12/3/2022

 #2 Napavine 41, #1 Okanogan 27

(Lakewood, WA)

Trailing Okanogan 21-14 at halftime at Harry Lang Stadium, Napavine knew they had to dominate the 2nd half to win their first 2B state championship since 2016, and that is exactly what the Tigers did as they capitalized on two recovered onside kicks and got the big plays to upend the previously unbeaten Bulldogs.

Okanogan’s offense was off to the races in the first quarter when star running back Johnny Swartsel sprinted 63 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs the early lead 7-0 on their opening drive. Carter Kuchenbuch scored on a 7-yard run for the Bulldogs and Napavine faced in an early 14-0 deficit.

Napavine got some offense on their next drive and found the end zone on a 1-yard run by QB Ashton Demarest to cut the Bulldogs lead to 14-7 after the first quarter. Cael Stanley added another 1-yard rushing touchdown for Napavine to tie it at 14-14, but Johnny Swartsel answered with his 2nd rushing touchdown of the first half to give Okanogan a 21-14 halftime lead.

Everything changed in the second half as momentum shifted on the opening kickoff, as Napavine’s squib kick was mishandled by the Bulldogs and the Tigers recovered in Napavine territory. Ashton Demarest then found receiver Collin Shields on 40-yard TD pass to tie it up early in the 3rd quarter.

The Tigers kept the avalanche of points coming, and after forcing a Bulldogs 3-and-out a punt return TD by Karson Denault for 76-yards gave Napavine their first lead of the game in the 3rd quarter. For the second time in the quarter, Napavine recovered the ensuing kickoff and turned it into points, punching in a 31-yard rushing TD from Max O’Neil and to what was a 21-14 halftime lead for Okanogan to a 34-21 lead for the Tigers in the 3rd quarter.

Johnny Swartsel found the endzone in the 3rd quarter on a 5-yard run to give the shell-shocked Bulldogs some life in the 3rd quarter, but another big play by Ashton Demarest closed the door on Okanogan’s Title hopes as his TD pass to Karson Denault gave Napavine a commanding 41-27 lead in the 4th quarter that proved to be the final score.

The second half proved to be quite the turnaround for the Tigers, as they outscored the Bulldogs 27-6 in the 2nd half. Johnny Swartsel had a big game on the ground for the Bulldogs with 195 yards on 25 carries and 3 TD’s, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 3 interceptions and two fumbles on kickoff returns that helped Napavine get the win. Demarest also led Napavine with 75 rushing yards and TD and completed 10 of 24 passes for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win.

The victory for Napavine avenged their loss in last year’s 2B state title game to Kalama and gave the Tigers their first State Championship since 2016 and their 3rd overall.  The win capped a perfect 13-0 season for Napavine, and the loss for Okanogan was their only one of the season as they finish 12-1.

Team Stats

Total yards: Napavine 363, Okanogan 337

Rushing yards: Napavine 174, Okanogan 259

Passing Yards Napavine 189, Okanogan 78

Individual Stats

Napavine

QB Ashton Demarest, 10 of 24 passes for 188 yards and 2 TD’S  (14 carries for 74 yards, TD)

RB Max O’Neil, 4 carries for 52 yards, TD

WR Collin Shields, 2 REC for 57 yards, TD

WR Karson Denault, 3 REC, 82 yards, TD

WR  James Gross, 3 REC, 40

Okanogan

QB Carter Kuchenbuch, 6 of 18 passes for 78 yards, 3 INT

RB Johnny Swartsel, 25 carries for 195 Yards and 3 TD

RB Cael Stanley., 8 carries for 42 Yards, TD

WR Carson Boesel, 3 REC, 44 Yards

Rushing: OKA — Swartsel 25/195/3TD; NAP — Stanley 8/42/TD, Demarest 14/75/TD, O’Neill 4/52/TD

Passing: OKA — Kuchenbuch 6-18/78; NAP — Demarest 10-24/189/2TD

Receiving: OKA — Carson Boesel 3/44; NAP — Shields 2/57/TD, Denault 3/82/TD, James Grose 3/41

 

 

Video Highlights

Johnny Swartsel scores quickly for the Bulldogs

Napavine with a big fumble recovery on the 2nd half kick-off

Tigers air it out for 40 yards and the tie

Napavine returns a punt for the lead

Okanogan refuses to quit comes back with a counterpunch

Photo Gallery

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