Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Mike Anderton
Contributing Writer 

Newport ends Viking football season 62-35


Lake Stevens met a team that could more than match touchdowns with it and thus fell to Newport of Bellevue 62-35 last Friday night at Lake in an opening-round game of the State Football Playoffs.

    The loss ended Lake’s four-game win streak and finished the season for the Vikings at 6-4—a misleadingly modest record given Lake’s late-season surge which included the Wesco 4A championship.

  As it did against Edmonds-Woodway in the Wesco title game, Lake followed up four straight Newport touchdowns with scores of its own, the final one making it 28-28 late in the first half.

 But then the dam broke and Lake could not keep up.  Senior Newport running back Conner Baumann, listed in the program at 6-3 and 222 but seemingly MUCH bigger than that, looked like a runaway freight train in shredding the Viking defense for what surely is a 4A State Playoff record of 473 net yards in 18 carries and six touchdowns.

Four of Baumann’s TDs covered a mind-boggling 327 yards—77, 83, 78 and 89 yards.   Once Baumann broke free, either up the middle or around the outside, he could not be stopped as he either ran over Viking defenders or simply outran the secondary—an overwhelming display of power and speed.

Lake never gave up, but the Newport groundworks onslaught exhausted the Viking defense by halftime.  The Knights finished the game with 709 net yards in 52 carries, while attempting just two passes, both incomplete.

Sophomore quarterback Jacob (“Skinny”) Eason once again put up big numbers (35 of 56 with one interception, for 396 yards and three touchdowns) but with Lake behind and forced to throw on nearly every down in the second half, he was continually harrassed and battered by Newport pass rushers. 

Still, Eason managed to avoid being sacked, throwing the ball away when necessary.  Receivers dropped half a dozen passes or Eason’s totals would have been even more impressive.  Eason had not been intercepted in his previous 166 passes until his second toss of the second half.  He finished the season with just two interceptions in his final 240 passes.

Lake needed to supplement its offense with an effective ground game and for the first half Austin Otis did his part, with 71 yards in 14 carries and two touchdowns.  But after halftime he rushed just three times for 12 yards, as Lake was forced to pass on every play except those three.

Lake’s four first-half touchdowns, two in each quarter, came via Eason’s 22-yard pass to Tevin Gray (that score was set up by an incredible juggling catch by Riley Krenz good for 27 yards), an Otis two-yard run, an Otis one-yard run, and Gray’s 53-yard pass from Eason.

The latter TD tied the game at 28-all with 3:51 left in the half but on Newport’s next play Baumann broke lose for an 83-yard score.

On Lake’s next possession a Viking receiver dropped what would have been a touchdown and Newport took advantage with a 30-yard touchdown run by Paul Wells with 43 seconds left in the half, putting the Knights ahead by 40-28.

Newport virtually put the game away on the first play of the second half when Baumann dashed for 78 yards.

Lake scored its only TD of the second half with 9:02 left when Eason completed five straight passes covering 67 yards, two of them to Gray covering 17 yards three to O’Neil for 50 yards, including his 3-yard TD catch.

Gray finished with 12 catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.  O’Neil had 10 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.  Krenz had five catches for 78 yards.

Evan Miksch led Lake in tackles with 13, followed by Krenz with 11, Kolby Jones with 10 and Andrew Grimes and C.J. Lat with nine each.  Lat’s total gave him 160 tackles for the season, tying Josh Duncan’s Viking record -- but Lat amassed his total in just 10 games while Duncan’s came in 13 games.

A complete list of Viking offensive and defensive statistics for the 2013 season is available via e-mail from Viking Football Stats at


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