Zach Borisch saw an opening, hit the edge and scored on a 15-yard touchdown run in overtime.
The Kamiakin High School football team’s senior quarterback had thrown two interceptions earlier in the game as part of the Braves’ four total turnovers to O’Dea’s zero.
But that play, it made everything quite all right.
No. 6 Kamiakin followed by shutting down top-ranked O’Dea’s offense on a fourth-and-1 to secure its 14-7 victory in a thrilling finish to the 3A state championship game on Friday in the Tacoma Dome as the Kennewick school won its first state title in school history.
“It’s a dream,” Borisch said. “You dream of this as a little kid. You never think it’s going to be real. I’m living in a fantasy right now.”
It looked like Kamiakin was going to need a miracle.
O’Dea had a 29-yard field goal try with three seconds remaining in regulation. Kamiakin used all three of its timeouts consecutively and the left-footed Stephen Powell missed right from the right hash mark.
That came after O’Dea had a chance to go up by two scores on a 21-yard field goal attempt with eight minutes remaining.
But Kamiakin’s defense charged through and forced a miss wide-right.
The next play? Kamiakin fumbled and O’Dea recovered. But Kamiakin’s defense stood, again, forcing a 45-yard field goal try that was well short. The Irish were held to 289 yards of total offense for the game.
Where did this defensive performance rank among Kamiakin’s best this season?
“No. 1, for sure,” Kamiakin senior defensive back Darreon Moore said.
“It’s right up there,” said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin. “Winning a state championship, on our defense – I’m so proud of them.”
This was the first time since 2007, when O’Dea lost to Skyline, that neither Bellevue or Eastside Catholic were playing for the 3A title. Last year’s title also went into overtime, with Eastside Catholic winning, 48-42.
This one, however, was a defensive slugfest.
O’Dea had 59 total yards of offense in the first half.
But then on its first possession of the second half, it drove 79 yards for a touchdown. Jamyn Patu scampered for 43 yards down the left sideline to the Kamiakin 20, and then broke loose for a touchdown the next play.
Patu finished with 19 carries for 99 yards.
Kamiakin’s Borisch then threw his second interception of the game. Both passes were tipped in the air by O’Dea defensive linemen.
“It wasn’t like they were bad turnovers, they were just doing a good of getting their hand on the ball,” Biglin said.
And it never fazed Borisch, who finished with 172 passing yards.
He rolled to his left and hit Moore, who zipped up the left sideline for a 53-yard touchdown with 4:24 remaining.
“He’s got more fight than anybody I’ve ever known,” Biglin said. “He’s going to do so many good things in life just because he has such a good head on his shoulders.”
The Kamiakin crowd started chanting “We want ‘Bama” as Kamiakin was being awarded its first state championship trophy.
“Coach said that if they could open up a game for us, then we would head down there next week,” Borisch said.
Such is the feeling of state champions.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677