At times ragged and inconsistent, the Vikings opened the 2010 football season with a non-league 21-13 win over Cascade last Friday at Everett Memorial Stadium. No surprise there, given that Lake played short-handed because of injuries and temporary ineligibility sidelining at least 10 Vikings, most of whom will be counted on in key roles this season.
Lake was able to field enough talent to win the game, while many of those missing players (including Duke Dolphin, expected to lead the Vikings in several departments) will be back for this Friday’s game at Kamiak.
Despite dominating most of the game on offense and defense, Lake wasn’t able to seal the win until the end. Lake outgained Cascade by 325 yards to 147, and notched 18 first downs to Cascade’s five.
Junior quarterback Jake Nelson, with receivers spread all over the field, didn’t get his timing down until the fourth quarter. He entered that period just nine of 31 with one interception, but then went five for six for 81 yards and the game-sealing touchdown toss with 4:14 left.
Lake’s defense held Cascade to three and out in the game’s opening possession, then Nelson, behind a pair of 12-yard completions to Brandon Preslar, rallied Lake to a first-and-goal on the Bruin nine. But that drive expired on three straight Nelson incompletions.
Viking defense again held Cascade to three-and-out, with Lake taking over following the punt, on the Bruin 29.
Two plays later Shae Giddens, on a draw, ran 17 yards unimpeded for Lake’s first touchdown of the season. Shawn Morgan’s PAT kick made it 7-0.
On Lake’s first possession of the second quarter an attempted punt saw the ball sail over the kicker’s reach for a 22-yard loss, with Cascade taking over on the Viking 13.
Four rushes later, Kyle Councilman scored from the one, and Danny Faber’s PAT tied it at 7-7 with 8:26 left in the half.
Lake took over on its own 32 with 2:52 left in the half, enough time for Nelson to launch a 10-play scoring drive featuring completions of 22 yards to Preslar, 14 to Giddins, and a 26-yard touchdown to Brady Pahukoa, who snared a ball tipped by Cascade’s Anthony Hardy. Morgan’s PAT made it 14-7, forty seconds before halftime.
With Nelson misfiring on his first seven passes of the second half Lake had trouble getting anything going in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Lake’s defense held Cascade in check, thanks in part to a Bryson Daggett interception (Cascade attempted just one pass after that in the game’s final 25 minutes).
Lake Stevens junior wide receiver Brady Pahukoa makes a catch for a long gain over Cascade defender Anthony Hardy. Pahukoa finished the game with two catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings won their season opener against the Bruins 21-13 at Everett Memorial Stadium September 3rd.
Cascade’s one long gain of the entire game, a 74-yard scoring dash by LaQuondis Bruce, who danced to the outside and around Lake’s coverage, thrust the Bruins back into contention with 3:37 left in the third quarter. But the PAT snap went awry and Lake smothered the holder to preserve Lake’s 14-13 lead.
Cascade never threatened again, running just six rushing plays thereafter, for a net loss of four yards.
While the defense was holding the Bruins at bay, Nelson led Lake to a late-game clinching touchdown, highlighted by a 51-yard completion to the sure-handed Pahukoa to the Cascade 40 yard line. Nelson’s five-yard touchdown pass to Colter Swords completed a 13-play, 86-yard drive in which he was four for five and which saw Giddins contribute consecutive runs of 14 and seven yards. Morgan’s PAT made it 21-13, and Lake’s defense completly throttled Bruce on Cascade final three rushes of the game, in which he lost eight yards in three carries deep in Cascade territory.
Giddins finished with 102 net yards in 18 carries, while Bruce netted 99 yards in 19 carries for the Bruins.
Nelson went 14 for 37 with one interception, for an even 200 yards. Cascade’s Lukas was three for eight with one interception, for 16 yards.
Preslar’s seven receptions covered 78 yards, while Pahukoa’s two catches netted 77 yards.
Korey Young was Lake’s leading tackler with 11, followed by Daggett with 9 and Cody Tupen with 8.