COULEE CITY — It was deja vu all over again for the defending 1B state champions in Thursday night's battle of No. 1 vs No. 2 at the Brick House in Coulee City.
Where last year the Warriors established the big early lead, then managed to let it slip away at Odessa. In what should decide the league championship game, it was the Tigers out hot and heavy, running away with a 56-22 win.
“Give them credit, that's a good football team there,” ACH coach Brandon Walsh said. “They come out breathing fire. We had some drops that costs and a couple of touchdowns called back.
“You take the four woulda-coulda-shoulda's and it's a different ballgame.”
It was all Odessa Thursday and the Tigers were riding with the king. Marcus King. The 6-foot, 170-pound Odessa running back rumbled to touchdown runs of 41 and two yards, to go along with 185 yards total on 22 carries for the night.
“Man he was a load,” Warriors linebacker Gage Burchill said. “It sucks to lose, but it's a great learning experience that shows where we need to be at.
“Even though we gave up the big lead to them last year, we were a better team for it and went ahead and won state. We'll get back and look at the film and see what we need to do to get better this year.”
Odessa took the 8-0 first-quarter lead, but the Warriors came right back on a Burchill touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but ACH closed to 8-6. But that was when King took over and the Tigers running game was stomp and roll. King scored on a 41-yard run to make it 16-6. Tigers quarterback Camden Weber found Tim DeWulf on a 47-yard scoring strike to make it 24-6.
Josh Clark blew through the ACH line for an 11-yard rumble and the Tigers took a 32-6 lead right before the intermission. With the Tiger running rolling along, the Warriors were subject to the play action and Weber connected with Brady Walter for one more score before the half on a 15-yard pass.
“The bottom line is that they played great and we didn't,” Walsh said. “We knew they were going to come in and try and run the ball. Once they did that, it opened up other options and they took advantage.”