By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
SHORELINE — This wasn’t a typical Billy Green football game.
The BYU commit and King’s High School senior isn’t supposed to be a running quarterback, but on Friday night he used his feet to help the Knights jump ahead of Cascade Christian early and the King’s defense held the Cougars’ in check the rest of the way en route to a 28-7 victory in a Tri-District playoff game at Woolsey Stadium.
Green ran for more than 100 yards, ran for just his fourth touchdown of the season and even ran for a two-point conversion — all in a first half — as King’s built a 28-0 lead.
“It was a lot of fun,” Green said. “I got that rushing touchdown, so that was nice. The line opened some big holes for me so it was fun tonight.”
He passed for less than 200 yards and the No. 1-ranked Knights (10-0 overall) were held under 40 points for the first time this season. The King’s offense was nearly perfect in the first half, racking up more than 300 total yards and scoring on all but one of its five possessions. Green threw an apparent touchdown on the fifth possession, but the officials ruled he stepped over the line of scrimmage on the fourth-down play. The loss-of-down penalty gave the Cougars’ defense its only stop of the first half.
Cascade Christian’s game plan on defense was to rush three players and drop eight into coverage. The savvy Green picked the secondary apart on the opening possession, hitting Lucas Swanson on a 21-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring. As Green got into rhythm, the Cougars were forced to change up their defense and force him to run.
“As you can see, he’s got good feet on him,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said of Green. “I think for our offense it’s not just about Billy but it’s a run-pass combination. We are going to pass the ball and if you try and stop that, we are going to run the ball.”
Ben Welch also rushed for more than 100 yards on 11 carries for King’s, he scored on a 1-yard run that made it 21-0.
The Knight’s defense forced Cascade Christian to go against its strength, which entering the game was running the football. The Cougars had fewer than 50 yards on the ground at the half, despite driving down the field on the final possession and scoring with 2.9 seconds remaining in the second quarter. In the second half, Cougar quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith took to the air with limited success. He ended the night 11-for-25 for 136 yards.
“I think our defense played amazing,” Green said. “Only allowing seven points. … Our defense played awesome.”
Shapiro was happy to force the Cougars away from rushing the football.
“To see a running team throwing the ball … that’s what you want to see,” the 16th-year coach said.
Due to WIAA’s seeding rules, No. 1-ranked King’s goes into the state playoffs as the No. 3 seed from Districts 1-3 and won’t host any more playoff games. Next week the Knights take on the District 4’s No. 2 seed, Hoquiam (9-0, No. 4 AP). A win in the first round and in the next game would mean the school’s first-ever trip to the Tacoma Dome on Thanksgiving weekend.
The Knights’ seniors are determined to break through the ceiling that has held the team at the quarterfinal level for the program’s entire history.
“It’s very important.” Green said. “We want to go out on a good note this, senior class, and I think we have the talent to do it. The last three years we’ve made it to the quarterfinals and we’ve lost all three years, so that’s the goal this year: Get to the T-Dome and win it all.”
At King’s H.S.
King’s—Lucas Swanson 21 pass from Billy Green (Ryan Fransen kick)
King’s—Caleb Taylor 21 pass from Billy Green (pass failed)
King’s—Ben Welch 1 run (Green run)
King’s—Green 10 run (Ryan Fransen kick)
CC—Cooper Dyson 9 pass from Jaelin Goldsmith (Garrod Stimets kick)
Records: Cascade Christian 7-3, King’s 10-0.