A Cougar-fest in state's prep title games

NO MATTER WHERE you turned in the Tacoma Dome over the weekend, you were bound to find a future Cougar or an old one. The Gridiron Classic, the championship culmination of the state of Washington's high school football season, featured two head coaches who played for the Cougs and three who will be in crimson next season.

And two of those future Cougs helped their teams win the ultimate prize, bringing their respective championship trophies in convincing style.

In Class 2A, two-way standout Matt Meyer and his Lynden High teammates dispatched Tumwater 41-7 on Saturday afternoon to secure a second-straight 2A title for the Lions. The 6-6, 290-pound Meyer started at left offensive tackle and defensive end for the Lions.

And in Class 4A, middle linebacker Peyton Pelluer and Skyline High defeated Bellarmine Prep 49-24. The Seattle Times noted that well after the victory Saturday, around 11:30 p.m., Pelluer, star quarterback Max Browne and three other Spartan seniors sprawled out on the 50-yard-line looked up at the Tacoma Dome's wooden rafters and soaked in the historic nature of their careers: an undefeated season and two-straight 4A state titles.

Meyer committed verbally to WSU on Nov. 1 and Pelluer was one of the first verbals in WSU's 2013 class, committing back in June. Both of them last week were named first-team all-class All-State by the Tacoma News Tribune. Another future Coug, Wenatchee lineman Cody O'Connell also was picked to the first team by the TNT.

WHILE MEYER AND PELLUER were the happiest Cougs in the Tacoma Dome over the weekend, they were by no means the only ones on hand for the big series of games.

Skyline's big win came at the expense of Ballarmine head coach Tom Larsen, who was a starting offensive lineman for WSU in the 1970s.

And Eastside Catholic, which lost the 3A crown to Bellevue on Friday night, is coached by former WSU running back/tight end Jeremy Thielbahr. In addition, one of their team captains is cornerback/receiver Markell Sanders, who verbally committed to WSU in June. Sanders hasn't played for the Crusaders since sustaining a shoulder injury in Week 2, but he was ever-present Friday, leading the Eastside Catholic charge out of the locker room to start the second half.

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