SHORELINE — It was a familiar finish for King’s.
For the fifth season in a row, the Knights fell in the state quarterfinals, losing to Cascade Christian 37-13 at Woolsey Stadium on Saturday night.
Cascade Christian used a number of big plays and key third-down conversions in the second half to outscore the Knights 25-6 and punch its ticket to the semifinals. The second-ranked and unbeaten Cougars face Mount Baker at Tacoma Dome next weekend for a spot in the state championship.
“I thought overall our defense played well tonight, but it was the big play, the third-down conversions that hurt us,” said King’s coach Jim Shapiro, whose team finishes 9-3. “The (big) plays that happened tonight just didn’t go our way.”
Coming out of halftime trailing Cascade Christian 12-7, King’s forced the Cougars into a third-and-7 from its own 25. But CC quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith wheeled out to the right only to turn back to the left and hit receiver Mason Tobeck in the flat. Tobeck did the rest, bobbing and weaving around King’s defenders and streaking down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Cougars an 18-7 lead.
“That screen we knew it was coming,” Shapiro said. “All in all they made some big plays but I really think we hurt ourselves tonight. I felt we hurt ourselves on both sides of the ball.”
King’s would answer on a 22-yard Maka Wilkins touchdown run, but on the next possession Cascade Christian got another big third-down conversion when Riley Ramos broke off a 26-yard fun on third-and-3. Three plays later Goldsmith ran it in from 5 yards out to extend the CC lead to two scores again.
After a King’s punt, Cascade Christian turned in an 11-play, 90-yard back-breaking drive that included two key third-down conversions and chewed up nearly five minutes off the clock. Goldsmith capped the drive with his second rushing touchdown to give Cascade Christian a 31-13 lead.
A pair of interceptions on King’s next two drives sealed the Knights’ fate.
Though it was a familiar ending for King’s, it wasn’t one Shapiro envisioned for his young team coming into the season. King’s only fieled nine seniors this season after losing a number of big contributors from last year’s team, including All-Area offensive player of the year quarterback Billy Green and lineman Mason Friedline.
“I told them after the game I would not have written this script,” Shapiro said. “I wouldn’t have predicted they’d make it here to the quarterfinals. That doesn’t make this any easier because you’re here, but they definitely overachieved.”
At Woolsey Stadium
CC—Hunter Austin 2 run (kick blocked)
CC—Riley Ramos 5 run (pass failed)
K—Chris Yand 3 run (Lucas Swanson kick)
CC—Mason Tobeck 75 pass from Jaelin Goldsmith (run failed)
K—Maka Wilkins 22 run (run failed)
CC—Goldsmith 5 run (run failed)
CC—Goldsmith 6 run (Jimmy Kim kick)
CC—Tobeck 15 pass from Goldsmith (kick failed)
Records—Cascade Christian 12-0 overall. King’s 9-3.