Skip to main content

Home playoff game? Curtis hopes so after convincing 48-14 win over Puyallup

Rocco Koch throws four touchdowns passes, including three in the second half, to lead the charge in University Place

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. - Reviving Curtis football has become Darren McKay's oldie-but-goodie restoration project.

And somewhere along the line, McKay knew if his team was going to get that we're-back gloss of a former four-time state championship program, it needed to beat a traditional powerhouse of the 4A SPSL.

It did Saturday night.

Led by Rocco Koch's four touchdown passes, Curtis walloped Puyallup, 48-14, at Bob Lucey Field.

The win could be significant in Curtis' playoff push as it finished tied for fourth with Puyallup behind champion Sumner and runners-up Graham-Kapowsin and Emerald Ridge, and would get the No. 4 seed after a head-to-head victory.

It also inches Curtis closer to the possibility of hosting a round-of-32 playoff game next week. That bracket will be revealed Sunday afternoon.

"We knew whoever won this game would be on the bubble," McKay said.

But a convincing win like this also is a big statement for the future. The bulk of the team's nucleus is non-seniors.

Koch, a junior, is the catalyst - and his 21-yard touchdown pass to Parker Mady with 35 second remaining in the first half gave Curtis a 21-7 lead.

And out of halftime, that duo hooked up again, this time on a 42-yard score at the 9:22 mark.

"As an offense ... we were very composed," Koch said.

Koch delivered two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, both to Xavier Ahrens (10 and 9 yards), and Curtis' lead grew to 41-14.

The quarterback finished with 184 yards on 19 carries, and was 14 of 23 for 167 yards and the four scores passing. Curtis finished with 465 total yards.

"Eventually ... we knew we had to go beat somebody (in the 4A SPSL) we didn't think we could beat," McKay said. "This was definitely one of those games."