Printed on: November 17, 2012

Pirates' title hopes sink


MOSCOW -- Butte County nearly pulled off a monumental comeback Friday, but succumbed to the Kamiah Kubs 30-20 in the 1A Division I state championship game at the Kibbie Dome.

The Kubs blanked the Pirates 16-0 in the first half, picking up receiving touchdowns from brothers Kevin and Eric Hill.

Butte County finally got on the board with a 54-yard, third-quarter run from Tommy Kern, and Tyler Andreason punched in the 2-point conversion to cut Kamiah's lead in half.

Andreason then broke off a 71-yard run early in the fourth quarter, and found teammate Hayden Isham on a 14-yard pass to take a 20-16 lead.

"We knew this was going to be a battle, and that number three (Andreason) back there, I feel so bad for him," Kevin Hill said. "He is a heck of a runner. We had to have three guys on him to get him down."

The Hill brothers answered with two more touchdowns late in the fourth on runs of 71 and 30 yards -- sealing the state title for the Kubs.

Andreason went down with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, setting up the late fourth-quarter Kamiah heroics.

"That was really the turning point right there between us coming home with the first-place trophy, but that's the breaks," Butte County coach Sam Thorngren said. "We had four of our starters out at that point, we just didn't execute, we've got to make that play."

Kamiah coach Ryan Ball had coached, and lost, in five previous state championship games. This win was particularly sweet for the veteran coach.

"I think there's a little monkey on my back, but it's all about them," Ball said. "They're the ones that did the job, and they're the ones that are going to have that banner on the wall for the rest of their life."

Butte County closes its first season in 1A at 9-3.