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Running paves way for B-E

Burlington-Edison might as well have been another name for an asphalt paving company Saturday night.

Clinging to a 7-6 lead through three quarters, Burlington-Edison decided to abandon finesse for a straight-ahead attack as the Tigers scored three touchdowns to flatten the Pullman Greyhounds 28-6 in a State 2A quarterfinal football game at Joe Albi Stadium.

Burlington-Edison (11-1), which has won 11 straight since a season-opening loss to 3A power Ferndale, will face Othello (9-3) in the semifinals at the Tacoma Dome either Friday or Saturday. Othello advanced by upsetting previously undefeated Tumwater 42-14. The other semifinal will match Prosser (12-0) and Lynden (10-2).

The Tigers tried to pass in the first half, but quarterback Kolby Arendse couldn’t measure a tricky wind. He went 0 for 5 with an interception.

So B-E coach Bruce Shearer said it was an easy decision at halftime as to what to do on offense.

“The kids kept saying, ‘Let’s stop throwing the football, the wind is affecting us a little bit. Let’s just run at them,’ ” B-E coach Bruce Shearer said. “One thing about our team is we’re very versatile. We can slug it out with people and we can pass, too. We went 0 for 5 with one pick in the first half, so it was a no-brainer. My stat guy made the call.”

After forcing Pullman to punt, B-E took over at the 50-yard line with 4:08 to go in the third quarter. Thirteen running plays later, burly Steven Berghuis, the Tigers’ standout defensive end, plunged 2 yards into the end zone on his lone carry of the game. Andrew Furney’s point-after kick extended the Tigers’ lead to 14-6 with 10:11 remaining.

Pullman still had hope when Michael Scourey returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to the B-E 34. But the Tigers’ defense stiffened, stopping the Greyhounds (11-1) on fourth-and-3 at the 15. It was the third time Pullman failed to convert a fourth-down play.

“I think that was the difference in the game,” Pullman coach Bill Peterson said of the fourth-down conversion attempts. “We knew we couldn’t have mistakes. We just had too many of those. Our defense played well, kept us in the game. Our offense moved the ball, we just couldn’t capitalize with points. And that’s the name of the game.”

Facing a fourth-and-17 a few minutes later, Pullman decided to punt and hope its defense could get the ball back. That’s when junior running back Jeff Adams sealed the Greyhounds’ fate.

On a counter play, Adams sprinted 69 yards untouched to put B-E ahead 21-6 with 2:16 to go.

After B-E free safety Troy O’Neill intercepted a pass, Adams did it again, dashing 74 yards to extend the score to the final margin.

Held to 17 yards on nine previous rushes, Adams’ final two carries gave him 160.

Shearer said it took his team a while to adjust to the pace of the Greyhounds. B-E can give its conference an assist for preparing them for its playoff run.

“We’ve been playing against teams that are faster than us all year,” Shearer said. “We’re used to teams trying to get outside on us and stretching the field horizontally and vertically.”

Peterson said he knew what B-E was going to do in the second half.

“We just couldn’t do anything offensively,” Peterson said. “Hats off to Burlington-Edison. They’re a very good team.”

B-E outgained Pullman on the ground 309-124.