Mt. Spokane averaged more than 35 points per game overall this season – better than 51 points in league play – while Greater Spokane League 3A MVP Kannon Katzer amassed 2,469 yards rushing with 38 total touchdowns.
But in their State 3A quarterfinal matchup against top-ranked O’Dea on Saturday, the Wildcats finally ran into a defense that was up to the task.
The Fighting Irish limited the Wildcats to 108 yards of offense, Saire Washington carried 16 times for 117 yards and O’Dea (11-0) edged Mt. Spokane 10-3 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.
Katzer finished with 28 carries for 81 yards for the Wildcats (9-3).
The teams combined for 11 pass attempts.
Mt. Spokane went three-and-out on its first possession and O’Dea took over on its 31. Washington’s first carry went 15 yards, then Milton Hopkins scrambled 19 yards to get into Wildcats territory.
Washington gained 10 on third-and-4 to keep the drive alive. On third-and-goal at the 1, Hopkins busted through to put the Irish up 7-0.
The O’Dea quarterback finished with 46 yards on 11 carries.
The teams traded punts early in the second quarter, and Mt. Spokane took over at its 25.
Katzer carried for 23 yards, then the Wildcats pounded it into the line for small chunks of yardage. The 13-play drive stalled at the 13, and Ethan Moczulski drilled a 30-yard field goal to make it 7-3 at intermission.
The Irish benefited from a roughing-the-passer penalty at the end of the third quarter to gain momentum. Hopkins made gains of 9 and 13 yards to get into the Mt. Spokane red zone.
But the Wildcats held their ground on third-and-3 at their 7, and O’Dea settled for a 24-yard field goal by Dillon Crowl.
Mt. Spokane went three-and-out on its next two possessions. After a punt to the O’Dea 26, the Irish fumbled on the next play, and the Wildcats took over at the 33 with 4:21 to go.
Faced with fourth-and-1 at the 4, Katzer swept right and was knocked out of bounds just shy of the goal line. A penalty gave Mt. Spokane another shot, but Connor Marll’s pass attempt to the back of the end zone for Jake Griffiths was tipped and went incomplete.
O’Dea took over with 2:20 left and wound down the clock on Mt. Spokane’s season.
Deer Park 20, Montesano 17: Matthew Jorgensen rushed for 126 yards with a pair of touchdowns, and the visiting Stags (10-0) defeated the Bulldogs (11-1) in a State 1A quarterfinal.
Deer Park advances to play Lynden Christian in a semifinal at Bellingham on Saturday.
The Stags built a 20-3 halftime lead on TD runs of 72 and 12 yards by Jorgensen, then withstood Montesano’s challenge after intermission.
Adna 35, Chewelah 13: Cole Fay and Braden Thomas rushed for two touchdowns apiece, and the Pirates (8-3) beat the Cougars (7-5) in a State 2B quarterfinal at Gonzaga Prep.
Jake Jeanneret tossed two touchdown passes for Chewelah.
Fay had runs of 4 and 1 yards in the first quarter as Adna built a 14-0 first-quarter lead. Chewelah used a long drive, culminated by Jeanneret’s 6-yard pass to Nick Franks, to make it a one-score game at intermission.
But Thomas hit Ryan Young for a 36-yard touchdown pass early in the third and added a 20-yard TD run to open it up.
Chewelah has lost in a state quarterfinal the past two seasons.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline 80, Lummi 30: Brayton Schafer scored nine touchdowns – five rushing and four receiving – and the Warriors (11-1) beat the Blackhawks (7-4) in a State 1B quarterfinal at Quincy HS.
Dane Isaak had five TD passes and ran for one for 63 yards. ACH faces Naselle in a semifinal on Saturday.