Henry Jarvis ran for two touchdowns and caught a scoring pass, and Luke Lattanzio returned a punt for a TD as the Crusaders advanced to their first championship game.
SPOKANE — Eastside Catholic will play for a state football championship for the first time after beating University 42-21 at Albi Stadium Saturday in the Class 3A semifinals.
Henry Jarvis had two touchdown runs and a TD reception, and Luke Lattanzio had a long punt return for a Crusaders score.
Third-ranked Eastside Catholic (13-0), the Metro League champion, will meet top-ranked Bellevue (13-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
Eastside Catholic, which opened in 1980, had only once previously reached the semifinals, losing 14-7 to Lake Stevens in 1994.
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The Crusaders, from Sammamish, never trailed against unranked University (8-5), but didn’t go ahead for good until late in the first half.
Quarterback Trey Reynolds hurdled a University defender on a 10-yard touchdown run to put Eastside Catholic ahead 14-7. But the Titans from Spokane answered with some razzle-dazzle. Backup quarterback Garrett Schmerer, on a reverse, connected with receiver Austin Flynn on a pass play covering 87 yards as University tied it 14-14.
Jarvis’ 10-yard TD reception 1:51 before halftime put Eastside Catholic ahead to stay, 21-14.
In the third quarter, Jarvis and Elisha Pa’aga had scoring runs for the Crusaders, and Lattanzio added a 71-yard punt return for a TD in the fourth quarter.
Reynolds, Eastside Catholic’s multiple-threat quarterback, completed 13 of 19 passes for 172 yards. One of University’s first-half touchdowns was set up when the Titans recovered a Reynolds fumble at the Crusaders’ 36-yard line.
Eastside Catholic will take a high-scoring offense into the final against Bellevue, which has won the past four state championships. The Crusaders beat Kelso 69-13 and Marysville-Pilchuck 65-34 to reach the semifinals, and have topped 50 points six times this season.
University, which had been picked in the preseason to finish in the bottom half of the Greater Spokane League, started the season 0-2 before getting hot. The Titans beat O’Dea of the Metro League 34-6 for the first quarterfinal victory in school history.