* CLASS 2B FINALS
No. 2 Lind-Ritzville/Sprague (12-0) vs. No. 1 Morton-White Pass (12-0)
4 p.m. Friday, Tacoma Dome
Coaches: Greg Whitmore is in his eighth season at Lind-Ritzville/Sprague (62-22 record).Aaron Poquette is in his second season at Morton-White Pass (22-2 record).
Road to Gridiron Classic: Lind-Ritzville/Sprague defeated Tekoa-Oakesdale/Rosalia in the first round (42-14), DeSales in the quarterfinals (21-14), and Waitsburg-Prescott in the semifinals (21-7). Morton-White Pass defeated Adna in the first round (42-0), Mossyrock in the quarterfinals (35-6), and La Conner in the semifinals (12-0).
About the Broncos: It seems the best way to attack the state’s top scoring defense of Morton-White Pass is spreading it out – and Lind-Ritzville/Sprague has a fantastic weapon in QB Dylan Hartz (1,566 passing yards, 368 rushing yards, 16 total TDs). Hartz also collected a pair of first-half turnovers in the semifinals against Waitsburg-Prescott, including a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown. The school’s last 2B title came in 2004 (25-21 win over DeSales).
About the Timberwolves: After putting the clamps on 2B’s highest-scoring offense last week, does this defense have anything left to prove? It isn’t the biggest group, but its outside pursuit is impressive. Morton-White Pass would like to get more from its rushing attack than it did last week (56 yards against La Conner) – and RB Brian Reynolds (136 carries, 1,291 yards, 22 TDs) will be leaned on. But QB Rylon Kolb’s big semifinal outing (13-20, 175 yards, two TDs) sure is comforting if the Timberwolves had to go to Plan ‘B’.
TNT pick: Morton-White Pass, 14-10.
“Score Czar”/Computer pick: Morton-White Pass, 21-0.