(By Geno Ludwig/Chewelah Independent)
NEA League rivals face off in State 1A quarters…
Colville and Newport will clash on the gridiron for the second time this weekend, and the stakes are higher than the last time they met. The winner will advance to the state football semifinals.
For the loser, the season will come to an end.
Northeast A League champion Colville defeated Connell 29-14 to earn its ticket into the state quarterfinals. League runner-up Newport got there by destroying Leavenworth, 47-21, and then ousting Zillah, 13-6.
In their earlier meeting this season, the undefeated Colville Indians doubled the Grizzlies 28-14. It was Newport’s lone league loss. Now, the two teams will face-off again this Friday night at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane with kickoff time set at 6 p.m.
John Knight connected with Dawson Flugel for a pair of touchdown passes that jump-started Colville to its victory over visiting Connell last Saturday. The first throw covered 25 yards and gave the home-standing Indians a 7-0 first quarter lead with the addition of Grant Michaliszyn’s extra-point kick. Knight’s second completion to Flugel traversed 54 yards down the right sideline to the end zone and widened the Colville lead to 14-0 at halftime.
Anthony Holley’s one-yard run in the third quarter gave Colville a 21-0 split, but Connell was not to be shut out. The Eagles finally got into the end zone in the third quarter, narrowing the Indian lead to 21-7.
Jacob Larson was the workhorse for Colville, carrying the ball 13 times for 132 yards. His 35-yard run in the fourth quarter put the Indians on top by a 29-7 margin.
Connell scored one more time late in the game, but the Eagles could not make up for their lack of offensive production in the opening half.
Colville and Newport will now squareoff against each other on Friday night, and it should be another exciting battle. In their first meeting, the Indians took home a 28-14 league win, but the underlying statistic of the game was that the Grizzlies finished with the most yardage, 208-204.
Newport moved the ball up and down the field but could not get the ball across the goal line until the fourth quarter. By that time, Colville held a 28-0 lead.
Holley’s 60-yard return of the opening kickoff quickly set the tone of the game and gave the Indians an early momentum swing to the home sideline.
Two runs by Michaliszyn and a completion to Flugel added three more touchdowns to the Colville side of the scoreboard.
Newport has gotten better since its first meeting with Colville. The Grizzlies have won six straight games since then. This Friday night’s state quarterfinal contest will give them an opportunity to avenge their lone loss.
In the other three quarterfinal games, Royal City (11-0) will meet Okanogan (10-0), La Center (9-2) will face Cascade Christian (10-1) and Montesano (11-0) will take on Meridian (11-0).
State 1A Top Ten
1. Royal City 11-0
2. Colville 9-1
3. Meridian 11-0
4. Okanogan 9-0
5. Newport 9-1
6. Montesano 11-0
7. La Center 9-2
8. Cascade Christian 10-1
9. Connell 8-2
10. Mt. Baker 7-4