MOSES LAKE – Facing a bigger, faster team, Odessa-Harrington couldn’t afford to make mistakes Saturday.
Two early fumbles and a late first-half interception proved to be too much for the Titans, as Neah Bay rolled to a 74-34 State 1B football semifinal victory at Lions Field in Moses Lake.
“It was a couple of mishandles on the ball,” Titans quarterback Jared King said. “It was probably nerves.”
Neah Bay’s Michael Dulik recovered the first fumble and returned it 23 yards for a score on the game’s third play. On the ensuing kickoff, the ball was muffed by a returner and DeShawn Halttunen recovered it for another score.
Just like that, it was 12-0 Neah Bay.
The Titans settled down from there, as King threw for 286 yards in the first half and two touchdowns to Cade Weber and another to Justin Hunt to pull within 42-28 with 8:52 left in the half.
Odessa-Harrington then got its only defensive stop of the night and drove down to the 8, only to have King throw an interception that was tipped in the end zone.
From there, it was all Red Devils, who used big plays to seal the victory and a trip to the Tacoma Dome next weekend against Almira/Coulee- Hartline.
“I think they were just a bigger and faster team,” Titans coach Bruce Todd said. “And that’s tough to overcome.”
The loss was a bit easier to stomach for most of the Titans, as they only lose one player – senior running back Brett Larmer – from a team that advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2007.
“It was a good run for us,” King said. “I think we have a good shot next season and we hope to take it to the Dome.”
King finished 16 of 22 for 300 yards with an interception and three touchdowns. He also rushed 19 times for 48 yards and two scores. Weber had eight receptions for 204 yards, while Larmer rushed for 43 yards and had 59 receiving.
Neah Bay completed just one pass – a 59-yard touchdown – and rushed for 325 yards. Josiah Greene had the lion’s share, rushing for 208 yards and four touchdowns.