BOTHELL, Wash. – When Saturday’s State 4A quarterfinal football game concluded between No. 2 seed Woodinville and No. 7 seed Gonzaga Prep, one couldn’t help but wonder what might have been for the Bullpups.
G-Prep (9-3) had the ball deep in Woodinville territory four times in the first half but managed just seven points, leading to a 45-24 victory for the Falcons and a trip to the semifinals. Woodinville (11-1) will face Lake Stevens (12-0) next weekend.
The Bullpups’ first drive stalled on the Woodinville 3-yard line. Two other drives ended in a missed field goal and an interception.
“It was tough,” G-Prep coach David McKenna said. “We thought going for it on fourth-and-short that we might get it, but Woodinville is a good team. I knew we’d be in a ballgame. I have confidence in these kids.”
McKenna’s confidence was not unfounded. Despite their scoring hardships in the first half, the Bullpups kept the pressure on Woodinville throughout the game. They cut the deficit to 14 in the fourth quarter and forced Woodinville into a third-and-19, but the Falcons gained 21 yards on the play to keep G-Prep’s potent rushing attack off the field.
When it was over, an emotional McKenna expressed his pride for the team.
“I love them,” McKenna said. “They’ve overcome a lot this year. Nobody gave these seniors really much of a chance to make a great, solid run that they made. I love them and I’m proud of them.”
Woodinville led 24-7 at halftime, but G-Prep made it clear in the third quarter that it wasn’t going to go away. Senior running back Eric Floyd returned the second-half kickoff 65 yards to put the Bullpups in scoring position. Two plays later, Floyd scored on 13-yard run.
“We’re good and we didn’t play that great in the first half,” McKenna said. “I think in the first half we were trying too hard. In the second half, I said, ‘Go out and have fun.’ ”
The Bullpups’ problem in the second half was getting big stops. Woodinville senior running back Nolan Downs rushed 18 times for 135 yards and scored three touchdowns and also played a big role on the defensive side.
“He’s one of our best athletes out there,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said of Downs. “We know he’s going to make plays on offense and tonight against Gonzaga Prep’s offense, he was kind of the canceler as far as the dive, the keeper and the pitch. If we had someone slip up and lose their assignment, he’s a pretty good athlete to be able to hang your hat on.”
Colville 42, Meridian 22: Grant Michaliszyn had 16 carries for 119 yards with three touchdowns and the Indians (10-2) beat the Trojans (8-4) in a State 1A quarterfinal at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
John Knight threw two touchdown passes to Jake Lindquist.
Fifth-seeded Colville advanced to play top-seeded Royal next Saturday.
Kalama 31, Northwest Christian 6: Jake Gray had a touchdown pass, but the visiting Crusaders (9-4) fell to the Chinooks (10-2) in a State 2B quarterfinal.
Odessa 71, Neah Bay 8: Pilot Weishaar had 11 carries for 237 yards and five total touchdowns and the Tigers (13-0) eliminated the Red Devils (5-6) in a State 1B quarterfinal at Lions Field.
Marcus King had a 47-yard touchdown reception and 28-yard TD run.
Quarterback Cameron Weber had two touchdown passes, the other to Weishaar. Weber also scored the first touchdown on a 55-yard scamper.
Freshman running back Daeton Deife added a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Top-seeded Odessa advanced to play fifth-seeded Quilcene on Saturday.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline 100, Crescent 16: Maguire Isaak had five carries for 151 yards and three touchdowns and added a passing touchdown and the Warriors (11-1) defeated the Loggers (11-3) in a State 1B quarterfinal at Lions Field.
Hayden Loomis added five carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns. He also had an interception return for a touchdown.
Second-seeded ACH advanced to play third-seeded Naselle next Saturday.
Napavine 20, Chewelah 14: The Cougars (8-4) were eliminated by the Tigers (10-2) in a State 2B quarterfinal.