Lakewood, Arlington compete in football passing tournament

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood and Arlington football brought their aerial-oriented teams to the Lakewood passing tournament, but both teams struggled in pool play, only qualifying for consolation games in the day-long July 25 tournament.

Arlington defeated Lakewood in the first-round game at 9 a.m. but neither team won another game before 3 p.m., both the Eagles and the Cougars falling to Onalaska and eventual champions Issaquah.

Both teams fared better in afternoon as Arlington defeated Sultan and Cedar Park Christian, ultimately going 3-2 on the day, getting an extra game against Cedar Park, the odd-man out in the 17-team tournament.

The passing tournament allows each side seven players on the field. Teams get the ball on the 40-yard line, getting three chances to pick up a 15-yard first down. From the 10-yard line, teams get four chances to get into the end zone. A player snaps the ball to the quarterback, who has four seconds to pass it. Touchdowns are worth seven points, interceptions worth three and a turnover.

While Arlington’s passing game flourished last year, the Eagles are without their three top receivers this year and looking for younger players to step up at the position.

“We have to work on our route running and timing,” Dailer said after the tournament. “We have a lot of young receivers, so I just have to see.”

Andy Smith, Vince Kurtzenacker and Blake McPherson all took turns at quarterback, with McPherson also lining up at wide receiver. Dailer said he expects that to be a position where the sophomore will be a key contributor this fall. Brandon Pierce had an interception against Issaquah and some key catches throughout the tournament. Senior Jake Parduhn lined up in the slot, playing running back and receiver.

Lakewood defeated Sedro-Woolley in their consolation game as the Cougars are also trying to figure out who will be playmakers this fall at wide receiver. Relative veterans of passing tournaments, Lakewood coach Dan Teeter expressed some disappointment that his team hadn’t made the playoff bracket.

“I think part of it has to do with the fact that we’re still pretty inexperienced at wide receiver. We only have one varsity player returning at wide receiver,” he said. “We’ll get those things cleaned up this season.”

A key player in the tournament and returning from an all-league season as a sophomore is quarterback Justin Lane. He shared tournament passing duties with freshman Justin Peterson, who will likely backup behind center and play wide receiver this fall. While seniors Sam Johnston and Quincy Robinson return at wide receiver, they’ll compete against a young crew that Teeter expects to see some playing time whether or not they start.

“It does bring up some inexperience now, but they have the athletic skills to do a great job for us,” he said.

Issaquah defeated Bothell for the championship 21-7 in a game called short by lightning. Issaquah quarterback Ryan Bergman was the offensive MVP while Interlake safety Brett Kirschner won defensive honors.

Teeter added that the Lakewood parents and local officials who donated their time to help put the tournament together were critical to its success.

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