The Kennewick Lions and Royals Knights each held off their opponents in the state high school football semifinals on Saturday, while the Kamiakin Braves saw their season end.
Kennewick used two big plays and a stout defense to beat Eastside Catholic 14-7 in the 3A state semifinals at Memorial Stadium.
Dayton Davis connected with Austin Stoddard on a 96-yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 7-0 lead in the first half.
In the third quarter, Simeon Howard intercepted a pass — his second of the game — and raced 55 yards for a score, giving the Lions a 14-0 lead.
The Crusaders were able to find the end zone on a touchdown run later in the quarter to cut Kennewick’s lead to 14-7, but that was as close at Eastside Catholic would get.
The Lions defensive unit — although spending a lot of time out on the field — shut down the Crusaders the rest of the way.
Linebacker Bronson Childs led the way with an unofficial 13 tackles for Kennewick, while linebacker Myles Mayovsky added nine tackles.
Howard finished with 4 tackles (one for loss) and the two interceptions; and linebacker Kellen Weibel added 6 tackles (2 for loss).
Offensively, Mayovsky rushed 18 times for 57 yards, while Davis was 4-for-12 for 114 yards passing and two interceptions.
Kennewick (12-1) now advances to the 3A state title game, playing Bellevue (13-0) — which was a 27-3 semifinal winner over Marysville-Pilchuck.
The state title game is set for noon., Saturday, Dec. 4, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Royal (13-0) will defend its 1A state title from 2019, rallying to beat King’s 35-14 in the semifinals in Royal City.
Derek Bergeson passed for 122 yards and rushed for 81 yards to lead the Knights, while Avery Ellis rushed for 108 yards for Royal.
With the semifinal victory, Royal will meet Eatonville (13-0) — a 38-6 semifinal winner Saturday over Lynden Christian — in the state 1A championship next Saturday.
The game will be at 12 p.m. at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
Finally, Kamiakin saw its season end after losing 42-0 in the 4A semifinals to Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday in Spanaway.
The Braves just couldn’t stop the Eagles, who scored on their first three offensive series and never looked back.
Zack Lee led Graham-Kapowsin with 119 yards rushing and a touchdown, while quarterback Joshua Wood passed for 90 yards and rushed for another 65 yards, with a TD.
G-K fullback Michael Toa added 86 yards rushing with a score.
Luis Salgado led Kamiakin with 51 yards rushing, while Braves QB Henry Mercado passed for 62 yards and rushed for another 30 yards.
Kamiakin’s season ends its season at 12-1.
Graham-Kapowsin, now 13-0, will play Lake Stevens (11-0) — a 45-28 semifinal winner over Eastlake on Saturday — for the 4A state championship at 4 p.m., Dec. 4, at Mount Tahoma High School.
Jeff Morrow is former sports editor of the Tri-City Herald.