BATTLE GROUND — Sports fans sometimes wonder how much difference playoff experience makes.
In the game Saturday between Lakewood and two-time defending state 2A champ Hockinson, the difference was one point.
Lakewood got off to a great start. Carson Chrisman returned an interception 30 yards for a score, then Jared Taylor passed 20 yards for another TD to Morgan Stacey. A 3-yard run by Landen Pruitt put Lakewood up 21-7 at halftime. Three turnovers helped the Cougars in gaining the lead.
Lakewood went up 28-14 in the middle of the third quarter when Malik Dotson scored on another 3-yard run. But then the turnover part of the game switched.
Hockinson scored after a Lakewood fumble to make it 28-21. The Cougars fumbled again and again Hockinson took advantage. A 2-point conversion put the Hawks up 29-28 with 2:42 remaining.
Hockinson intercepted Taylor with 1:22 remaining to seal the win.
Lakewood coach Dan Teeter told The Herald: “We put the ball on the ground, and it wasn’t really forced… Maybe it was poise, or the moment, or maybe it was just mishandling the ball.
“It was a painful way to lose,” he added. “We felt like we were the better team for most of the night.”
The Cougars ended the season 9-2. Hockinson, 11-1, advances to play top-seeded Tumwater.