The Lakewood defense came up big not once but twice as the fifth-ranked Cougars held on to win its playoff game against 10th-ranked Liberty of Issaquah 14-10 Friday night.
Also, M-P jumped out to a big lead then had to hang on to beat visiting Ballard 28-25.
And, Arlington was knocked out of the playoffs.
At Lakewood, junior defensive back Shae Dixon tipped a pass away and sophomore linebacker Andrew Molloy made a diving interception at the 2-yard line with 2:30 left in the game.
That came right after the Cougars thought they had held on fourth down. But on that trick play, a reverse pass that fell incomplete, Lakewood was called for roughing the passer.
Still, after the Cougars were forced to punt, Liberty had one last chance. Getting the ball on their own 43, they completed a short pass. One incompletion was followed by another, thanks to a big hit by Dixon.
But on another fourth-down play, linebacker Riley Krueger stopped the play 2-yards short, and the Cougars this time were able to run out the clock.
The Patriots took a 3-0 lead on a 38-yard field goal, but the Cougars responded with a 2-yard run by quarterback Jared Taylor in the first quarter. After a scoreless second quarter, Lakewood took the kickoff and moved the ball well on two long runs by Taylor. A holding penalty stalled the drive, but Lakewood went for it on fourth and 5. The pass fell incomplete, and Liberty took over on downs with a short field.
Combining short passes and runs, they moved to the 5-yard line. On fourth and 1, they went for it and gained four yards, scoring from a yard out on the next play.
Unphased, Lakewood drove 73 yards on 11 plays to take back the lead for good.
Taylor passed 10 yards to Jackson Schultz and 10 more to Morgan Stacey. He also ran 26 yards on 3 tries, including a 12-yarder where he broke a number of tackles. But Landen Pruitt carried the bulk of the load, with 30 yards on 6 carries, including a 7-yarder for the score.
Both teams play almost a Wildcat-type offense with their quarterbacks doing much of the running, thereby getting an extra blocker. Taylor carried the ball 13 times for 101 yards and Samuel Brown 24 times for 64 yards. Both were more effective on the ground than in the air. Taylor was 7 for 13 for 74 yards and Brown 6 for 13 for 41.
Pruitt added 57 yards on 12 carries. Schultz led the receivers with 2 grabs for 32 yards.
The Tommies used their sweep right, sweep left, up-the-middle running offense to take a big lead over the visitors.
The Tommies took the opening kickoff and marched down the field, going 62 yards on 7 plays for a 7-0 lead.
Dillon Kuk returned the kickoff 30 yards to the 38. After his 11-yard run, sophomore fullback Dylan Carson took over, carrying the ball 5 times for 49 yards, including a 9-yard TD.
Ballard came right back, scoring on a 26-yard run by bruising fullback Roman Ewaliko, who broke numerous tackles on the play.
The Tomahawks responded with a 56-yard 7-play drive. Tailback Jordan Justice ran 16 yards on a reverse and 15 yards up the middle before scoring on a 9-yard run early in the second period for a 14-7 lead.
With Lincoln Davis and Terren Pablo leading the defense, and Irell Meafua getting a tackle for a loss, M-P forced the visitors into a field goal attempt, which they missed.
M-P then went on an 80-yard, 7-play drive. Kuk made the big play gaining 40 yards on a sweep after hurdling a defender. Justice scored on a sweep from 3-yards out to make it 21-7 with 4:35 left in the half.
From there the Beavers made some adjustments defensively, and made an attempt at a comeback, outscoring the Tommies 18-7, but the they fell short.