A week after upsetting a three-time defending state champ, the Indians won their first state football title by beating the Grizzlies 48-7.
TACOMA – Though Colville pulled off the upset of the year last week by beating three-time defending state champs Royal, they were focused on no letdowns coming into Saturday’s Class 1A title game against Northeast 1A rival Newport.
State football championships
Class 4A: Union 52, Lake Stevens 20
Class 3A: Eastside Catholic 31, O'Dea 13
Class 2A: Hockinson 42, Lynden 37
Class 1A: Colville 48, Newport 7
Class 2B: Kalama 34, Napavine 25
Class 1B: Odessa 63, ACH 12
So the fifth-seeded squad went out and dominated the No. 10 Grizzlies, holding them to just 161 yards of offense and forcing three turnovers in its 48-7 win at the Tacoma Dome.
It’s the first state football title for Colville (11-2). The last time they were in a championship game they lost 27-26 to Cascade Christian in 2014. Colville also avenged its 21-7 loss to Newport (11-2) in the state quarterfinals last year.
“We were so ready for this,” Colville senior running back Jakob Larson said. “Last year they beat us in the playoffs, so we were not going to let up and come in unprepared.”
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Colville coach Randy Cornwell said the team was ready to go out and win a state championship.
“These kids are really focused and really determined,” he said. “This was their goal. Their goal wasn’t last week. That was an awesome victory and very, very difficult. But this was their goal all along.”
It was a slow start for both squads, as the Colville and Newport defenses kept the opposing offenses bottled up. Junior running back Grant Michaliszyn stepped up for Colville with a big 38-yard run that set up a 1-yard plunge by senior quarterback John Knight.
That got the Colville offense in gear. Michaliszyn scored from a yard out on its next drive, and Larson scored from 27 yards out on the misdirection when he took the handoff and raced around the right side practically untouched for the score.
Though Larson finished with 90 yards on the ground and a score and 107 receiving yards and another score, he said it was a team effort on offense. Knight finished with 226 passing yards and two touchdowns and ran for an additional two scores as Colville had 435 yards of total offense.
“It’s the fact that we have amazing receivers (too),” he said. “We call Jake Lindquist (who had two catches for 66 yards and a score) ‘Megatron’ because he catches everything. And Chase Kanamu is the fastest kid on the team. He can run anyone down.”
Cornwell also gave credit to the defense that kept the Grizzlies from making its way back into the game. It’s the sixth time this season they’ve held an opponent to seven points or less.
“Our defensive line, in particular, has just put a lot of pressure on opposing running games and quarterbacks,” he said. “Our secondary had 12 interceptions over these last three (playoff) games. So our defense has been lights out. They’ve been very tough.”