Featuring several key players who were not in the lineup for Lake’s season-opening win at Cascade, the Vikings looked much sharper in beating Kamiak 23-9 last Friday at Mukilteo’s Frank Goddard Stadium.
Lake’s offensive line paved the way for 186 net rushing yards, including 77 net in 17 carries including a touchdown by Duke Dolphin, returning to the lineup after more than a year’s absence due to injury.
Also playing his first game of the year was linebacker Brandon Belcher, who led the team in tackles last season. Belcher contributed seven tackles including two sacks.
Quarterback Jake Nelson’s improved passing game saw him connect on 11 of 23 against Kamiak, for 207 yards and a touchdown (with two picks) and he kept the Knights off balance by rushing for 67 net yards in 9 carries including a touchdown.
The Viking defense shut down Kamiak’s rush attack, which netted just 15 yards in 23 carries. And though it surrendered 231 passing yards to Knights’ quarterback Anthony Berg, it sacked him five times and intercepted him four times.
Lake made matters difficult for itself with five turnovers of its own, and it was penalized 10 times for 87 yards. That kept the game close until Lake put it away with Nelson’s 11-yard touchdown run with 1:38 left.
Lake overcame a pair of penalties to drive 80 yards in seven plays for a touchdown in its first possession. Nelson passed to Brady Pahukoa for 18 yards, then to Quincy Carroll for 38 yards, and finally to Pahokoa in the left corner of the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown. Shawn Morgan added the PAT kick. 7-0 Lake, just two and a half minutes into the game.
Nelson hit Pahukoa for a 52-yard gain (great deep route, pinpoint pass over the middle) and on the next play Dolphin scored on a five-yard run to put Lake up 14-0 with 11:08 left in the second quarter.
Later in the quarter Lake missed a chance to go up 21-0 when, on first and goal on the nine, Nelson’s pass was picked off by Quin Carlson on the five.
Kamiak got on the board via Chris Menghini’s 37-yard field goal 15 seconds before halftime. That was set up by five of seven completions by Berg, covering 65 total yards in the drive.
Lake drove to the Kamiak 29 midway through the third quarter, a threat snuffed out by a Dolphin fumble. But that was immediately followed by Gunnar Ecklund’s sack of Berg for a six-yard loss, together with a pair of Berg incompletions. On fourth down the Knights’ punt attempt saw the center snap sail over the kicker’s head for a 20-yard loss and a safety, upping Lake’s lead to 16-3, at 4:31 of the quarter.
Kamiak scored its first and only touchdown of the game with 6:07 left when a nifty 16-yard sweep by Nic Cooper on third and ten kept a drive alive, followed by Berg’s 36-yard pass to Tyler Self for a first down on the Viking seven. Belcher sacked Berg on the next play for a two-yard loss, but two plays later Berg hit Steve Bradshaw for a nine-yard touchdown, bringing the Knights to within 16-9. What could have been a crucial PAT kick was punched wide left by Menghini.
Lake was mounting what could have been a game-cinching drive in the fourth quarter when Nelson, following a 10-yard gain to the Kamiak 28, fumbled away the ball with 4:04 left, recovered by Tyree Bethea.
Viking defense stepped to the fore after that, with Cody Tupen sacking Berg for an 8-yard loss, and three incompletions by Berg turning the ball back over to Lake on the Knight 20 with 3:15 left.
Three plays later Nelson burst up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown. 23-9 Lake, with 1:38 left.
Pahukoa intercepted Berg another three plays later to put a capper on the Viking victory.
Pahukoa hauled in six passes for 120 yards. Brandon Preslar made four catches for 37 yards and also rushed for 32 yards in five carries.
Lake had 18 first downs, Kamiak 15, and the Vikings outgained the Knights by 393 net yards to 246.
Defensively, Korey Young made 8 tackles for Lake, Belcher 7 (including two sacks), Carroll 7, Tupen 6 (including two sacks), Dolphin 6.
Viking interceptions were by Dolphin, Carroll, Pahukoa, and Kevin Lanto.