TACOMA – Colfax did everything it needed to win a State 2B football championship – except take care of the football.
Four turnovers, coupled with one big offensive play, ultimately spelled disaster for the Bulldogs, who lost 32-24 to Adna on Saturday afternoon during the Gridiron Classic at the Tacoma Dome.
Colfax was effective in what it wanted to do, controlling time of possession with its multifaceted running game that, coupled with a 52-yard bomb by Alex Teade to Damon Buck, set up the game’s first touchdown
Then two devastating turnovers late in the second quarter turned a 10-6 lead into a 19-10 deficit in the final minute of the half. And Tyler McNannay fumbled as Colfax seemed destined to score on its first series of the third quarter, leading to an 87-yard Pirates drive and 26-10 advantage.
Although the Bulldogs (12-1) would right the ship behind McNannay and claw back to within two points, the loss of quarterback and defensive stalwart Teade to a concussion with 3 minutes, 15 seconds remaining left Colfax with an insurmountable task.
“You can’t turn the ball over like we did and win,” coach Mike Morgan said. “We had too many of them.”
Teade hit Kellen Morgan with 3:12 left in the first period for Colfax’s initial score. An 80-yard burst by Anthony Tatum on his first play of the night after being removed from the game and treated for a wardrobe malfunction (repair of pad straps), quelled the euphoria of the Bulldogs’ 7-0 lead.
Tatum, from his own 20, tore through a tackle attempt 7 yards upfield, then cut his way the rest of the way, leaving Colfax defenders in his wake.
The Bulldogs lad 10-6 when Stetson Steiger lost a fumble. Adna went to the air, and the game went south for the Bulldogs.
Quarterback Kyle Grosshans completed four passes to put the Pirates up 12-10 with 1:07 remaining before intermission. And when Teade was intercepted thereafter, Adna had to cover only 5 yards to take a nine-point lead, even if it took five plays and came with 4 seconds left.
Colfax chewed up 51 yards in a hurry before McNannay’s fumble was prelude to Adna’s biggest lead.
“I don’t remember the fumble,” said McNannay, who was hit by two Pirates. “I had the ball and then I didn’t.”
But he became a big part of a Colfax rally, catching a touchdown pass and two-point conversion and ripping off a 44-yard run down the right sideline to set up his 1-yard TD plunge. The score was 26-24 and you could almost envision the game coming down to McNannay’s leg. He’d earlier booted a 39-yard field goal.
“I wanted to be in that position to make it happen,” he said.
But Teade went down and with him Colfax’s best chance of completing the comeback.
The Bulldogs had 309 yards of offense, with McNannay gaining 115 on 16 attempts. Tatum finished with 119 yards on seven carries and was a menace on defense, while quarterback Grosshans passed for 111 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 63 and one more TD.