Pullman faces battle in rematch
Freeman attempts to solve nemesis
The difference in the outcome between Pullman and Burlington-Edison when the two square off for the second straight year in the State 2A football quarterfinals will be simple.
“It’s really going to be whose front can impose its will on the other,” Pullman Greyhounds coach Bill Peterson said. “They imposed their will more than we did last year.”
The teams meet today at 1 p.m. at Gonzaga Prep in the first game of a doubleheader. Freeman faces Royal in the second game.
Pullman has done a good job of imposing its will on teams this season. Last week in a 36-12 win over Tumwater, the Greyhounds allowed zero yards rushing.
“If you’d have told me that would happen, I’d have played the lottery,” Peterson said.
Both teams run variations of the wishbone and both were young last year. The Tigers graduated more seniors, 15, including quarterback Kolby Arendse. He’s been replaced by a sophomore.
Pullman rolled up 400 yards of offense last week as Cody Weber rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another. Jared Byers added 115 yards and Cody Peterson threw for 102 and a couple of scores. Burlington-Edison topped previously unbeaten Steilacoom 38-21.
“They’re a solid team and have a good program,” Peterson said. “They’ll fly around and hit you. Whoever blocks and tackles best will come out victorious.”
The state tournament road for Northeast A League teams has, for the most part, ended up a Royal pain.
Ten times, dating back to 1994, an NEA team has jousted with the Knights and nine times come out on the short end. After those nine victories, Royal went on to state titles five times and reached the finals twice more.
In the 11th meeting, Freeman plays the unbeaten visitors for the fourth time since 2003. The Scotties have lost the previous three, including for the state title in ’04.
Last week Royal whipped Chelan 46-7. Receiver/defensive back Blair Collins was named league offensive MVP and two-way lineman Jace Christensen was defensive MVP.
In two postseason games, Freeman’s Scotties have scored 86 points. Last week Freeman rallied from a 27-20 deficit to win 38-27 over Granger. Tanner Laib rushed for 329 yards and scored five touchdowns, giving him 530 and eight for the playoffs.