TACOMA – For Freeman, the second half was an exhibition of smash-mouth football on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
The Scotties took control where it counts most and the Mount Baker Mountaineers didn’t have an answer.
Junior running back Markus Goldbach was the beneficiary of sizeable holes and the Scotties’ defense shut down Mount Baker’s offense as Freeman completed an undefeated season with a 31-13 victory in the State 1A championship game Saturday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome.
Things started off well for Goldbach. On the game’s opening kickoff, he sprinted untouched 91 yards for a touchdown.
The game would tighten up in a hurry, though. Mount Baker proceeded to rush for 164 yards by halftime, settling for a 13-13 tie.
“Our defensive ends were coming up the field too far,” said Jim Wood, the Scotties’ head coach and defensive coordinator. “So we just slammed them down harder onto the fullback.”
It worked to perfection as the Scotties (14-0) limited the Mountaineers (11-2) to 44 yards rushing the final two quarters.
Then the Scotties’ offense climbed on the capable shoulders of Goldbach. He had 164 of his 170 yards in the final two periods.
Goldbach had to carry the load because backfield mate Max Laib caught the flu bug and had to limit his time to playing safety.
On Freeman’s first possession of the third quarter, Goldbach carried the ball nine times for 86 yards. His final run in the series, a 16-yard gain, extended Freeman’s lead to 25-13 with 5:20 left in the quarter.
Goldbach said one of Freeman’s mottos this season was “destroy all.”
“It was our line,” Goldbach said of his second-half running. “They got a four-yard push every time. Any running back could have done that. They did a phenomenal job.”
Anchoring the offensive line were Jordan Rose, Wyatt Dashiell, Teigan Glidewell, Ian Johnston, Peyton Smetana and Connor McVay.
“We knew we had to be more aggressive up front,” said Glidewell, a starter on both sides of the ball. “We didn’t come off the bus strong and weren’t ready. We thought it was going to be easier.”
But when the Scotties clamped down, the Mountaineers were done.
“Give those guys credit for making adjustments and we just weren’t able to execute like we wanted to,” Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper said. “I think their line did a good job against our guys and we couldn’t get the push we wanted.”
Things only snowballed for the Mountaineers.
“They are a very good football team obviously,” Lepper said. “(Goldbach) ran hard and their line did a good job of getting bodies on our guys and we couldn’t get any clean shots on him.”
Wood didn’t waste any time pointing out the key to the win.
“The offensive line … they were the key,” Wood said. “They played outstanding.”