It wasn’t quite the 11-touchdown performance that Dallas Isaak had in last week’s Class 1B semifinal win by Almira/Coulee-Hartline, but that didn’t make much difference for him.
“Who cares?” the senior quarterback said. “As long as we score more points than the other team, honestly.”
Well, the Warriors did that, too.
ACH edged Lummi Nation, 46-42, on Friday night at the Tacoma Dome to pocket its fifth state title.
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“It’s unreal,” Isaak said. “I’m honestly lost for words. To think that we’ve come this far and ended like this, it’s only fitting. For how hard we’ve worked, for that game to end like that, it’s unreal.”
ACH posted back-to-back losing seasons (4-6 in 2013, 2-8 in 2014) before dropping its 2015 opener to Liberty Christian — which it knocked off, 82-70, in the semifinals.
“It would have been so easy for them to come in and just kind of go through the motions, because, hey, it’s more of the same,” said Warriors coach Brandon Walsh, who is in his 17th season and has won two titles in three final appearances. “But they didn’t, and they committed to the process of getting better every day, every week, every game. And here we are.”
Isaak did lead the way. Of ACH’s six touchdowns Friday, he had a hand in five of them.
He was 17 of 18 passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for another 185 yards on 28 carries, adding two more touchdowns.
ACH netted 436 total yards — Isaak had 446. Yes, you read that right.
The Warriors (13-1) traded touchdowns with Lummi (11-3) — combining for 66 points in the first half – but took a 10-point lead at intermission.
“We figured if we could get a two-score lead and then trade scores with them, then no big deal, that’s fine,” Walsh said. “It didn’t go that way.”
The Blackhawks blanked the Warriors in the third quarter and took their only lead on an 11-yard pass from Jonathan Casimi to Free Borsey with 13 seconds remaining in the third to make it 42-38.
Casimi was 17 of 19 passing for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Hank Hoskins muscled it in for three touchdowns on 15 carries for 79 yards.
Lummi’s two-score tilt ended after ACH sophomore Payton Nielsen forced a fumble on the 1-yard line with 5:26 to play.
“I even turned to one of my assistant coaches and said, ‘The worst thing in the world right now is that we don’t have the ball,’ ” Walsh said. “They were playing great defensively and getting pressure. We had to make some adjustments.”
Charles Hunt capped a four-minute, 99-yard drive by taking a pitch from Isaak three yards in for the winning score.
The Blackhawks drove to ACH’s 36 with 42 seconds to play, but it was Nielsen, again, who came up with the stop.
He sacked Casimi on fourth-and-6, and Isaak took a knee to end it.
“I came around the side and no one was blocking me, and I just saw it,” Nielsen said. “That was the state championship, and I just went all out.”