December 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM
The high school football season is over, but not before Chiawana shocked the state by scoring 14 points in the final 55 seconds to complete a miraculous comeback and take the 4A title with a 27-26 win over Camas. So, yes, we will turn our attention to basketball — and there are some great story lines to follow — but first, let’s take a look back at the Gridiron Classic.
- Chiawana assistant Scott Bond predicted Blake Bishop would come up big.
- Here’s video of the game-winning touchdown pass, from Joey Zamora to Bishop.
- Camas was built for winning a championship.
- Micah Rice of the The Columbian writes the Camas players will eventually rebound from an emotionally tough loss.
- This is from Friday, but here is video of Bellevue star Budda Baker after the Wolverines won the 3A state championship on Friday.
December 7, 2013 at 11:56 PM
That might have been the most incredibly stunning come-from-behind win I’ve seen in person. I don’t think anyone thought Chiawana had a chance, down 26-13, with 55 seconds left. The Riverhawks said that they never stopped believing, and I trust them, but they must have wavered just a bit in that belief.
A touchdown, onside kick, quick drive and touchdown later — let’s also not forget the extra point, which was a rare make — and Chiawana was 27-26 winners and state champions.
Quarterback Joey Zamora was absolutely crushed on the first of those touchdowns, a 57-yarder down the right sideline to Dre Dorton. Zamora said he lost his breath and I would bet he’s going to be real sore from that hit in the morning when the adrenaline wears off.
But Zamora recovered to lead a very impressive drive after the Riverhawks recovered the onside kick. A pass interference penalty in the end zone actually helped the drive — after Chiawana was in the red zone, though.
The game-winning play was actually drawn up to go to Deion Singleton, but pressure forced Zamora to scramble to his right and he was able to find Blake Bishop alone in the back corner of the end zone.
The rest is … well, you know the saying.
Make sure to check out the sights and sounds from the Gridiron Classic.
December 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM
I’m getting chased out of the Tacoma Dome by a leaf blower (not really, but the dust in the air is choking me), so I’ll wrap up for tonight with a few quotes.
Butch Goncharoff – head coach
On if the titles ever get old: ”They’re all cool. Every one’s different. Every group, year. That’s what makes high school football so much fun is every season’s different, every group’s different. That was awesome.”
On what was different this year: We came into spring ball and we’re like, ‘Man we’re really going to struggle.’ But these kids kept battling [all] year and it was awesome. It was awesome.”
On Haehl’s performance: ”We kind of bottled him up for awhile [this year], we didn’t have to use him very much. It was great. He did a great job. He’s a tremendous athlete, and he needed it tonight. We needed every bit of it.”
Timmy Haehl – quarterback/defensive back
On his performance: To be honest, when 52, Henry Roberts went down, we knew we had to kill it for him. Basically, we were just ballin’ up the whole game. We were prepared for this from day one. It was just a team effort in everything. It was a team effort overall.
On his first pick: I think we went 3-and-out, yeah, we went 3-and-out the first offensive drive. That was actually the first drive of the game. I actually let a guy get past me and he ran for a big game, so I knew I had to make something happen. Luckily, he threw it up and I was just right there. I was just playing coverage and they were getting a lot of coverage on the D-line. So it worked out well.
December 6, 2013 at 11:23 PM
Here’s what we knew before the game: Bellevue was a pretty darn good football team.
Here’s what we now know: Bellevue is a darn good football team.
The Wolverines are state champions for the sixth consecutive seasons and the 11th time in the last 13 years. Even though the final score was 52-20, Eastside Catholic should be given lots of credit. The Crusaders had a tremendous year, going 11-3 and reaching the state title game for the second consecutive season.
They also came out hot Friday night, driving the ball to the Bellevue 18-yard line. Harley Kirsch threw an interception in the end zone to stall the drive. It appeared Kirsch threw too softly for his receiver on a fade, but the sophomore might have thought he was going to the back shoulder.
Bellevue ended up scoring on the ensuing drive and wouldn’t trail. Eastside Catholic kept close, though, until Bellevue scored three touchdowns in a 3:20 span at the end of the first half.
Timmy Haehl was easily the player of the game. The Bellevue quarterback went a perfect 7 for 7 passing, racked up a team-high 207 total yards, accounted for four touchdowns, intercepted two passes and forced a fumble. The Harvard commit was all over the field.
Budda Baker added 101 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, but gained a lot of those late in the fourth quarter. Sam Richmond rushed for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
You can view the entire box score here.
December 6, 2013 at 9:22 PM
December 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM
December 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM
The day has arrived and two schools will be crowned state champion tonight at the Tacoma Dome. Neah Bay and Touchet kick things off in the 2B finals at 4 p.m. The 3A title game will follow at 7:30 p.m., which will feature a rematch of Bellevue and Eastside Catholic.
There are multiple opportunities to follow along if you can’t make it down to Tacoma.
- Neah Bay-Touchet can be heard on the radio on Forks 1490
- Bellevue-Eastside Catholic can be heard on the radio on 950 KJR
- Bellevue-Eastside Catholic can also be seen on ROOT Sports
- All games can be viewed on the WIAA site for a fee
- We will be holding a live chat during both games
December 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM
We wrote about Bellevue star Budda Baker for Friday’s paper. We detailed his relationship with his older brother and went into detail about his personality, character and values.
What we didn’t touch on, notably, was just how good of a football player he is. Yes, he is extremely talented. Enough so that most of the big name programs covet him. His list of colleges is narrowed to Washington, Oregon and UCLA and Baker probably won’t make his decision until signing day.
Brandon Huffman, a recruiting analyst for Scout.com, had plenty of positives to say about Baker. In fact, the first time Huffman saw him play, Baker dazzled.
“He takes the kickoff from like 90 yards back for a touchdown,” Huffman said. “It was like the fourth time he’d scored a touchdown off a kick return that year. You look at him size wise and you’re like, ‘What’s he going to do?’ because he’s so small. But then you watch him in the kick [return] and you’re like, ‘Yes, I absolutely can see it.’ De’Anthony Thomas was a freshman at Oregon at that point, so you’re like, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you can’t hurt what you can’t catch.”
Here’s more from out chat with Huffman.
On what stands out about Baker: The electricity, I think probably more than anything. When he touches the ball, he’s got a chance to do amazing things with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s returning kicks, punts, catching the ball out of the backfield, taking a handoff, intercepting a ball, he’s so electric in the way … I don’t want to get all hyperbolic, but every time he touches the ball, there’s a chance he’s going to do something special with it.
On if he projects as a defender in college: There’s no question. I’d say it’s the best year of two-way players I’ve ever seen. You have Adoree Jackson and Juju Smith down in Southern California and Michiah Quick in Central California. Of those four, Adoree projects best as corner, but he’s more natural on offense. Juju Smith projects at safety, but his best position is receiver. Budda is probably the best defensive player of that group right now by far. Because, as a defensive prospect, he’s the best of that group. He’s not quite the explosive athlete that Adoree is, which I think says more about the kind of player Adoree Jackson is, but as a defensive [back], here’s a guy that has corner size, but [plays like a] safety. He’ll come up and knock your head off and almost enjoys hitting more than covering. When you see smaller, undersized guys, most of those guys are known for their coverage ability. He’ll hit you. He’s kind of in the Earl Thomas mode. He doesn’t care that he’s giving three or four inches and 40, 50 pounds, he’s going to make it seem like it’s the other way around.
On his character: His teammates love him, younger kids look up to him. I think that the one thing about him probably more than anything is, for as high profile a recruit he is — not just regionally, but nationally with the schools coming after him — with the players that he’s played with on the seven-on-seven circuit, he’s widely respected. That’s not always the case with the elite recruits, especially when they’re kind of the big fish in the small pond.
December 5, 2013 at 8:26 PM
We’re on the eve of the 3A state championship game, which is a rematch of Bellevue’s 35-3 win over Eastside Catholic a season ago.
Here’s what Crusaders head coach Jeremy Thielbahr said about the game.
“We’ve got to stop the run against Bellevue. They’re a powerful team. They’re the best team in the state right now, and they’ve been No. 1 in the state for the past seven years. We’ve got to knock them off. People are calling me saying, ‘It’s David and Goliath.’ I feel like we’re pretty good too. I think it’s going to be a fun game. I think we got to stop the run, we got to tackle, we got to take it away, we got to hold on to it, we got to make some plays. So do they. It’s high school football. It’s going to be an exciting time. We’re going to have great energy and great enthusiasm. We’re not scared of them. We’re not going to back down to anything. We’re going to compete on every single down. Iron sharpens iron and we’re pretty sharp.”
Of course, Bellevue is a decent team. It will be gunning for its sixth straight state championship and nothing the Wolverines have done this year has hinted they won’t achieve that. A win would extend Bellevue’s winning streak to 54 games, already a state record.
When asked what it would take for Bellevue to lose a game, Scout.com recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman said, without pausing, “[head coach] Butch Goncharoff to retire.”
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome and will be broadcast live on ROOT Sports. The Seattle Times will be holding a live chat during the game.
December 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM
Yes, we are well aware that the high-school basketball season is upon us.
Josh Liebeskind and I are anxious to dive into it, but with the football state championships this weekend at the Tacoma Dome, we haven’t skipped ahead just yet.
But we wanted to let you know that our state rankings, preseason all-state teams and previews are coming next week. I will once again be spearheading our girls basketball coverage, and Josh will be the point person for boys basketball.
A reminder please to coaches and/or ADs to please get us your rosters and schedules as soon as possible so we can get them up on our website. And be sure to get us your scores and details as soon as possible on game nights by either phone (206-464-2276) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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