Vikings bounced from
playoffs by Everett, 31-14
The Vikings were flat and unfocussed for much of the first half, out of sync physically, emotionally, and mentally. It looked like although they showed up on time for the early 5 p.m. start, they were unable to get it in gear for the first hour or two.
Conversely Everett (3-5 in league, 4-5 overall), also fighting for its Playoff life (in the 3A division), was very ready. The Gulls, behind the passing accuracy of rollout quarterback Brice Herrick, connecting with multiple receivers, blew out to a 28-0 lead before halftime. And although Lake finally mounted a minor rally, Viking penalties and mistakes, combined with Everett’s timely execution of key plays, proved that effort to be way too little, way too late.
Making the pill all the more bitter to swallow, Lake later learned that had it won this game it would have earned Wesco North’s third spot in the Playoffs, displacing Cascade, because of Arlington’s upset of Marysville. Instead, the Vikings finished in a four-way tie for fourth place in the standings, and must content itself with a season-ending crossover game versus a Wesco South
Opponent -- a game which will decide whether Lake (4-4 in league, 5-4 overall) finishes with a winning record for the season.
Although some injuries certainly hurt Lake’s effectiveness, Viking players, coaches and fans are left to wonder how this team went from challenging Oak Harbor for the league title just three weeks ago to one which was embarrassed in its final two games by Snohomish and Everett by a combined score of 76-35.
As for the debacle at Everett, it went something like this:
Lake got itself in trouble after stopping Everett on the Gulls’ first possession, allowing the punt by Jake Frauenholtz, which he fielded after the snap sailed over his head, to travel 51 yards to the Viking 12, about 30 yards of that on the roll. Rule number one when playing on artificial turf - catch the ball, or it may roll forever.
Lake gained one first down but was stopped on its next series and following its punt the Gulls had superior field position at the Viking 43. Herrick went to work, tossing to three different receivers, setting up Brent Swezey’s 3-yard touchdown run. Chase Herrick’s PAT made it 7-0, 5:18 left in the quarter.
The subsequent kickoff saw Lake make another costly special teams error. Molstre, instead of letting the ball bounce into the end zone, caught it near the goal line and, with Gull defenders bearing down on him, handed the ball off to Dustin Adams who barely touched it when he was hit and fumbled it away on the nine.
Two plays later Herrick tossed 9 yards to Rendel Jones for a touchdown. 14-0, with 4:19 left in the quarter.
Lake committed yet another self-defeating mistake on its next possession. Facing fourth-and-one on its own 29, and electing to go for a first down, it was whistled for consecutive procedure penalties, forcing a punt, with Everett taking over on its own 49.
With Herrick completing passes of 24 and 12 yards, the Gulls scored again, this time in five plays, with Tyler Carson scoring from the one. 21-0, five seconds into the second quarter.
The crisis reached critical mass shortly after that, after an 18-yard Clark Ferrucci run was negated by yet another Viking penalty, and his subsequent punt put the Gulls back in biz on their own 35. On the next play Herrick hit Swezey for a 40-yard gain, and five plays later his 9-yarder to Alex Schaller made it 28-0, with 6:42 left in the half.
Lake awoke in time to mount a 12-play, 67-yard touchdown drive just before halftime. Key plays were runs of 9 and 8 yards by Eric Molstre, an 18-yard tackle-breaking run by Bo Dickinson, a pass interference call against Everett, and Nick Baker’s scrambling 4-yard touchdown run. Brennan Frost’s missed PAT left the score at 28-6, with 1:06 left in the half.
Lake’s efforts to continue the rally after halftime were frustrated by its own mistakes (and by Herrick’s ability to convert third down situations with his arm) Lake was penalized 7 times in the second half, for 73 yards.
Behind Baker’s passing (7 for 13 in the second half, for 114 yards) Lake finally scored again, on an 82-yard, 11-play drive launched by Kelly Kurisu’s recovery of an Everett fumble on the Viking 18. Adams hauled in two of Baker’s passes in the drive, for 31 and 25 yards, and when Colton Tupen caught Baker’s 11-yard touchdown pass with 10:28 left in the game, there was still faint hope of the greatest comeback in school history. Baker found Dickinson for the two-point conversion to cut the gap to 28-14.
The onside kick was recovered by Everett on its own 46, and Herrick was enable to engineer a prolonged drive by mixing pass and run to set up Chase Herrick’s game-clinching 20-yard field goal to make it 31-14 with just 4:32 left.
Baker passes of 19 yards each to Sean Driscoll and Tupen was offset by an 18-yard holding penalty, and the Vikings ran out of downs on the Gull 46 with l:36 remaining.