BOTHELL — If there was ever a question of Bothell junior quarterback Andrew Sirmon being a complete signal caller, he’s answered that affirmatively.
Sirmon made all the right calls, and the Cougars’ defense had his back.
As a result, fifth-seeded Bothell had every answer against eighth-seeded Woodinville in a 31-21 victory on Saturday afternoon in the Class 4A state semifinals in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Pop Keeney Stadium.
Sirmon tucked the ball and ran 16 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and completed 12 of 15 passes for 112 yards, and the Cougar defense pilfered three timely turnovers as Bothell reached a state championship for the fourth time, all under longtime coach Tom Bainter.
“A lot of our run plays have a lot of different options for me to choose from,” Sirmon said. “Most of the time I go to my (running) backs just because I trust them and my (offensive) line, but sometimes when it opens up and I see run lane I know I can’t pass it up and I have to take it.”
Bothell (11-2) faces No. 2 Camas (13-0), a 35-14 semifinal winner over Mount Si, in the Class 4A state championship game next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School. The Cougars won the school’s lone state title in 2014 with a 24-14 triumph over Chiawana of Pasco.
Woodinville (11-2), which lost to Richland 28-21 in the 2017 state-title game, reached the semis for the third season in a row but never really took flight offensively. Bothell’s defense forced the Falcons into three turnovers, including one that resulted directly in a touchdown.
“Our defense has been playing lights-out the last few weeks,” Sirmon said. “They’ve come up clutch every game. Our offense is clicking and when we’re clicking, it’s hard to stop us.”
With three schools from KingCo 4A in the state semis, it marked the first time in state history that three of the four Class 4A semifinalists came from the same league.
“What gets every group to this point is you build a group of men who put the team in front of themselves,” Bainter said.
Cage Schenck hauled in a 21-yard TD toss from quarterback Noah Stifle to cut the Bothell lead to 31-21 with 4:41 left in the game. The Cougars ran out the final 4:40 after Woodinville failed to collect an onside-kick attempt.
Sirmon converted an 8-yard run on a fake punt on fourth-and-four from the Falcons’ 47 at the 3:30 mark of the fourth quarter. That caused Woodinville to burn its final two timeouts before Sirmon converted a fourth-and-two keeper run for three yards and another first down with about two minutes to go.
“I told him, ‘I trust your judgment and if you think you can get it, you’ve got to be 100 percent and he was,’” Bainter said of Sirmon’s fake-punt conversion.
The Cougars made it 14-0 when Ryan Metz scooped up a Joey Johnson fumble and rumbled 36 yards for a touchdown at the 1:46 mark of the first quarter.
Christian Galvan capped a two-play, 66-yard drive with 28-yard TD burst untouched up the middle for a 21-7 advantage with 2:07 left before halftime. Galvan’s TD gallop was set up by a 38-yard quarterback keeper by Sirmon over the right side. Galvan, who was nursing an injured ankle late in the season, provided 93 yards on 22 carries.
Schenck also had a 76-yard TD return on a blocked punt for the Falcons.