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3 Washington high school football games you should not have missed from Week 10 district playoffs (11/03/2023)

Fifth-ranked Chiawana holds off Moses Lake in crossover playoff game; No. 6 Emerald Ridge squeezes by Bothell

It wasn't the easiest of weeks for the Chiawana Riverhawks.

Besides knowing they had to board a bus and drive two hours for their playoff lives against Moses Lake on Friday night, they also had to deal with a mid-week tragedy after former defensive assistant Robert Booth suddenly died.

But when you have a battle-tested group - highlighted by a strong defense and a never-get tired running back - you can usually find a way.

The fifth-ranked Riverhawks held off 4A CBBN runner-up Moses Lake, 49-32, at Lions Field.

Hunter Taylor carried it a whopping 40 times for 258 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Chiawana offense.


The defense was opportunistic, too, picking off Moses Lake quarterback Brady Jay four times (three in the first half), including a pair of returns for touchdowns by Tayten Cissne.

"It showed last week with Eastmont - pressure gives them a little bit of problems," Chiawana coach Scott Bond said. "And we took away some of their quick-dump spots."

Cissne's first score came late in the first half as he read the Mavericks' screen-pass attempt in the left flat and grabbed the intended pass and ran it back 16 yards to give the Riverhawks a 28-6 lead.

But Jay heated up in the second half, passing for 318 of his game-high 405 yards, burning the Chiawana defense on a few big scoring plays.

His 10-yard scoring strike to Joel Middleton with 8:36 to go cut Chiawana's lead to 42-32.

But five minutes later, Cissne was there again, this time putting the finishing touches on a road victory with his 23-yard interception return for a final touchdown.

"It’s been one of those emotional weeks - a lot of highs and lows," Bond said. "But we had to get out there and be focused. We don’t travel. We had to get on a bus for the first time. But they did a great job."



2023 Washington high school football: Bothell at Emerald Ridge, Class 4A district playoffs

One of the first things Emerald Ridge coach Adam Schakel did Monday before practice was ask his players what they knew about Bothell.

Wisely, they knew that the Cougars were a far better team than the one the Jaguars ousted from the district round of the Class 4A playoffs a year ago.

And they were right.

With Bothell driving for a go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter, defensive back Sean Tutty's interception and 55-yard return set up the sixth-ranked Jaguars' decisive score in a 50-36 victory at Sparks Stadium.

Navarre Dixon gave the Jaguars a two-score lead with his 10-yard touchdown run with 3:57 to go - just a few seconds after the game's first turnover.

Before that, both teams traded big scoring play after big scoring play. Emerald Ridge's Jake Schakel passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns, and Dixon added 146 yards on the ground with a pair of scores.

Bothell quarterback Jaylen Viars passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns, but had a pair of late-game interceptions.

"They obviously had us circled," Tutty said. "It is a very winning program and respected program ... and I know nobody likes to lose (to the same team) twice."



2023 Washington high school football: Battle Ground at Sumner, Class 4A district playoffs

When Sumner thought it had lost reigning 4A SPSL player of the year Matthew Spurbeck for the season to a leg injury in September, players were demoralized.

But the bruising running back worked his way back - and was in the starting lineup Friday night in the Class 4A district playoffs.

Spurbeck scored a 10-yard touchdown run in the middle of the Spartans' knockout punch in the second quarter as they handled Battle Ground, 48-6, at Sunset Chev Stadium.

"His return changed everyone's mojo," Sumner coach Keith Ross said. "He is our guy."

Sumner reeled off 24 unanswered points over the final 16 minutes of the first half to turn what was expected to be a low-scoring defensive grinder into a blowout.

Tristen Rebar also connected with Braylon Pope on a pair of touchdown passes, including one to close out the first half.

But the story was Spurbeck, who was given clearance Wednesday to play in a game for the first time in nearly two months.

"Our offensive linemen call him 'Papa' because he is so mature," Ross said.