjust their game plan to catch up. The Knight’s just didn’t have the firepower to respond to the Cougar assault. A tip drill catch by Mason Tobeck in the fourth sealed the victory for CCHS as they left with a convincing 37-13 win. They will host the semis and are one win away from a trip to the Tacoma Dome.
Top Performer: Cascade Christian
Mason Tobeck- 2 rec TDs of 76 yards 12 yards
Lakeside Holds off Surging Granite Falls By Colin Caruso
With the Lakeside tailgate in the background, the Lakeside Lions fans hosted the Tigers from Granite Falls in a non-conference matchup at Lakeside High School. Granite Falls struck first on the third play from scrimmage with a 65 yard run from junior Matthew Hamilton, but a PAT miss kept the score at 6-0. Lakeside responded with three scores in a row, including a rushing and passing touchdown from quarterback Adam Hinthorne to take the lead 21-6, seemingly in control. But Granite Falls responded, needing to gather some momentum before the half, with a short touchdown scamper by quarterback Ben Nelson to cut the halftime lead to 21-13.
The third quarter saw an explosion of offense and special teams scoring, with both teams putting 20 points on the board. Back and forth these teams went, battling on every play with great sportsmanship and composure. Granite Falls struck first with another Matthew Hamilton TD run and a 2 point conversion to tie the game at 21. The Lions answered with a Hinthorne touchdown run, only to be outdone by a Michael Green kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff to cut the Lions lead to one, 28-27. Lakeside responded with another score, but again came Green, returning the ensuing kickoff for another special teams touchdown. Granite Falls failed on their 2 point try, and trailed 35-33. This is the closest the Tigers would come to stealing a win on the road.
Lakeside scored the last two touchdowns of the game, both catches by junior tight end Erik Rottsolk, to seal the 48-33 win.
Top Performers: Granite Falls
Matthew Hamilton – 2 rushing TD
Michael Green – 2 Kick Return TD
Adam Hinthorne – 23/37 378 yds, 4TD. 2 rushing TD
Erik Rottsolk – 7 catches 81 yds, 2TD
Lynden Avenges Only Loss from Last Season By Colin Caruso
In the second contest at Husky Stadium for the Emerald City Kickoff Classic the King’s Knights took on the Lynden Lions. Lynden won the 2A state championship last season but suffered one loss on the year, to these Knights.
King’s received the kickoff and put together a long opening series drive, taking over 6 minutes off the clock, but fell inches short on a fourth down run to turn the ball over on downs. Lynden responded with a 4:30 drive of their own and an excellent touchdown pass from Lucas Petersen to Jalani Phelps to take the lead 7-0. Lynden continued to drive the football offensively, giving their kicker a field goal opportunity later in the second quarter, but it missed just left. The Lions kept up the defensive pressure as well, not allowing King’s to find any cohesiveness on offense in the first half.
Lynden forced a three and out late in the second quarter and capitalized at the end of their ensuing drive with a 2 yard touchdown run by junior Trent Postma to go ahead 14-0 at half.
The Knights began to move the ball with more efficiency in the second half, putting together longer drives and scoring opportunities. Their first legitimate scoring chance came early in the fourth, where they earned a first down inside the Lynden 20 yard line. But Lynden’s defense held tight again, and forced another turnover on downs. King’s found another opportunity in the waning moments of the contest and converted a ten yard touchdown pass from Corey Kispert to Jordan Turner, but it was too little too late, as the Lions avenged their loss from last season and won the opener 14-6.
Top Performers: Lynden
Lucas Peterson – 11/21 1TD, 1INT passing and 13 carries for 50 yards
Kickoff Classic Preview: King’s vs. Lynden By Colin Caruso
The second contest in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic will be between the defending 2A champions the Lynden Lions and the only team that took them down in the regular season in 2012, the King’s Knights. Lynden has dominated the 2A classification recently, winning five of the last seven state titles with head coach Curt Kramme at the helm. The Lions will be looking to avenge their only regular season defeat last year, which came to the 1A King’s Knights. King’s made a great run in 2012, reaching the state quarterfinals but losing to the eventual champion Montesano.
These series of games in the Kickoff Classic will be the second set of games in newly renovated Husky Stadium following the Husky opener last Saturday, Aug 31st, in the Dawg’s rout over Boise State. The Lynden – King’s game will take place at 1pm, Saturday Sept 7th. Tickets are $15 at the door and $10 for seniors and students. This will be a great matchup between two teams looking to make a deep run in state in their respective classifications in 2013!