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Almira/Coulee-Hartline rolls into State 1B title game

PASCO – The final score of Almira/Coulee- Hartline’s 46-6 win over Pomeroy in the State 1B semifinals at Edgar Brown Stadium would seem to indicate the Warriors had a pretty easy time.

After all, the game was stopped when the Warriors took a 40-point lead with more than 9 minutes left in the third quarter. But ACH coach Brandon Walsh was having none of it.

“I don’t know if it was all that easy,” Walsh said. “We had a couple of breaks go our way early. If they get a couple of breaks, it might have been a different situation at halftime.”

The win sets up a championship showdown between the Warriors (13-0) and Neah Bay (11-2) in Tacoma at 4 p.m. Friday.

Walsh went so far as to concede the turning point in the game may have come less than 2 minutes into the first quarter. After Cody McCleary ran the opening kickoff back 67 yards for a score, Pomeroy appeared to have tied the game on its first possession.

But Pirates quarterback Ryan Smith’s 61-yard TD run was nullified by a penalty. The Pirates (10-2) were forced to punt, and ACH quarterback Derek Isaak scored from 63 yards away on the next play to put his team up 16-0 with less than 2 minutes gone in the first half.

The Pirates turned the ball over on downs on their next possession. ACH drove 67 yards in just four plays, with Colin Deyarmin scoring from 1 yard out with 4:15 left in the first quarter to take a three-touchdown lead.

“Once we got up 24-0, that was a pretty big hole for them to climb out of,” Walsh said.

Austin Reisdorph put Pomeroy in the board with an 80-yard run on the first play after ACH kicked off. The Warriors then started to put the game away on an 11-yard run by Deyarmin with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

ACH went up 38-6 just before halftime, on a 42-yard pass from Isaak to Thunder Wellhousen with 18.9 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Warriors closed out the scoring and ended the game when Wellhousen snatched a tipped Pomeroy pass out of the air and returned it 25 yards to the Pomeroy 19-yard line. Isaak hit Mitchell Hunt with a touchdown pass from there, and then ran in the two-point conversion to end the game.