Canada Markets closed

Eatonville routs Lynden Christian to advance to 1A title game for first time since 1992

·5 min read

The Eatonville High School Cruisers are on their way to the Class 1A state championship game.

For the first time in nearly three decades, the undefeated Cruisers (13-0) have an opportunity to add to their school’s title game wins — Eatonville has won the 1A crown in all three of its trips to the championship game in 1985, 1990 and most recently 1992 — next weekend in Lakewood.

They punched their ticket with a convincing 38-6 victory over Lynden Christian (7-3) on Saturday night at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.

“It’s amazing,” Eatonville coach Gavin Kralik said. “Obviously a lot of hard work has gone into this. Our administration and our school and our school district is outstanding. The families are highly committed. There are so many of them that just commit at a high level. And hardest working kids you could hope to be able to coach. So, really, really thankful.”

Eatonville was quick to grab an early lead on its first offensive possession, swiftly moved down the field on eight plays and capping the drive with Dylan Norman’s 2-yard scoring run.

The Cruisers never trailed, and their up-tempo offense moved efficiently on nearly every drive, finding the end zone five more times before this semifinals rout was over.

They finished with 505 yards of total offense — 181 on the ground and 324 through the air — and averaged 7.8 yards per play.

“Our passing game was incredible. Our running game. All the way around, just incredible,” Cruisers quarterback Kevin Wulff said.

The senior finished 13-of-16 passing for 324 yards, also led the Cruisers’ rushing attack with 21 carries for 87 yards, and finished with a season-high five total touchdowns.

His first was a 4-yard carry on Eatonville’s third drive that gave the Cruisers a double-digit lead moments into the second quarter.

After Lynden Christian cut the lead back to one possession about six minutes later, Wulff responded by ending a quick drive with another 3-yard keeper.

The Cruisers scored three unanswered touchdowns from there to close out the win.

Wulff found Job Kralik down the left sideline for a 37-yard touchdown late in the second quarter to give Eatonville a 26-6 lead by the half.

On their second possession of the third quarter, Wulff further extended the Cruisers’ lead. He again connected with Job Kralik, this time for a 61-yard gain, and on the next play scored on a 6-yard keeper for his third rushing touchdown of the game.

Wulff added one more passing touchdown on Eatonville’s next drive, on a 46-yard catch-and-run connection with Jakob Lucht, that gave the Cruisers their final 32-point advantage.

Both of Wulff’s top targets in Lucht (five catches, 135 yards) and Job Kralik (four catches, 133 yards) eclipsed 100 receiving yards for the game and finished with one touchdown apiece. Norman added 83 yards and the one touchdown on 17 carries.

Eatonville extended its current winning streak to 17 games with the victory over the Lyncs. The Cruisers haven’t lost since dropping a game to Yelm — which reached the 3A state quarterfinals this fall — in March during the shortened spring season.

CRUISERS DEFENSE HOLDS LYNCS TO SEASON-LOW TOTAL

As dangerous as Eatonville’s offensive attack has been this season in averaging 42 points per game, the Cruisers’ defense has been plenty impressive, too.

The Cruisers are allowing 7.8 points per game entering next week’s title game, have posted three shutouts and only allowed multiple touchdowns to four opponents.

This week, Eatonville held Lynden Christian to a season-low six points, allowing only one touchdown midway through the second quarter.

The Lyncs’ first three drives ended in quick three-and-outs while the Cruisers built a lead they never lost.

Of Lynden Christian’s 12 offensive drives, six ended in punts, three in turnovers on downs and two in interceptions — which were hauled in by Eatonville defensive lineman Chase Grant and defensive back Reilly Mcilraith.

Though the Lyncs did combine for 285 yards of offense, they only reached the end zone once, when Tyler Sipma rushed for a 14-yard score to make it 13-6 with less than six minutes remaining in the first half.

“Our defensive staff is outstanding and our kids just keep getting better each week,” Gavin Kralik said. “We’ve got 10 seniors that start on that side of the ball. So, obviously super proud of their performance tonight and throughout the playoffs.”

UP NEXT

Eatonville meets defending 1A champion Royal (13-0) at noon Saturday at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

The Knights — who have won 32 consecutive games since their stunning state semifinals loss to Colville in 2018 — topped King’s, 35-14, this week to advance.

Royal has shut out seven of its 13 opponents so far this season, and is averaging 53.8 points per game while allowing 3.6. Wahluke and King’s are the only teams that have scored more than one touchdown against the Knights this fall.

“I think the two best teams in the state are going to play next Saturday, and I think it’s going to be a great contest,” Gavin Kralik said. “Obviously they haven’t been in a ballgame in a really long time, and we’re hoping to give them a game.”

Royal is headed to the title game for the fifth time in the past six seasons, and has won four of the past five 1A crowns, most recently over Lynden Christian in 2019. This will be the program’s 13th appearance in the championship game in its history, which already includes nine wins.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting