SEATTLE — Kelso’s season came to a close against the defending state runner-ups here on Friday.
Kelso lost 37-27 to Rainier Beach in the 3A district crossover. After falling behind in the first half, even two big touchdowns in the fourth quarter couldn't save the Scotties.
Josh Webb returned a kickoff 80 yards with four minutes left in the game, and then Riley Noah followed with a 65-yard catch-and-run.
“It was a perfect throw considering the circumstances,” Noah said. “The guy was running outside and it was perfect.”
Webb, Noah and quarterback Marshall Coleman also put six on the board in the second half with a hook-and-ladder the team has hardly practiced since the Scotties ran it against Prairie in October.
The game’s accomplishments, especially going tit for tat with one of the top teams in the state, was something coaches conveyed to the squad after the buzzer sounded.
“Absolutely no quit in our guys,” coach Steve Amrine said. “Everytime we went down, they rallied up. Played so hard, I mean, what do you say? That’s a team that went right with Eastside Catholic, and O’Dea, and we’re right there. The leadership, Riley and Todd (Johanson), Josh Webb. Everybody fought. I’m proud of our senior class.”
The final game of the season, and the final game for the many seniors on the roster, saw Rainier Beach flagged 20 times, often for late hits and other personal fouls after the whistle.
It got so nasty at a point that a Rainier Beach player speared the knee of Kelso running back Jayden Hardeman when he was going down, but the unnecessary contact wasn’t enough to draw a marker. The nearly 200 yards in personal fouls were generally more egregious.
“I thought by far, we were the classier operation tonight,” Amrine said before looking toward the lockers where Kelso players walked by as Rainier Beach players were celebrating.
“It was tough, but we’re not here to fight,” Noah said. “We don’t play that way. We come out to play football.”
Coleman finished the night 9-for-16 passing with 116 yards and two touchdown, along with a rushing touchdown with 71 yards on 20 carries. Webb added 117 yards on 16 carries, while Noah caught four passes for 90 yards.
“Once we settled in, 20-7 at half, boy did we come out and respond,” Amrine said. “I like to use the term ‘big boy football’ and that’s what it was tonight.”
Kelso ends the year 8-2.