KENNEWICK – The Colfax defense has been on a tear during its state tournament run.
The Bulldogs’ latest victim was DeSales, which saw its Cinderella run end Saturday evening at Lampson Stadium in a 19-0 defeat in the 2B semifinals.
The Irish managed just 127 yards of total offense and seven first downs, never getting closer to the end zone than the Colfax 38-yard line – on the final play of the game.
“Their defense was phenomenal,” said Irish coach Pat Graham, whose team finished 8-4 after starting the season 1-2, including a 33-14 loss to the Bulldogs in Colfax.
“Championship teams have great defenses, and they certainly have one. They’re big and physical, and they came to win today.”
Colfax (13-0) will take on Adna in next Saturday’s title game at 4 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome. The Bulldogs will be going for their third state crown and first since 2001.
“It’s been a long drought for Colfax for a football title,” said senior defensive tackle Sam Mellor, who had seven tackles, 21/2 for loss. “We need to bring it back.”
The Irish trailed only 6-0 at halftime, but hadgained only 71 yards to that point.
The key, Mellor said, was shutting down DeSales quarterback Pat Richard, who’d racked up 2,800 yards of total offense and 40 touchdowns during the season.
“He’s their best player, so we knew once we stopped him, we could stop their offense,” Mellor said. “Our defense is just playing great right now. Our line is sticking it up, and our defensive backs are playing amazing pass coverage.”
The news got worse for DeSales when Richard suffered a head injury just before intermission and was unable to return.
The deficit quickly grew to 13-0 as Colfax took the second-half kickoff and scored on a 57-yard pass from Alex Teade to Kellen Morgan.
It was one of two big-play scores for the Bulldogs, and they capitalized on another big play early in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Steston Steiger’s blocked punt gave Colfax the ball at the DeSales 14, and after a false start penalty, Teade ran a bootleg left into open space and went untouched into the end zone.