By Michael Carman
Olympic Peninsula News Group
GOLDENDALE — Dalton Kilmer picked off three Goldendale passes, all in the second half, and Nate Dahlgren ran in two touchdowns as No. 10 Forks triumphed 35-20 over No. 7 Goldendale in the first round of the Class 2B state football tournament on Saturday.
The state tournament win was the first in 21 years for the Spartans (8-1) and came in Forks’ first state football game since 2008.
A rematch with No. 2 seed Napavine (9-0) awaits next Friday or Saturday, likely at Centralia’s turf field. The Tigers made short work of Forks, 40-0, last month to claim a first-round state bye.
Forks held the Timberwolves off the scoreboard in the second half with Kilmer stopping four different drives with big plays.
His third-quarter interception set up a 26-yard Dahlgren touchdown to put Forks up 28-20.
A Kilmer pass breakup on 4th-and-2 from the Spartans’ 33-yard line gave the ball back to Forks with 7:45 to play.
And his interception and return to midfield set up a final Forks drive highlighted by third-down conversion runs by quarterback Logan Olson and Dahlgren and capped by Dahlgren’s 6-yard TD run off the right side with 2:31 to play.
Kilmer ended the game with his third pick on a deep ball near the Spartans goal line with less than two minutes left.
Forks up one at half
Forks came out on top at the end of wild close to the first half, taking its first lead of the game, 21-14, after a poor punt by Goldendale.
The Wolves managed just an 11-yard punt to their own 39-yard line with less than a minute remaining and the Spartans took advantage with Olson finding Dalton Kilmer on a 35-yard crossing route and Nate Dahlgren plunging in from 4 yards out.
But Goldendale answered quickly, scoring on a 50-yard TD pass with 3.9 seconds left and missing the extra point attempt to leave Forks in the lead 21-20.
The Spartans scored their first touchdown on a 40-yard catch-and-run from Olson to Kilmer and added their second on a 14-yard TD pass over the middle from Olson to Ryan Rancourt.