By Geno Ludwig/Staff Correspondent
It was the Mud Bog Bowl, and Colville was able to get the better traction, slogging its way to a 43-12 win over the visiting Chewelah Cougars on the chocolate pudding playing surface.
Chewelah scored twice in the first half and trailed 28-12 at the intermission, but Colville put up all the points in the third and fourth quarters to notch the victory.
The regular season is now over, but one game remains for the Cougars. They will now face Omak in the annual crossover game. That game will be played at Kettle Falls this Friday, beginning at 4 p.m. The Pioneers placed fourth in the Caribou League with a 1-3 conference record. However, they were 6-3 overall, so they are not going to be a door mat.
Colville now advances to the Bi-District Crossover Playoff bracket as the number three team from the Northeast A League. The Indians will play either Okanogan, Cashmere, or Leavenworth which ended the season in a three-way tie for first place in the Caribou Trail League. A Kansas tie-breaker will decide their seeding into the Bi-District playoff this week.
Chewelah scored both of its touchdowns in the opening half, once in each quarter. With Colville leading 14-0 after two long runs to the end zone in the first five minutes, the Cougars responded with a march across the goal line that began with Jensen Holloway’s 39-yard kickoff return.
Starting at its own 42-yard line, Chewelah went 58 yards in three plays.
An inside handoff to Dom Coleman gained three yards before Kaden Mackowiak found a 50-yard path through the swamp on a fullback counter play all the way to the Colville six-yard line. Owen Baldwin then took the ball across the goal line on an option keeper with the help of John Larson’s block at the corner. Holloway ran the option pitch into the end zone on the extra point attempt, but the Cougars were flagged for a holding penalty. The pass on the second attempt fell incomplete, but Chewelah was on the scoreboard with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter.
Colville scored two more times and held a 28-6 lead when the Cougars launched their second scoring drive. Facing a third down and 20 yards to go situation, Holloway grabbed a pass from Baldwin and motored 22 yards for a first down on the Chewelah 28-yard line.
Baldwin and Holloway then hooked up on an option pitch play for another 31- yard gain to the Indian 41-yard line.
The Cougar drive sputtered through the next three plays, but on fourth down Dom Coleman dropped back to throw a fullback pass, saw an open path through the mud, and scrambled 16 yards to the Colville 28-yard line for a first down.
Two snaps later, Baldwin kept the ball on the option play and ran to the end zone. His touchdown with 2:33 remaining in the first half narrowed the Colville lead to 28-12.
Chewelah did not score in the second half. There were some noteworthy plays made by the Cougars, but they never got the ball across the goal line. Two possessions crossed the midfield stripe, but both stalled before they got to pay dirt.
Freshman Jeron Baldwin blocked a Colville 33-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter. Mackowiak ran a 15-yard pitch down the Cougar sideline for a first down. Elan Krausz threw a 20-yard completion to Nolan Hansen on the next play, giving Chewelah a first-and-10 on Colville’s 32-yardline. A 9-yard run by Mackowiak ate up the yardage lost by a sack, but the Cougars were forced to turn the ball over on downs at the Indian 30-yard line.
Holloway had another long kickoff return in the fourth quarter, rambling 46-yard line, and a penalty flag against Colville moved the ball into Indian territory. However, this drive also ended with the Cougars giving up the ball on downs.
Colville scored twice in the fourth quarter and won the game by a 43-12 margin.
The Bi-District Crossover Playoff is set up as follows:
First, Deer Park will automatically advance to the state tournament as the Northeast A League Champion.
Second, Freeman will automatically enter the state tournament as the number three seed from the Bi-District.
Next, Colville will play the number two team from the Caribou Trail League for a state berth.
Then, Newport will meet the Caribou Trail champion for the fourth state ticket to state.