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Two for two: ACH and Royal bring home state championships

by Rebecca Pettingill
Staff Writer | December 6, 2021 1:07 AM

Two Columbia Basin schools brought home state football championship trophies Saturday in the 1A and 1B Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals.

Royal High School Knights were the 2021-22 1A state champions and Almira/Coulee-Hartline (ACH) High School Warriors were the 2021-22 1B state champions.

Both teams’ victories were hard earned, having undefeated seasons. Despite their size difference, these two area teams have a tradition of creating state qualifying teams. This is the seventh state football championship for ACH and 10th for Royal.

Royal played at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood against Eatonville High School. The Knights proved a shutout game, 41-0.

“I’m just happy for these seniors and this team, this community,” head coach Wiley Allred said.

Some highlights and stats from the game:

  • Senior Avery Ellis had five of the six total touchdowns for 61 rushing yards.

  • Senior Derek Bergeson had a 44-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

  • Senior Eric Myrick recovered a fumble by Eatonville on Eatonville’s 5-yard line.

“I’m not going to look for anything and there wasn’t; there was great effort, there was great execution,” Allred said, when asked if there was anything he would not be proud of.

Box score:

Royal - 7 27 0 7 - 41

Eatonville - 0 0 0 0 - 0

While Royal was battling Eatonville, ACH played at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma against Quilcene High School. ACH took the trophy with a final score of 50-20. While the Warriors did not have quite the shutout game Royal did, ACH held Quilcene back from scoring until three minutes, four seconds left in the third quarter.

Some highlights and stats from the game:

  • Senior Parker Roberts had three touchdowns for 130 rushing yards.

  • Senior Grady Murray had three touchdowns, one being a 69-yard punt return.

  • Senior Dane Isaak had one 27-yard touchdown run and 133 total touchdown passing yards.

“It just was a great year,” head coach Brandon Walsh said. “Such a fun group of kids; our seniors have worked so hard over the years to get to the level they’re at and for it to come to fruition and pay off the way it did was pretty special. It’s the way you hope it will go, and it did, and it’s a very satisfying feeling to see that happen and be a part of it.”

Box score:

ACH - 14 22 8 6 - 50

Quilcene - 0 0 6 14- 20

Rebecca Pettingill can be reached via email at rpettingill@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Carrie Isaak/Courtesy photo

Almira/Coulee-Hartline High School players celebrate their win Saturday in the 1B Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals in Tacoma.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

ACH senior Grady Murray (10) holds off a Quilcene High School player Saturday in the 1B Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals in Tacoma.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Senior Dane Isaak (5) rushes for Almira/Coulee-Hartline High School Saturday in the 1B Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals in Tacoma.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Royal High School senior Derek Bergeson (6) plays Saturday in the 1A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Royal senior Avery Ellis (22) runs with the ball Saturday in the 1A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals against Eatonville High School.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Royal High School senior Avery Ellis (22) is taken down by an Eatonville High School player Saturday in the 1A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals in Lakewood.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Almira/Coulee-Hartline High School senior Dane Isaak (5) is tackled by a Quilcene High School player mid rush Saturday in the 1B Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals in Tacoma.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Senior Jace Allred smiles as he embraces his cousin, junior Dylan Allred, of the Royal Knights, after they won Saturday in the 1A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals.

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