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Originally published Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Prep Football Roundup | Lakes bounced by Union, 28-7

Two-year-old Union of Vancouver advanced to the Class 3A state championship game with a 28-7 semifinal victory over third-ranked Lakes Friday night.

Seattle Times staff reporter; Seattle Times staff reporter

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TACOMA — Go ahead, keep doubting this Union High School football team.

All the young Titans do is keep winning.

A week after knocking off second-ranked Ferndale, the second-year school from Vancouver topped No. 3 Lakes of suburban Tacoma Friday in a Class 3A semifinal game at the Tacoma Dome, 28-7.

"We just have a lot of heart," said linebacker Derek Adams, who returned a fumble 47 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. "I think people underestimate us, and we're trying to prove them wrong every week."

The fourth-ranked Titans (13-0) play in next Saturday's championship game against No. 1 Bellevue (12-0) or unranked Capital of Olympia (9-3), which play Monday night. The Bellevue-Capital semifinal was postponed Friday after a bus crash involving Bellevue players and coaches on their way to the game. That also forced the championship game to be moved from Friday to Saturday.

Lakes, which turned the ball over three times, finished 12-1.

"We've been living on the edge the last three weeks, making mistakes and overcoming them," Lakes coach Dave Miller said. "We knew if we kept making mistakes, our luck was going to run out."

One of the biggest miscues was the fumble, which Ryan Maddox caused by blind-siding Lakes quarterback Dalton Gervais. The ball took a big bounce, Adams scooped it up and had nothing but green in front of him, snapping a 7-7 tie less than a minute and a half into the third quarter.

"That was a huge boost like no other," said running back Blake Russell, who rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans.

Union also made Lakes pay for an errant halfback pass, which Kelly Morris picked off in the third quarter. Russell broke a 33-yard run that set up a 21-yard TD jaunt by Zak Browning and suddenly Union led 21-7.

Lakes, which scored on a 62-yard catch-and-run play by John Goldwire late in the second quarter, made only one first down in the second half — that on the opening play.

The Lancers expect another strong team next season with 17 starters returning.

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Class 1A

Cascade Christian 35, Montesano 14

Ben Johnson passed for 278 yards and four TDs, two to Austin Mulcahey, as the fourth-ranked Cougars (12-1) from Puyallup continued their quest for their first state championship. They lost in the semifinals three times in the past six years, falling last year to eventual champ Royal.

"We finally got over the hump," Cougars coach Randy Davis said.

Johnson completed 18 of 28 passes, including a 37-yard TD strike to Mulcahey in the first quarter. No. 3 Montesano (12-1) answered quickly with Frank Carpenter's 91-yard kickoff return. Johnson's 1-yard keeper put the Cougars back in front in the second quarter and they broke the game open with 21 points in the third.

Mulcahey finished with eight catches for 138 yards, while Tyler Savage added five receptions for 62 yards and a TD. Devin Ossman rushed for 107 yards on 15 carries.

Cascade Christian plays in next Saturday's championship game at 10 a.m. against the winner of today's semifinal between No. 1 Royal and No. 2 Cashmere.

Class 2B

Napavine 18, Naselle 13

Connor Craft scored a touchdown and intercepted a pass to help set up another to lead the 10th-ranked Tigers (11-2) to the championship game for the first time since 1976, when they won the 1B title. It was Napvine's 10th straight victory after a 1-2 start. Naselle, which beat fourth-ranked Willapa Valley in the quarterfinals, finished 8-5.

Craft rushed for 76 yards on eight carries and scored the Tigers' first touchdown on a 10-yard scamper that tied the game at 6-6 just before halftime. They led 12-6 when he intercepted a pass and returned it 12 yards to midfield late in the third period. Mathew Waltenberg's three-yard TD early in the fourth made it 18-6.

Nasalle quarterback Austin Burkhalter scored his second touchdown of the game with 34 seconds left, but the Tigers recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

Micah Brown led Napavine's rushing attack with 112 yards on 12 carries.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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