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Union’s Darien Chase caps stellar high school career with championship performance

Despite battling an injury, standout receiver had five catches, 126 yards and a touchdown in Titans’ title game win

TACOMA — Darien Chase said he really wanted to score in the championship game.

He wasted no time, in fact, getting Union’s first touchdown of the game in the Tacoma Dome on Saturday night in the Class 4A state title game.

A case can be made he scored big time just by playing.

By playing through the pain, by being there for his teammates.

“I definitely felt it,” he said. “I felt the injury.”

The love he felt from his teammates was even stronger.

Union receiver Darien Chase (3) fought through the pain from an injury suffered in last week’s semifinals to help the Titans claim the Class 4A state high school football championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union receiver Darien Chase (3) fought through the pain from an injury suffered in last week’s semifinals to help the Titans claim the Class 4A state high school football championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Photo by Mike Schultz

After missing most of the semifinal game last week with a hip bruise and pain in his abdomen, Chase said all week he would be ready to play in the finals.

“He told us, ‘I’m playing. No way I’m sitting out on the biggest stage,’” quarterback Lincoln Victor said.

Then Chase stood on that stage and shined, helping Union to a 52-20 win over Lake Stevens for the Titans’ first state football championship.

His first catch was a 20-yard touchdown reception to give Union a 7-6 lead.

“A great throw. Great blocking. Everything was amazing on that play,” he said.

On the next possession, he had two catches for 33 yards, setting up another score.

“Our message all week was to set the tone,” Chase said. “We had to set the tone early.”

He limped off the field after one of those catches, but he would not be denied. One possession later, his 37-yard reception led to a third Union touchdown.

Union’s Darien Chase (3) hauls in a touchdown pass in the first half of Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game at the Tacoma Dome. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union’s Darien Chase (3) hauls in a touchdown pass in the first half of Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game at the Tacoma Dome. Photo by Mike Schultz

He hauled in a 36-yard reception on the final drive of the half. Plus he was the intended receiver when he was interfered with in the end zone. The penalty gave Union one more play, and the Titans kicked a field goal for a 24-20 lead.

In all, he had five catches for 126 yards.

“I wasn’t worried about yards. I just wanted to make plays for my team,” Chase said.

Chase played sparingly on offense in the second half but still managed to man his position at cornerback. Oh, and that Union defense shutout Lake Stevens in the second half.

In all, a memorable performance for the Nebraska-bound athlete.

“Amazing. It’s been what I’ve been working with for my whole life,” Chase said. “Me, Lincoln, and Jo (Jojo Siofele), since the fourth grade, we’ve been training for this. We finally did it.

“I love this team. I love this game.”

It showed Saturday night in the Tacoma Dome.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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