High School Sports

Tumwater heads back to the Tacoma Dome after 59-33 quarterfinal win over Squalicum

Ian Saner and Easton Trakel combined for 271 rushing yards and five touchdowns to lead the Tumwater Thunderbirds to a 59-33 victory over Squalicum in Friday’s Class 2A state quarterfinal game at Tumwater District Stadium.

The win sends the top-ranked T-Birds (12-0) to next week’s state semifinals, where they will face Sedro-Woolley (11-1), a 34-0 winner over Burlington-Edison, at 1 p.m. next Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. This will be Sedro-Woolley’s first state semifinal appearance since 1986.

A 21-point third quarter by Tumwater was the difference after the T-Birds went into the break with a 24-21 halftime lead. Tumwater held Squalicum to just 17 third-quarter yards, including minus-2 rushing in part by three sacks on quarterback Christian Jorgensen. Meanwhile, the offense scored 21 unanswered points on a pair of touchdowns by Ian Saner (15 and 9 yards) and an 85-yard touchdown run-and-catch by Griffin Shea.

Saner finished with a career-high 157 yards on 22 carries; his third touchdown (2-yard run) came with 3:40 left in the game to push Tumwater’s lead to 52-27.

Tumwater held a 241-133 total yards advantage in the first half, getting a last-second 29-yard field goal by Elijah Hill with three seconds left for that 24-21 halftime margin.

The first half featured ties at 7-, 14-, and 21-all; facing third-and-25 from the 46, Squalicum’s Damek Mitchell snagged a 46-yard catch-and-run score to tie it at 21-all with 1:10 left in the half.

But there was plenty of time to set up the T-Birds’ final drive of the half, as Tumwater needed just 1:07 off the clock to drive to the 13 and set up Hill’s field goal.

Squalicum’s history-making season ends at 9-3; last week, the Storm won their first-ever state playoff game in a 45-7 win over Orting and Friday was the program’s first state quarterfinal appearance.