Eastside Catholic looked dangerous on Saturday afternoon. Its offense was as lethal as any I’ve seen this year and its defense, for the most part, played with a tenaciousness that meant trouble for Mt. Spokane’s run game.
The No. 2 Crusaders ended up winning 42-24 in a game that wasn’t close midway through the second quarter. The reward is a third straight meeting with Bellevue in the Class 3A state title game.
“It’s a great feeling,” linebacker Brandon Wellington said. “We worked hard during summer, all offseason we put in the work, we put in the hours, sweat, blood, tears. Everything we put in is paying off right now. Been there two years previous, so hopefully we’ll come out this time and we’ll come out to win.”
And that matchup with Bellevue? The Crusaders want it.
“We want the best team possible in the state of Washington right now and that’s them,” Wellington said.
To win, the Crusaders took to the air. Harley Kirsch was phenomenal for most of the night, despite freezing weather. Kirsch didn’t wear a glove on his non-throwing hand, either, and said he could barely grip the ball. It also doesn’t help that he’s not a fan of Baden balls because he feels they’re slippery. Apparently, it didn’t matter, and he went 16 of 18 for 334 yards and five touchdowns in the first half when the game was still in question.
Receiver Matt Laris said it was one of Kirsch’s best game. It was also one of Laris’ best games, as the junior grabbed eight balls for 234 yards and two touchdowns.