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Class 5A State Football Championship – Presented by WSU Tech

Photo by Johnny Myers

In class 5A, Kapaun Mt. Carmel ran into the giant of Mill Valley. 

The Crusaders had clinched a state championship spot for the first time since 1987. 

Mill Valley looked to win their fifth straight championship and looked very dominant early, going up two scores 13-0. 

Kapaun joined the party on the next drive after a 67-yard touchdown run from Omari Elias got them on the board. 

The ensuing possession would end in a safety for the Jaguars, giving the Crusaders the ball back down 13-9 when Dylan Hamilton threw his first touchdown to his receiver Henry Chrisman to take a 16-13 lead going into the second quarter. 

Kapaun struck first after halftime, thanks to a big carry from Elias to take a 23-13 lead. 

Mill Valley wasn’t out yet as they quickly scored two touchdowns to bring the score to 27-23. 

Elias and the Crusaders answered the bell again with a fourth and goal touchdown to take the lead back 30-27 until Mill Valley struck before half again to gain a 34-30 lead at halftime. 

The Jaguars started hot with an interception on Kapaun’s first possession, leading to the first second-half touchdown, ultimately giving Mill Valley a 40-30 lead. 

By the end of the third, Mill Valley had asserted their dominance on the Crusaders, scoring 28 unanswered, giving them a 55-30 lead. 

Both teams would score again, and the Jaguars would become victorious, winning their fifth state championship in a row 62-37. 

“It was really just a blessing to get to the state final,” Elias said. “After that loss, I think there was just a huge moment of reflection for the coaches and the seniors. Our class has accomplished so much in our four years as team members. Of course, there was disappointment, but it didn’t stop us from looking at the bigger picture at that moment.” 

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