ACH cruises to victories, finals matchup

·2 min read

Dec. 3—Almira/Coulee-Hartline (ACH) High School will take on Quilcene High School Saturday in the 1B Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Gridiron Classic: State Football Finals.

ACH is 11-0 so far this season, cruising past every opponent with ease. The smallest point gap it has seen this year is 30-point victories over Odessa and Wilbur/Creston-Keller high schools. The biggest victory was against Columbia High School (Hunters) 66-0. In the playoffs, ACH beat Wilbur/Creston-Keller 46-16 and Naselle High School 68-32.

ACH, under different school names, has won six state championships. First in 1974, then 1985, 1990, 2007, 2015 and most recently, 2017.

Head coach Brandon Walsh said a season highlight was beating Odessa High School, a big rival, because his team hadn't beaten them since 2015 and Odessa was the state champion the past two years.

"It was a cool confidence boost," Walsh said.

Walsh said he is looking forward to playing another game with his team. He explained it has been a season-long goal to peak at the right time and its most recent game against Naselle in the semifinals was ACH's most complete game to date.

Seniors Dane Isaak and Grady Murray were unstoppable in the game against Nasalle, he said. The two were responsible for eight of the nine touchdowns. Even the one sole touchdown, not by Isaak or Murray, was a direct result of an 18-yard pass from Murray.

"We're excited for the challenge," Walsh said.

And because it is the state championship, he said he knows the other team will give its best.

Walsh said Quilcene has a very large running back who will be the biggest concern.

"We're going to have to tackle really well and allow our speed to go to work," Walsh said.

The championship game will be at noon Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

"I've been doing this a long time. If we play hard and have good effort, regardless of the outcome, I'll be proud of the team," said Walsh.

Pick up Monday's edition of the Columbia Basin Herald for the results and recap of the game.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting