Jim Wilkerson/for Peninsula Daily News Quilcene’s Bishop Budnek runs the ball against Almira-Coulee-Hartline in the 1B state football championship at Mount Tahoma High School on Saturday. ACH won 50-20. Also in on the play are Quilcene’s Maxx Budnek (98), Dominic Smith (5) and Nathan Kieffer (11).

Jim Wilkerson/for Peninsula Daily News Quilcene’s Bishop Budnek runs the ball against Almira-Coulee-Hartline in the 1B state football championship at Mount Tahoma High School on Saturday. ACH won 50-20. Also in on the play are Quilcene’s Maxx Budnek (98), Dominic Smith (5) and Nathan Kieffer (11).

STATE 1B FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Quilcene roughed up in title tilt by ACH 50-20

Rangers have their best-ever finish in football

TACOMA — Quilcene was unable to match the execution and speed of traditional state power Almira/Coulee-Hartline in the Rangers’ first-ever state football championship appearance, falling 50-20 to the now seven-time champion Warriors at George Nordi Stadium on Saturday.

Big plays curtailed any chance at topping No. 1 ACH (12-0) as the Warriors converted on four scoring plays of 62-plus yards in the first half to build an insurmountable 36-0 halftime lead.

“At those skill positions they have quite a bit of speed and if you mess up they will make you pay for it,” Rangers head coach Trey Beathard said.

Quilcene did manage to chew six minutes off the clock on its initial possession, part of its ball-control game plan, but turned the ball over on downs deep inside of ACH territory, leading to a 68-yard TD run by Parker Roberts.

“That’s what we have been trying to do most of the season [control the ball offensively],” Beathard said. “It does work a lot better when we get a lead. I’ve seen all the better 1B teams in the state this year and I don’t feel like we backed into the championship game, I think these were the two best teams.”

The Warriors attempted an onside kick on every kickoff and promptly recovered the kick following Roberts’ score and converted on a 27-yard scoring pass from Dane Isaak to Grady Murray.

Quilcene followed with another drive into ACH territory, but fumbled at the Warriors’ 18-yard line. The Rangers were punished quickly when Roberts broke free for a 62-yard score.

Murray added two more touchdowns in the final two minutes of the first half, hauling in an 81-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline and returning a punt 69 yards with 56 seconds left in the second quarter.

“Their guys were more prepared than ours and that’s my fault,” Beathard said. “We’ve been working pretty hard, putting in a lot of time and doing the best job we can to prepare, but I didn’t do as good a job today as I would have liked.”

Quilcene (10-2) broke onto the scoreboard midway through the third quarter when quarterback Nathan Kieffer found Ashton Johnston in the right flat for a 29-yard catch-and-run.

ACH held Quilcene’s bruising fullback Bishop Budnek in check for much of the contest, yielding just 48 yards on 13 carries in the first half.

Dealing with a turf toe injury suffered in the team’s quarterfinal game against Winlock, plus a pre-existing wrist injury, Budnek tweaked his right knee against ACH in the second quarter. He did break loose for a 55-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and finished with 19 carries for 139 yards and two TDs.

“At the end of the day the goal is to win the big, gold trophy and we didn’t get it,” Budnek said. “I’m disappointed, but I am proud of how we played in the second half, we let them know that we weren’t going to lie down. And I’m thankful to my Lord and Savior for letting us play the game we love.”

Beathard said Budnek had been held out of preparations for both the semifinal win over Odessa and Saturday’s title game.

“Bishop had some turf toe, and it doesn’t sound like much but he’s been impacted by it. He’s been playing really, really well, but he’s not quite as good as when he’s 100 percent healthy,” Beathard said.

“It’s made it hard for him and I haven’t let him practice the last two weeks because he’s not moving as he normally does. He still played well.”

Beathard said some of the breaks his team had been getting all season didn’t come against the Warriors.

“We’ve been recovering onside kicks, we haven’t turned the ball over, and the other team being good doesn’t make us fumble the center/quarterback exchange,” Beathard said. “Or [make] pre-snap penalties, or lining up right, or having no-contact fumbles in the backfield. All places where we struggled today.”

But he was proud of his squad for their accomplishment in securing the team’s best-ever finish and especially lauded his seniors: Budnek, Kieffer, Kevin Alejo and Ashton Johnston.

“Our four seniors won a lot of games for us the last five years and were part of a lot of summer workouts for us, a lot of weightlifting and really making sure all our guys understand what it takes to play in a championship game. I’m grateful for them.”

Almira/Coulee-Hartline 50, Quilcene 20

Quil 0 0 6 14 — 20

ACH 14 22 8 6 — 50

First Quarter

ACH — Roberts 67 run (D. Isaak run) 6:35

ACH — Murray 27 pass from D. Isaak (pass failed) 4:50

Second Quarter

ACH — Roberts 62 run (Murray pass from D. Isaak) 6:58

ACH — Murray 81 pass from D. Isaak (D. Isaak run) 1:36

ACH — Murray 69 punt return (pass failed) :56

Third Quarter

ACH — Roberts 25 pass from D. Isaak (Pitts run) 8:52

Q — Johnston 29 pass from Kieffer (run failed) 3:04

Fourth Quarter

ACH — D. Isaak 27 run (run failed) 8:17

Q — B. Budnek 55 run (Reimann kick) 6:48

Q — B. Budnek 2 run (Reimann kick) 21.6

Passing

Quilcene: Kieffer 6-10-0, 101, TD.

ACH: D. Isaak 4-7-0, 162, 3 TDs; Murray 1-1-0, 20.

Running

Quilcene: B. Budnek 19-139, Kutler 4-18, Alejo 5-17, Johnston 5-9.

ACH: Roberts 5-157, D. Isaak 13-99, Pitts 3-13, Molitor 1-2.

Receiving

Quilcene: Johnston 2-49, Smith 1-24, Alejo 3-28.

ACH: Murray 3-137, Roberts 1-25, Kagele 1-20.

ACH 50, Quilcene 20

Quil. 0 0 6 14 — 20

ACH 14 22 8 6 — 50

First Quarter

ACH — Roberts 67 run (D. Isaak run) 6:35

ACH — Murray 27 pass from D. Isaak (pass failed) 4:50

Second Quarter

ACH — Roberts 62 run (Murray pass from D. Isaak) 6:58

ACH — Murray 81 pass from D. Isaak (D. Isaak run) 1:36

ACH — Murray 69 punt return (pass failed) :56

Third Quarter

ACH — Roberts 25 pass from D. Isaak (Pitts run) 8:52

Q — Johnston 29 pass from Kieffer (run failed) 3:04

Fourth Quarter

ACH — D. Isaak 27 run (run failed) 8:17

Q — B. Budnek 55 run (Reimann kick) 6:48

Q — B. Budnek 2 run (Reimann kick) 21.6

Passing

Quilcene: Kieffer 6-10-0, 101, TD.

ACH: D. Isaak 4-7-0, 162, 3 TDs; Murray 1-1-0, 20.

Running

Quilcene: B. Budnek 19-139, Kutler 4-18, Alejo 5-17, Johnston 5-9.

ACH: Roberts 5-157, D. Isaak 13-99, Pitts 3-13, Molitor 1-2.

Receiving

Quilcene: Johnston 2-49, Smith 1-24, Alejo 3-28.

ACH: Murray 3-137, Roberts 1-25, Kagele 1-20.

Jim Wilkerson/for Peninsula Daily News Quilcene coach Trey Beathard watches the 1B championship game from the sidelines during the first half.

Jim Wilkerson/for Peninsula Daily News Quilcene coach Trey Beathard watches the 1B championship game from the sidelines during the first half.

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