BELLINGHAM — Civic Stadium was lights out literally and figuratively Saturday afternoon during the 1B state semifinals.
The scoreboard sat blank for the entirety of the game, while Almira/Coulee-Hartline’s (ACH) play on the field could only be described by that common idiom.
ACH led 46-0 at halftime and bounded into its second state championship game in three years with a 60-6 victory over Lummi Nation.
“We didn’t expect that,” head coach Brandon Walsh said. “Obviously, it’s the semifinals. You expect a great game and I think our speed came into play there, which we hoped it would. We sort of thought it would come into play in the long run, that we could wear them down with our speed making them chase us.”
Lummi spent plenty of time chasing Hayden Loomis.
Loomis accounted for 249 total yards — 127 on the ground and 122 through the air — with four total touchdowns. He added a tackle on defense for good measure.
“He’s a fast kid and any time he can get to the edge we feel good about that,” Walsh said. “Our O-line did a great job of sealing the edge for him so he could get out there and run in space.”
The worst miscue of the first half came on the opening kickoff when the ball was able to be downed inside ACH’s 10 yard line. But the poor field position merely delayed the inevitable.
Maguire Isaak found Gage Burchill for a 43-yard touchdown pitch-and-catch to give the Warriors a lead that was never in doubt. Isaak completed four passes -- three went for scores.
It was a completely one-sided affair.
Behind Isaak and Loomis, ACH led 32-0 at the end of one quarter.
Defensively, ACH held Lummi to just 184 total yards — many coming with the outcome of the game decided — and six first downs.
Defensive lineman Payton Nielsen accounted for 3.5 tackles and pressured Lummi quarterback Dashawn Lawrence into throwing an interception to Tim Hahn that was returned 15 yards for a touchdown to start the second half.
That series was the last for many of the starters with the lead up to 54 points and a running clock enacted.
“We’ve come together since Odessa,” Nielsen said. “We’re going to keep fighting together and we stand as one. That’s our motto and we’re going to do this together. It’s not going to take one of us; it’s going to take all of us. All eight of us on that field, everybody on the sidelines, it’s all together.”
ACH has traveled 520 miles the last two weeks. They’ve got one more trip over the Cascades on Friday in a rematch of the season opener.
Sunnyside Christian pulled away from Odessa 62-22 in the other semifinal. Sunnyside Christian rallied to beat ACH 34-20 on Aug. 31 and is undefeated.
“It will be in the back of our minds that they did beat us,” Nielsen said. “But we could have won those games, easily — both of those games. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to play our game and we’re not going to focus on that they beat us ... We’re just going to focus on the game and we’re going to hopefully get that W.”
Score by quarters
ACH — 32 14 8 6 60
LN — 0 0 0 6 6
ACH-Burchill 43 pass from Isaak (pass failed)
ACH-Isaak 41 run (Zappone pass from Isaak)
ACH-Loomis 50 pass from Isaak (Isaak run)
ACH-Loomis 51 pass from Isaak (Burchill pass from Isaak)
ACH-Safety, blocked punt in end zone
ACH-Loomis 2 run (Juilani run)
ACH-Loomis 80 run (run failed)
ACH-Hahn 15 interception return (Loomis pass from Isaak)
ACH-Schafer 19 run (pass failed)
LN-Ortez 25 pass from Toby (no attempt)
Richland 42, Central Valley 10
Woodinville 10, Sumner 0
O’Dea 34, Bellevue 33
Rainier Beach 49, Garfield 21
Hockinson 53, West Valley 30
Tumwater 10, Archbishop Murphy 6
Royal 35, Newport 7
Meridian 34, La Center 14
Kalama 20, Napavine 13
Liberty 21, Asotin 16
Sunnyside Christian 62, Odessa 22
Almira/Coulee-Hartline 60, Lummi Nation 6