Cale Millen throws for 343 yards and four touchdowns for the Wildcats, but Jacob Holcomb threw for 317 and five scores as the Vikings move onto the state semifinals.
There will always be one touchdown pass in Cale Millen’s high-school career that never got a celebration.
It was the one he threw to sophomore Zachary Soliday in the final seconds of Mount Si’s Class 4A state quarterfinal game on Friday night. The score wasn’t enough to prevent No. 5 seed Puyallup from taking a 47-34 win down Highway 18.
“I feel a lot of pain, a lot of pain,” Millen said. “Scoring on the last play shows how much fight we have. But it sucks, this being the last game. But I loved being a Wildcat, and I love this team.”
Puyallup (11-1) advances to the state semifinals next week. It will face the winner of Saturday’s matchup between No. 9 Bothell and No. 1 Union in Vancouver.
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Millen, an Oregon commit, will shift focus to college along with 12 other active seniors on the Mount Si roster. But coach Charlie Kinnune had a message to the rest of the team.
“We’re lifting weights on Monday,” he said as he shook hands and gave hugs to his players. Many were sobbing.
“We had seven underclassmen on the field when we were making that last drive,” Kinnune said. “We’re young and we feel good about the future, and I am so proud with the way they fought through this.”
Fourth-seeded Mount Si made its first state tournament appearance since 2013 and first as a Class 4A school. Behind Millen’s arm, the Wildcats (10-2) were electric in the opening half.
Millen completed 19 of 20 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns. His fast start gave him 51 passing touchdowns this season, becoming the fifth quarterback in Washington state history to do so. Millen was 30 of 39 for 343 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
Millen received help from Mount Si senior Trevor Clem. The defensive back blocked Puyallup’s 31-yard field goal attempt and a PAT in the opening quarter. The Vikings’ failed two-point conversion after a 41-yard touchdown pass by senior quarterback Jacob Holcomb had Puyallup down 14-12 at the end of the quarter.
Puyallup closed within 21-19 at halftime by cashing in a fumble recovery by Vikings senior Connor Jansen. With the ball at Mount Si’s 33-yard line, the visitors used 13 plays to set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Holcomb to Justin Haase with 12 seconds left in the half.
The Vikings continued to build momentum after the break. Puyallup took its first lead on a 6-yard pass from Holcomb to Haase to make the score 26-21 with 10:27 left in the third quarter.
Holcomb tacked on another touchdown — this time a 51-yard score to senior Darius Morrison — to make the lead 33-21 with 5:53 remaining in the quarter. Holcomb completed 20 of 29 passes for 317 yards and five touchdowns.
But the highlight likely is Vikings senior Ben Rodriguez’s interception in the end zone late in the third quarter. It robbed Millen of a score at the 6-yard line with Mount Si down 33-21.
“That was the most hyped I’ve been probably all season,” said Holcomb, whose team is back in the semifinals for the first time since 2005. “I love watching our defense ball out. We’re resilient and this is a great feeling.”