MOSES LAKE – There’s some dispute whether the Okanogan Bulldogs are 13-0 or 13-1 headed into Friday’s State 2B championship game.
There’s little dispute, however, that the Bulldogs belong in that title game against Napavine (12-0) at the Tacoma Dome.
Senior TJ Morris rushed for 121 of Okanogan’s 257 yards Saturday at Lions Field as the Bulldogs ended Lind-Ritzville/Sprague’s 38-game winning streak in emphatic fashion with a 34-0 decision in a State 2B semifinal in bitter, windy weather. The Broncos’ winning streak was tied for seventh best in state history.
Okanogan held the two-time defending champions to 6 yards rushing and 145 yards overall.
“I told them to be proud,” LRS (12-1) coach Greg Whitmore said. “Those seniors have lost three games in their career and had over 50 games in four years, so they got a fifth season in four years. They have nothing to be ashamed about. We probably overachieved in getting here with what we’ve lost the last couple of years. I told them to hold their head high, be proud and move onward and upward.”
The Bulldogs’ lone loss (30-21) came Oct. 10 against Brewster, but some consider that an exhibition game. Both teams picked up forfeit wins that week and scheduled a nonleaguer.
“It really didn’t count, but it counted in our hearts and our minds,” Morris said. “If it wasn’t for that game, I’m not sure we’d be here, honestly. It kind of made us come down to earth and made us realize that we need to work harder. … We’ll go (to the final) as 13-1. We’ll carry that burden.”
Okanogan, just down from the 1A ranks this season, also received 78 rushing yards from junior Jalen Moses and 65 from junior Riley Prescott.
Prescott’s 16-yard touchdown run gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead with 9 minutes, 42 seconds left in the first half. Moses had the only scores of the second half, on a 39-yard run early in the fourth quarter and on an 8-yard pass from senior Benny Cate with 4:37 left.
LRS was hurt by six turnovers, including four interceptions.
Broncos senior Cort Ruzicka completed 7 of 12 passes for 131 yards and three interceptions. Junior Jacob Saetre threw the other interception into a stiff wind.
“The wind was a factor and the cold,” Whitmore said. “We needed to be able to throw the ball a little bit and that affected our game, but in the end we couldn’t stop the run.”
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