TACOMA – The South Bend football team uses little deception.
When a team runs behind a sizeable road grader like South Bend has in its offensive line, trickery isn’t necessary.
South Bend puts seven players across the line of scrimmage and essentially dares teams to stop them.
Top-ranked Colfax couldn’t stop South Bend enough and the result was a disheartening loss in Tacoma for a second straight year.
South Bend used its power running game to mow over the Bulldogs 28-8 in the State 2B championship game Saturday evening at the Tacoma Dome.
It was the second straight year that Colfax fell in the state final. The Bulldogs came up short last season in a 32-24 loss to Adna.
This time, though, it was more painful – especially since the Bulldogs were atop the state rankings all year and had redemption on their minds.
“I told our guys if they pass fewer than five times we’re in trouble,” Colfax coach Mike Morgan said.
South Bend (11-2) passed twice and had more completions to Colfax than to its own team.
The Indians didn’t need to pass nor could the Bulldogs (12-1) coax them to do so. South Bend rushed for 344 yards on 51 carries.
South Bend opened a 14-0 lead and that margin held through halftime. It’s the first time this season Colfax was shut out in the first half.
Colfax didn’t score until midway in the fourth quarter – when senior quarterback Alex Trade hit senior tight end Killen Morgan on a 3-yard route – but by then it was too late.
“We knew what was going to happen,” Mike Morgan said. “South Bend is a very, very talented team. We played them last year in the quarters and it was quite a game. Their line wasn’t quite as physical at that point. But we knew one year later that they were the team to watch out for.”
Colfax couldn’t keep the ball away from or take it from the Indians.
“We just did not have any answers,” Morgan said. “We could have put 12 or 13 guys on the line and I don’t know if we’d been able to stop the train that was (going through).”
Morgan reflected on a run by his seniors that included a third-place finish and back-to-back runner-up trophies.
“Every young man shoots for the gold ball,” Morgan said of the championship trophy. “And if you’re not shooting for it you’re way underselling yourselves. Our seniors have gone through three years and only lost three ballgames. That’s quite a run. Sometimes you just get licked. It happens. We’ve done our share of that; we’ve taken it to everybody. Tonight they got us. We’ve got no excuses.”
Morgan’s son, Kellen, fought back the tears as he reflected the loss and the season.
“We knew we were going to have to face them eventually,” he said of the Indians. “Their line was definitely their strength. They just jammed it right down our throat. The credit goes to them. This was the funnest three or four years of my life.”