TACOMA — With a state championship on the line, Freeman looked to its boys up front to give it a push.
What a push they gave.
Freeman’s 321 rushing yards on Saturday helped secure a 31-13 win over Mount Baker at the Tacoma Dome for the school’s first 1A state title.
“It’s all the O-line,” said senior Max Laib, who ran for 79 yards on 20 carries. “I’ve run behind that line since sixth grade. We knew, sixth grade, our goal was to win a state title. Senior year, best way to go out.”
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The running game was good during the first half, but a small tweak in the blocking scheme at halftime allowed the Freeman offensive line to get an ever greater push and the Scotties (13-0) pounded the ball with Laib and Markus Goldbach.
Freeman’s ground attack was so dominant that during a 10-play drive late in the third quarter, Goldbach carried the ball nine times for 86 yards. The next drive, Goldbach ran 10 times for 64 yards. The junior, who had 170 yards on 23 carries, capped both drives with touchdowns. Goldbach’s final touchdown gave the Scotties a 31-13 lead with 10:47 left in the game.
“We thought we could do that the whole game, from the start,” Freeman coach Jim Wood said. “We just weren’t getting the blocks up front. We spread them out a little bit and that helped.”
For as well as the Scotties were running the ball, Mount Baker (11-2) was having its way on the ground, too. The Mountaineers ran for 164 yards in the first half and used the ground attack to put together two scoring drives.
But the 19-13 halftime deficit quickly ballooned, as Freeman’s run defense tightened up, and Mount Baker managed only 44 second-half rushing yards.
“We had one goal only; not league… not undefeated season,” Laib said. “It was to get here and win here. … We did.”