TACOMA - The team that upset defending champion O'Dea in the first round of the Class AA football playoffs now owns the state trophy.
Capital of Olympia defeated West Valley-Yakima 17-7 last night behind the running of senior Charles Kentfield, who rushed for 143 yards on 27 carries and scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run.
"There was some unfinished business we had and tonight we took care of it," the senior running back said. "It's awesome."
It is the first state championship for Capital (13-1), which never had been in the title game. West Valley (11-1) is 0-3 in championship games, having lost in 1986 and 1987.
The game was part of a first-day doubleheader in Gridiron Classic II and combined with the B-8 game to draw 5,500 fans to the Tacoma Dome.
Kentfield put Capital ahead 14-7 with his 10-yard touchdown run on the second play of the final quarter. The TD followed a fourth-and-1 on the West Valley 13-yard line on which Cougar quarterback Darren Tinnerstet saw that the Rams didn't have a lineman in front of the center. He sneaked for the first down.
"The defensive tackles were split so far apart, it's unbelievable," Tinnerstet said. "I've been playing with my center since the fourth grade and we have an audible where I just tap him on the butt and I QB sneak. I actually changed the play."
It was the second questionable decision by West Valley, which risked and lost starting quarterback Ryan Allen in the final minute of the first half. Ryan, who had been nursing an ankle injury since the first playoff game, was used on two keepers to avoid fumbles deep in West Valley territory after the Rams had recovered a Kentfield fumble at the 7. He had to be helped off the field and spent the second half on crutches as junior backup Tyler Hinkley took over.
"I was feeling good, I felt I could run on it," said Allen. "I didn't think anything would happen to me. Somebody just laid into my ankle."
Christian Russell gave Capital a 35-yard insurance field goal and a 17-7 lead with 2:55 left. Cody Lee then intercepted a West Valley pass and returned it 55 yards to the Rams' 10, where the winners ate up most of the remaining clock.
One of the keys to the Capital victory was holding star West Valley back Ricky Rico to 48 yards on 14 carries. He had gained 174 yards last week against Rainier Beach.
"They are a great team and we're a great team," Rico said. "We're just glad to be here and play for a state championship. We weren't supposed to be here."
Capital jumped to a 7-0 lead with 4:21 left in the first quarter on a 5-yard run by Dustin Smith on an option play around left end. The 52-yard drive was set up by an interception at the Capital 36 by Ryan Riedl, who later made the game's two hardest tackles in the fourth quarter to stop a Ram drive and set up the field goal.
Hinkley, the West Valley backup QB, started the Rams' lone TD drive by intercepting a pass and finished with a 12-yard scramble late in the third quarter on which he eluded six tacklers.