Sports

Lakewood prevails against conference leader King’s

Lakewood lost starting quarterback Justin Lane to injury during the week, so the challenge of playing the Knights of King’s High School, the Cascade league leader, seemed to be a stretch.

In an amazing come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter, the Cougars rallied to beat King’s 25-22.

The first half was a complete domination by Lakewood with an 11-0 lead after a beautiful drive by the Cougar offense to score a touchdown in the first quarter. The second quarter opened with the Knight’s chugging down the field but eventually getting shut down by senior cornerback Quinten Baldwin’s interception in King’s red zone. The Cougars then finished the half with a Jordan Stauffer field goal.

Having the momentum, Lakewood fans expected this game to be an easy win, but the Knights opened up the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return, and also scored the two-point try. Suddenly the game became interesting as both teams were fighting for momentum. After a three-and-out by the Cougar offense, King’s got the ball once again and pounded it in the end zone with a 32-yard run.

Lakewood quickly retaliated and scored on the legs and shoulders of backup quarterback Saul Velasco. The Lakewood senior would eventually end up with 26 carries for 155 yards, compete six of 13 passes for 102 yards and three rushing touchdowns en route to becoming the player of the game.

The crucial and final fourth quarter opened with a King’s touchdown off a 35-yard pass. With 9:30 left on the clock, the Cougars attempted a scoring drive, but major penalties kept pushing them back until they had to punt the ball away. The defense then came through again and stopped the Knights from scoring to get the ball back with 4:20 left in the game.

This led to a Cougar scoring drive ending with a two-yard run by Saul Velasco. The Cougars were now leading by three points with 50 seconds left on the clock. The defense crushed King’s pass attack, and left the drive to a missed field goal that could have forced overtime.

Probably the most illuminating stat of the game was the Cougars’ time of possession with 29:15 minutes compared to King’s 6:45 minutes.

After the game backup quarterback Saul Velasco said, “This was a team effort. We played like a family today.”

Coach Dan Teeter agreed, adding, “I’m proud of how they battled with the adversity when King’s got the lead in the second half and got momentum. Our team usually doesn’t respond well to that, but we battled back and won in comeback style. That’s what we’ve been preaching all week, to be mentally tough.”

Losing their star quarterback forced Lakewood to make necessary changes to the playbook, with more running formations and quarterback sneaks. King’s was preparing for a four-wide, five-wide receiver pass attack, but the Cougars gave them the opposite.

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