Okanogan falls to Napavine 42-10 in semifinals of WIAA 2B state tournament; Bulldogs end the year 11-1

TUMWATER, Wash. – It’s been one heck of a ride for Colville tribal member James Smith.

The last four years have flown by for Smith and in his senior year, he helped lead the Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in the past five years. 

The Okanogan high school varsity football team made it all the way to the semifinals of the WIAA 2B State Tournament.

“I didn’t know it was going to go by this fast,” said Smith. 

However, for Smith and the Bulldogs, their dream of playing in the state championship game would come up a game short.

Okanogan lost to Napavine 42-10 on Saturday (Nov. 27) afternoon in the pouring rain at Tumwater District Stadium to end their season.

“It was a great honor to be able to play with this team,” said Smith in an interview after the game against Napavine. “We played hard.”

The game got off to a rocky start for both offenses. In their first drive, Napavine couldn’t get anything going as the Okanogan defense would force a 3-and-out with the Tigers punting away.

Okanogan would get the ball on the Napavine 26-yard line and in prime position to get into the end zone but couldn’t punch it in.

Napavine scored at the 3:34 mark in the first quarter to go up 7-0 and would get a touchdown run at the 7:04 mark in the second quarter to go up 14-0.

Okanogan began chipping away at the lead, scoring 10 points in one minute and forty seconds late in the second quarter, to cut the deficit to four points at halftime (14-10).

But that’s as close as Okanogan would get as the Tigers exploded for 21 points in the third quarter, taking a commanding grip of the game as they held a 35-10 lead at the end of the third.

Napavine put the game away with another touchdown in the fourth quarter, going up 42-10. 

                                 1st       2nd     3rd      4th        final score

Okanogan (11-0)     |    0   |   10   |    0    |    0  |    10

Napavine (11-0)      |    7   |     7    |   21  |    7  |    42

The last time these two schools played each other in football was back in 2016 with the Bulldogs getting a 36-34 win over the Tigers in the WIAA 2B state championship game.

The Bulldogs had also beat Napavine a year earlier 17-14 in the 2015 WIAA 2B state championship game and five years later, both powerhouse schools would meet again in the semifinals of the WIAA 2B state tournament with the winner earning a spot in the elusive state championship game.

Napavine would fall to Kalama 16-14 the next weekend in the WIAA 2B state championship.

The Bulldogs lose 12 seniors (Ryden Zabreznik, Brad Ingram, Tucker Pritchard, Ryley Moore, Calvin Yusi, CJ Nelson, Grant Gillespie, Tanner Tugaw, Ty Morgan, Lane Fingar, Rajay Britton, and Smith) from this year’s team, but will bring back a solid core of their players, looking poised to make another deep run next fall.

Okanogan finishes the year with an 11-1 record, going undefeated and winning the Central Washington 2B League title (5-0) and winning 10 or more games for the first time since 2015.  

 Past 2B state champions since 2010: 

2021 – Kalama def. Napavine 16-14

2020 – State canceled due to Caronavirus pandemic

2019 – Onalaska def. Kalama 48-30

2018 – Kalama def. Napavine 34-25

2017 – Kalama def. Liberty 28-27

2016 – Napavine def. Liberty 34-16

2015 – Okanogan def. Napavine 36-34

2014 – Okanogan def. Napavine 17-14

2013 – Lind-Ritzville-Sprague def. Morton-White Pass 7-0

2012 – Lind-Ritzville-Sprague def. Morton-White Pass 21-19

2011 – Waitsburg/Prescott def. Morton-White Pass 33-7

2010 – South Bend def. Colfax 28-8

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