Central Valley built its reputation on offense in the regular season and lived off its defense in the playoffs.
The sixth-ranked Bears put everything together Saturday night in the Tacoma Dome to whip second-ranked South Kitsap 49-13 for the State 4A football championship.
“They popped off in the paper,” CV’s star linebacker Garret Graham said. “We went out there and ran over them. We kicked their butt on every spot on the field.”
He was right, especially when the Bears ended the scoring early in the fourth quarter when All-State lineman Wil Beck scored on an 11-yard “fumble-rooskie” play.
“I didn’t want to put it in their face, I just think the kid deserved the recognition from it,” CV coach Rick Giampietri said of his three-year starter. “He’s wanted to run the play all year and we were running out of time. The smile he had on his face is worth the abuse I’ll probably take for thinking we ran it up.”
But Central Valley won by dominating every phase of the game: offense (480 total yards), defense (266 for South Kitsap and four interceptions) and special teams (128 return yards, including Zac Scott’s 55-yard interception return for the first score of the game).
The Bears tied the record for most points scored in a championship game, with Tyree Clowe shattering the championship-game record of 194 rushing yards with a staggering 254 yards and three touchdowns.
And quarterback Chad Adamson, who has struggled in recent games, turned in the performance of a lifetime, connecting on 13 of 17 passes for 198 yards.
Adamson was close to speechless.
“Oh, my,” he said. “Winning the championship, this score. Who would have thought it? It was the last game of the season, probably the last game of my career. I just had to come out and play my best game of the season. You can’t go out on a bad note.”
“Chad executed to perfection, the offensive line came out and opened some holes, then Tyree ran over some people,” Giampietri said. “You couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”
CV (13-1), had never won a playoff game in three appearances before this season. The Bears were only the second GSL team to reach the finals, with Gonzaga Prep going 2-3 in five tries, the last a loss 10 years ago.
The tone was set on the opening kickoff. Nate McFarlane took the ball on the 2, swung around to the left side and went up the sideline, drilling the kicker before he was bumped out of bounds at the 32.
From there, CV marched to the South K 19 before a 36-yard field goal attempt by Greg Papich was blocked by Riah Martin. Still, the drive ate up more than half the first quarter.
The Wolves (13-1) took over on their 40, gained 10 yards on a run and then tried a short out pattern. Scott read the play perfectly, cut in front of the receiver, grabbed Rob Minnitti’s pass and raced 55 yards untouched down the left sideline.
“We saw on tape he lobs it,” Scott said. “I think it got us pumped up, ready to go. They said a lot of stuff that got us pumped up… . It’s all in the paper today.”
A South K lineman had said the Wolves’ superior technique would carry the day.
The Wolves had to counter Scott’s TD with a trick play, wide receiver Tim Sams throwing a pass to Dustin Booth, who turned it into a 71-yard touchdown.
It was just four plays later that Clowe made as pretty a touchdown run as you’ll see. He took a pitch left, Graham buried a linebacker with a lead block and Clowe cut back, weaved through the secondary and went 63 yards for a touchdown.
“My mind was just racing,” Clowe said. “I couldn’t get to the end zone fast enough.”
Clowe, who finished the season with 2,234 yards and 35 touchdowns, thought he had to make up for two games without a touchdown.
After the first of three interceptions by Justin Folkins, Clowe scored on a 4-yard run. The Bears added a TD with 14 seconds left in the half as Adamson capped a perfect 1-minute drive with a 2-yard run.
Central Valley 49, South Kitsap 13
C. Valley 14 14 14 7 - 49
S. Kitsap 7 6 0 0 - 13
CV-Zac Scott 55 interception return (Greg Papich kick)
SK-Dustin Booth 71 pass from Tim Sams (Nick Kenyon kick)
CV-Tyree Clowe 63 run (Papich kick)
SK-Riah Martin 5 run (kick failed)
CV-Clowe 4 run (Papich kick)
CV-Chad Adamson 2 run (Papich kick)
CV-Marc Hinckley 4 pass from Adamson (Papich kick)
CV-Clowe 10 run (Papich kick)
CV-Beck 6 run (Papich kick)
A-12,153 paid (Saturday’s four-game total)
CV SK First downs 22 15 Rushes-yards 47-282 34-172 Passing 198 94 Comp-Att-Int 13-17-0 3-15-4 Return Yards 128 113 Punts-Avg. 0-00.0 2-34.0 Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-0 Penalties-Yards 3-27 2-14 Time of Possession 31:40 1 6:20
RUSHING-Central Valley, Clowe 28-254, Adamson 6-(minus 1), Garret Graham 4-2, Nate McFarlane 2-5, David Burnett 2-3, Brandon Bouge 1-11, Beck 1-6, Mike Eaton 1-3, Courtney Brown 1-1, Mike Tasca 1-(minus 7). South Kitsap, Elkanah Montgomery 14-81, Martin 9-44, Roger Cooper 3-23, Rob Minnitti 3-2, Ed Marceau 2-25, Andy Wilson 1-9, Kenyon 1-(minus 4), Jimmy Newell 1-(minus 8).
PASSING-Central Valley, Adamson 13-17-0-198. South Kitsap, Minnitti 2-12-3-23, Sams 1-1-0-71, Martin 0-1-1-0, Newell 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING-Central Valley, Todd Miller 5-61, Papich 3-79, Graham 3-46, Hinckley 2-12. South Kitsap, Booth 1-71, Erik Simonson 1-18, Sams 1-5.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo