Titans turn balanced effort into Class 4A state high school football championship
TACOMA — There was not a whole lot of defense in the first half.
Then there was a ton of defense by one team — the winning team — in the second half.
Union’s first state championship will be remembered for the 52 points scored against Lake Stevens. For Jojo Siofele’s incredible performance. For Lincoln Victor’s amazing night.
And also, yes, the Union defense.
A shutout in the second half.
That led to a close game turning into a blowout.
Tyler Summers led Union with eight tackles. Justin Chin had seven. Jack Eggleston had a sack, while he, Chin, Jackson Saylor, and Alex Vallejo were credited with tackles for loss. Daron Ulrich had an interception. So, too, did Siofele.
“We just did our thing,” defensive lineman Reagan Kelley said. “We had to stay square. We just had to do our jobs. All-around, just a great job by everybody.
Union coach Rory Rosenbach said the Titans executed the plan they worked on all week. Oh, it took some time. The Vikings got those three first-half touchdowns. But the Titans did not panic.
“Once we got the lead, we felt really, really good,” Rosenbach said.
He knew the defense had it all figured out by then.
Big brothers, little brothers
Lincoln Victor and Jackson Saylor were in this building many, many years ago, too.
Kapono Victor and Mitch Saylor helped Union reach back-to-back final fours, including one championship game appearance, last decade.
Lincoln Victor said he still remembers a photo of him, 10 years ago, giving his older brother a hug, consoling him after a loss.
Jackson Saylor promised things would be different this time.
“I was not going to let that happen this year,” he said. “Since I’ve been little, I’ve dreamt of coming here. For 10 years, since my brother played. Senior year. Finally, I got to do it.”
Lincoln Victor’s five touchdown passes is a championship game record. Siofele tied a record with his 80-yard run and he set a record with his five total touchdowns. He also has a new mark with three receiving TDs.
The Titans also scored 52 points, a new high mark for the 4A title game.
One more year?
Lincoln Victor is a senior. He is not going to play for the Union Titans next year.
Just don’t tell that to Union coach Rory Rosenbach.
“He will be missed,” Rosenbach said. “He is a special, special guy. A once-in-a-career kind of kid for most coaches.Don’t remind me that he’s leaving. I’d like to pretend he’s going to be around longer.”
Victor threw for 327 yards and five touchdowns.
“You gotta get the ball in space to the guys who make my job easier,” he said. “I’ll do whatever’s best for my team. I’d rather give credit to other people.”
Offensive line coach Mark Rego had some advice for the Titans prior to his death from cancer earlier this season.
“Live in the moment,” Victor said.
A championship moment.