Without hesitation, Kai Van Sickle would swap his state record for the Capital Cougars to be playing for the Class 2A state title next week.
“At least, one more quarter,” he said.
Capital’s 48-21 loss to Lynden at Friday afternoon’s 2A football state semifinal at the Tacoma Dome ended the Cougars’ season at 10-3 overall and one win away from playing for a state title for the first time in a decade.
But Van Sickle and Capital are etched among the state high school football records. Van Sickle finished with a team-best 162 yards rushing on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns to break the state’s all-time single-season rushing record, held by Interlake’s Jordan Todd, who ran for 2,681 yards last season.
Van Sickle entered Friday’s game with 2,599 yards rushing on 316 carries; he needed 83 yards to surpass Todd, and he did on carry No. 23 as he took a handoff from Becker and sliced his way to the right side for a 38-yard touchdown with 10 minutes, 21 seconds left in the game that got the Cougars on the scoreboard at 34-7.
Van Sickle finished the season with 2,761 yards and 40 touchdowns in 12 games.
Lynden (12-1) will play the winner of Saturday’s Tumwater-Prosser game for the 2A state title next Friday at 1 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
The pain of Friday’s loss hasn’t yet subsided as the Cougars exited their locker room at the Tacoma Dome, but the players already viewed the 2012 season as a successful one. Capital earned third place for the third time in five seasons; the two previous times came in Class 3A in 2008 and ‘10. And in its first season back at the Class 2A level, the Cougars made noise early beating three Class 4A programs to open the season and were ranked all season in the statewide football poll.