2B State Finals Preview, Napavine vs. Okanogan
By Steven Dion
The Gridiron Classic kicks off with an intriguing 2B matchup with Okanogan and Napavine. The Bulldogs from the northeast corner of Washington made a statement in the semifinals by pitching a shutout against the 2-time defending champions in Lind-Ritzville-Sprague by the score of 34-0. Okanogan had a fluky loss to Brewster midway through the season, but beat the Bears by four touchdowns the second time the two met up. Napavine dominated Toledo in many key statistical categories last week in the semis, but advanced with a slim six point margin. The Tigers accumulated 346 total yards in the contest and nearly doubled the Indians in plays and first downs.
One thing that Josh Fay may emphasize to his team is not allowing Okanogan to sneak back into the contest late if NHS holds a lead. The combo of Taylor Hicks to Grant McEwen was very effective last Saturday which may lead to more that 11 pass attempts for the Tigers signal-caller in the 2B championship. The last time either of these teams appeared in the championship game was 2008 when Napavine claimed the title. If Okanogan can channel the dominance they demonstrated last weekend, they will be one tough customer. Bringing the hardware home would certainly make the 12 hour round trip for Steve Chamberlain and his Bulldogs well worth it.
See game recap below
Lind-Ritzville-Sprague Win Second Straight Hyphen Bowl; Back to Back 2B Titles
By Colin Caruso
In this year’s hyphen bowl, for the second year in a row the Lind-Ritzville-Sprague Broncos faced off against the Morton-White Pass Timberwolves for the 2B Washington state football title. The defending champs Lind-Ritzville were going for two straight, while Morton-White Pass was attempting to break their two game losing streak in the 2B football final in Tacoma.
Lind-Ritzville-Sprague started this contest with a bang. They received the opening kickoff and their first play resulted in a 69 yard touchdown run from senior running back Connor O’Neill. Little did they know, but that would be the only score of the game, just 15 seconds into the contest. Morton-White Pass put together a nice drive to counter but they could not convert on a fourth and 11 in the red zone. LRS led 7-0 after one quarter.
The defenses kept up their sturdy play in the second quarter, with neither team putting together a drive that led to a score. The Broncos held on to their 7-0 lead into the half.
Neither team was able to offensively convert again in the third quarter. Morton-White Pass forced a fumble and recovered in Broncos territory but after a penalty and a 14 yard sack, the Timberwolves had to punt the ball again back to Lind-Ritzville.
After a LRS punt back to Morton-White Pass, the Timberwolves fumbled on their first play from scrimmage and gave the Broncos good field position, on the Timberwolves 34 yard line. But again the Timberwolves defense held firm and forced a turnover on downs.
Morton-White Pass’ last ditch effort came on a fourth and ten in Bronco territory, but Rylon Kolb’s pass was intercepted, which sealed the contest for Lind-Ritzville-Sprague. Congratulations to the Broncos for winning their second state title in a row!
Connor O’Neill – 16 carries for 121 yards and the only touchdown