You don’t walk into a bear’s den. You don’t ask women their age. You don’t talk about Fight Club. And you don’t face Napavine football in a state quarterfinal game and come away with a win.
No. 2 Napavine ripped off 48 unanswered points and delivered a 55-6 thumping to No. 10 Forks in the 2B state quarterfinals Saturday to notch its seventh-straight semifinal appearance.
Senior running back Gavin Parker led the Tigers’ offense with a game-high 144 yards and three scores on 17 touches. Senior speedster Lucas Dahl added six carries for 136 yards and a score, and junior Cael Stanley tacked on 71 yards and two TDs on nine carries. Austin Chapman added a 50-yard TD jaunt.
In what was an uncharacteristically slow start for the Tigers, who led just 7-0 after one quarter. But once the momentum began churning, Napavine was unstoppable.
The Tigers scored three times in each the second and third quarters to put the game out of reach for the Spartans. Napavine finished with 513 total yards of offense, with 497 of those coming on the ground.
“Our defense gave us a chance to get our offense going,” Napavine coach Josh Fay said.
Though the Tigers’ long touchdown runs were fun to watch, it was their defense that really put the hurt to the Spartans, holding them to -7 yards in the first quarter.
Entering the fourth quarter, Forks had gained just 13 total yards and finally got on the scoreboard in garbage time. The Spartans finished with 125 total yards; all passing.
“Really good defensive effort,” Fay said. “Defensively, we were so sound. I could give you a bunch of names but it was just a really good group effort. The kids did a good job with the scouting report.”
The defensive highlight for the Tigers was Stanley jumping a screen pass for a 38-yard pick-six.
Now, the 10th-seeded Tigers face No. 3 Okanogan in the state semifinals on Nov. 27 at a time and location to be determined. The Tigers are going for their first state title since 2016.