MOSES LAKE -- The best way to shut down a big-play offense is to not let it see the field.
The Connell Eagles used four scoring drives of at least 5 minutes each to chew up Chelan 42-14 in a Class 1A state semifinal Saturday at Lions Field in Moses Lake.
"That's what we said all week: We wanted to keep (Chelan quarterback Michael) Amsel off the field," Connell coach Wayne Riner said.
The Eagles will face Cascade Christian, which beat Montesano 29-28 in triple overtime in the other semifinal, at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome in the state championship game.
On Saturday, the Eagles seemed to surprise the Goats by coming out in a pass-first offense.
"We knew they would expect the run," Connell tight end Ryan Heinen said. "So we came out and did play-action, and it paid off for us."
Leading 7-0 and having forced Chelan to punt, the Eagles had the ball at their 12-yard line.
On first down, quarterback Chandler Salisbury hit a wide-open Heinen, who cut back to the sideline and raced 88 yards for the score and a quick 14-0 lead.
"It was a straight route by the wide receiver to pull the (defensive backs)," Heinen said. "I came underneath, and Kade (Eppich) threw a key block and I outran them."
A week ago, the Eagles struggled throwing the ball on a snowy field against Cashmere, but they had no problems Saturday as Salisbury finished 11-of-15 for 286 yards and two touchdowns.
"It wasn't that we were looking to throw," Salisbury said, "but our run was working really good, and it opened up the pass. Then our passing was working, and that opened up the run. When you get them both working, it is hard to stop."
That's what happened in the second half. Chelan had cut Connell's lead to 21-7 and had the ball coming out of the half. But after a punt, the Eagles offense went on a 13-play, 84-yard drive.
Running back Matt Hadley -- who had carried just nine times in the first half -- ran the ball seven times on that drive alone, accounting for 44 yards. He eventually punched it in from 8 yards out.
After Salisbury tipped an Amsel pass on the next possession, Connell's Stefan Davidson picked it off.
The offense salted the game away, as Hadley carried the ball four more times, capping the touchdown run with a 9-yard scamper.
"You've got to be able to throw it to keep the defense close," Riner said. "If I had to go against Hadley and (Tyson) Brook, I'd be scared, too."
Hadley finished with 143 yards on 22 carries with three touchdowns. He also had two receptions for 42 yards. Eppich had four receptions for 93 yards and a score, while Heinen had two receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Amsel was held to minus-1 yards rushing on seven carries. He did throw for 128 yards on 10-of-22 passing with a touchdown and an interception.
While the Eagles' defense wasn't quite as good as against Cashmere in the quarterfinals, it was good enough to send the team to a third consecutive trip to the state championship game.
"It's the best feeling in the world," Salisbury said. "Third year in a row. I don't know anyone who has done that."
Connell 42, Chelan 14
Chelan 0 7 0 7 -- 14
Connell 147 7 14 -- 42
Connell--Matt Hadley 4 run (Garrett Salisbury kick)
Connell--Ryan Heinen 88 pass from Chandler Salisbury (G. Salisbury kick)
Connell--C. Salisbury 2 run (G. Salisbury kick)
Chelan--Matt Peterson 12 pass from Michael Amsel Jr. (Misael Arechiga kick)
Connell--Hadley 8 run (G. Salisbury kick)
Connell--Hadley 9 run (G. Salisbury kick)
Connell--Kade Eppich 53 pass from C. Salisbury (G. Salisbury kick)
Chelan--Cole Schwartz 2 run (Arechiga kick)
Rushing--Chelan, Amsel Jr. 7-(minus 1), Peterson 6-28, Schwartz 8-30, Billy Poppie 2-9. Connell, Matt Hadley 22-143, Tyson Brook 9-38, C. Salisbury 9-33, Braiden Whitby 2-3, Colton Thornton 1-3, Austin Huber 1-(minus 2), team 3-(minus 6).
Passing--Chelan, Amsel Jr. 10-22-1-128, Tanner Hendricks 1-4-0-40, team 0-1-0-0. Connell, C. Salisbury 11-15-0-286, Kyle Pruett 1-2-0-22.
Receiving--Chelan, Matt Robinson 4-101, Peterson 3-34, Erick Oscarson 2-22, Hendricks 1-9, Schwartz 1-2. Connell, Eppich 4-93, Brook 3-25, Heinen 2-104, Hadley 2-42, Gage Taylor 1-22.
First downs--Chelan 12, Connell 22. Fumbles-lost--Chelan 0-0, Connell 1-0. Penalties-yards--Chelan 1-5, Connell 8-70.