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Touchet rallies past Rosalia in State 1B semifinal

PASCO – Rosalia jumped out to a big first-half lead but could not hold on for the upset Saturday night against Touchet.

The Indians rallied in the second half and overcame a 24-point first-half deficit in a 62-36 victory over Rosalia in a State 1B semifinal at Edgar Brown Stadium.

The Indians (12-1) advanced to their first state championship game since 2002. They will take on Neah Bay (11-0) in the title game at 4 p.m. Friday at the Tacoma Dome.

Neah Bay, which has played in the last two title games, beat Lummi 46-14 in the other 1B semifinal Friday night. Touchet’s last state championship came in 1999. 

Touchet, which had beaten Rosalia 54-14 earlier this season, was on the ropes early and it appeared that the Spartans (8-3) might keep their unlikely playoff run alive into next week.

Rosalia, seeking its first title-game appearance since 1985, jumped out to a 30-6 first-half lead behind Craig Nelson and Clay Shelton, the Spartans’ all-everything players. Combined with five first-half turnovers for Touchet, the Spartans appeared to be running away.

Touchet finally settled in, scoring two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes of the first half to cut the margin to 30-20, and just kept rolling on into the second half. 

Touchet scored the first two touchdowns of the third quarter to take its first lead at 36-30. Rosalia tied the game at 36 on an 80-yard sprint down the right sideline by Nelson.

Touchet scored the game’s final 26 points, and its defense shut down Nelson and the Rosalia running game.