It’s not a good sign when on the first play of the game the opposition breaks it for a 52-yard rush, followed by a 13-yard touchdown run. But that was just for starters. Marysville ran all over the Vikings to the tune of 346 net yards in 58 carries and five touchdowns in a surprising blowout for the home-team Tomahawks last Friday.
Marysville’s wing-T offense, with its clever fakes and “Who’s got the ball?” trickery, baffled Lake’s defense all evening. Marysville blocking ruled the line of scrimmage, paving the way for numerous long-gain blasts.
Five Viking turnovers destroyed whatever comeback momentum Lake tried to engineer: three interceptions and two fumbles (one on a Viking pass reception, another on a bobbled punt return).
The loss negated Jake Nelson’s 222 yards passing (14 of 27, with those three above-mentioned picks) and Duke Dolphin’s 118 yards rushing in 15 carries.
Proof that statistics sometimes lie (or at least mislead), Lake actually outgained Marysville in net yardage 360-357, with 19 first downs to Marysville’s 18. But the game belonged to the Toms from start to finish.
The loss left Lake hanging to playoff contention by a thread. If the Vikings beat Stanwood (as they should) on Friday and if Monroe loses to Marysville, it would give Lake (now 2-2 in league and 5-2 overall) the league’s number three playoff berth, with Marysville taking the #2 spot. Arlington, recently staggered by season-ending injuries to some of its best players, most likely still will wrap up the number one seed.
At least to me that seems the most likely scenario.
Tyler Thompson broke the game-opening 52-yard gain and quarterback Tylor Klep followed it up with a 13-yard touchdown with just 43 seconds gone. It was the first of Klep’s four touchdown runs. Kyle Bluhm added the PAT kick; he was successful on all five of his tries and he added a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Lake, which never punted, had little trouble advancing the ball downfield but had five potential rallies clipped by its turnovers.
Nelson connected with Kevin Lanto and Christian Gasca for 19 and 13 yard gains on Lake’s opening possession as Lake advanced 54 yards in seven plays until Marysville snared the first of its three interceptions, on its own 30.
Marysville converted that into its second touchdown, covering 70 yards in 12 plays, all on the ground.
Lake was rolling again on its second possession, with Dolphin gaining 27 yards on three carries, before Nelson was intercepted for the second time.
Gunnar Eklund’s fumble recovery on the Marysville 37 with one minute gone in the second quarter (Lake’s only take-away for the game) should have set the table for the Vikings to narrow the margin. Four straight Dolphin carries, for 24 net yards, gave Lake a first down on the Marysville 13. But on fourth and seven at the 10 Nelson was sacked by Thomas Hoeper for an eight-yard loss.
That set the stage for a killing 82-yard, 18-play Tomahawk touchdown drive, entirely on the ground except for a fourth-down 11-yard Klep to Brandon Barrett pass good for a first down on the LS 16.
After trailing 21-0 at intermission Lake looked ready to fight its way back into contention. Receiving the second half kickoff, Lake took possession on its own 32 and advanced downfield 68 yards in just five plays to record a touchdown. Brandon Belcher’s two-yard TD was set up by a 33-yard Nelson to Anthony Blackie completion and a 22-yard Dolphin run (great block by Korey Young). The PAT try failed when the snap sailed over kicker Shawn Morgan’s head and the latter was tackled while failing to attempt a pass. 21-6, with 10:14 to go in the quarter.
Lake’s defense then came up with one of its few key stops. On fourth and five at midfield, Klep was held to a four-yard gain by Young, Dolphin, and Daniaka Tews.
That opportunity was wasted when four plays later Nelson was intercepted on the Marysville 40 by Thompson, who returned the ball to the Viking 37.
Six rushing plays later Marysville had upped its lead to 28-6.
Worse, Lake lost the ball again just two plays later, when Brandon Preslar was stripped of the ball following a nine-yard pass from Nelson, with Marysville recovering on the Viking 29.
Thompson’s 18-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 35-6.
Lake matched that with relative ease, covering 72 yards in just four plays on its next possession. Nelson passed to Lanto for 31 yards. Nelson ran for 22 yards. Nelson passed to Dolphin for 10 yards. Dolphin swept for a nine-yard touchdown.
Nelson connected with Lanto for a two-point conversion. 35-14, with 10:17 left.
Viking defense stepped up to hold the Toms to three-and-out on their next possession, resulting in a punt which Belcher fumbled and Marysville recovered on the Viking 23.
That led to Bluhm’s 25-yard field goal. 38-14, with exactly five minutes left.
Too little and too late, Lake followed that with a 62-yard, five play scoring drive featuring Nelson completions of 16 and 14 yards, the latter a touchdown to Belcher. Morgan’s PAT closed out the game scoring at 38-21 with 2:30 left.
Thompson led Marysville’s ground stampede with 146 yards in 24 carries but equally effective were his fellow backs Kyle Miller and Cody House, as well as Klep.
Marysville’s ground domination resulted in 109 Viking tackles, tops among them Young with 18, Dolphin 15, Belcher 12, Cody Tupen 10, Tews and Kody Dinh eight each.