Lynnwood had something to say about that speculation Friday on their home field, weathering the unseasonably cold temperature and a comeback by Kamiak to win 2-1.
"Friday night lights, it feels really good beating them tonight," Lynnwood's Momodu Drammeh said.
Drammeh was the ignition for the Royals attack, which was aggressive at the beginning of both halves, putting Kamiak (3-1 league, 3-2 overall) on its heels.
"We said treat this like a final and they came right out and executed," Lynnwood coach Ryan Camden said. "That's been our biggest thing. Can we bring what we do in practice ? to the field and implement that on the field? Then we'll be OK."
Camden believed Lynnwood (2-1-1, 2-1-1) started slow last season, and a slow start wouldn't be in the team's vocabulary this season -- the first in Wesco 4A after the school moved up in classification.
The scoring began after Drammeh broke through the Kamiak defense inside the penalty area where he was tackled from behind. The referees awarded a penalty chance in the 19th minute and Drammeh easily converted to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Camden saw his senior forward breaking free and knew the worst-case would be a penalty try.
"He's the fastest guy I know in Wesco," Camden said.
It looked like the Royals would carry a 1-0 edge into the break until a mistake on defense allowed Kamiak to even the score.
During the 33rd minute, Kamiak's Kevin Baron chased a ball headed out of the penalty area near the left line, but was pushed from behind in as much of an ill-advised foul as there is in soccer.
"We got beat on that foul," Camden said. "Sometimes it's lack of discipline."
Kamiak's Magnus Lagerkrans took the ensuing penalty kick and was rebuffed with a spectacular save by Royals keeper Gerardo Reyes-Ortega. Fortunately for Lagerkrans, the rebound came directly to him and the senior forward punished the back of the net with the ball, making it 1-1.
Langerkrans leads the Knights in scoring with three goals this season.
Camden preached the same message at half as he did before the game and the Knights continued to take control early in the second period.
"They are tied for first, so we knew what we were up against. (Kamiak coach) Garfield Scott always brings good talent, so we knew we had to stick to the game plan," he said.
In the 56th minute, Drammeh took on two defenders at the top of the box. He turned and found an uncovered Victor Villasenor, who eluded a charging Knight defender. Villasenor beat Knights goalie Roland Upenieks for the final goal of the night.
"When I have two men (on me) it leaves one open player and I can just dominate," Drammeh said. "When they shifted the defense, I saw my outside middle there and just slotted it and he was on (the goal)."
The Royals held on despite a frantic finish. A Knights header nearly peeled into the goal in the final 30 seconds, but was deflected by a Royal defender, setting up a corner kick with five seconds to go. The Royals cleared it and celebrated midfield.
At Lynnwood H.S.
Goals—Momodou Drammeh (L), Magnus Lagerkrans (K), Victor Villasenor (L). Assists—Drammeh. Goalkeepers—Kamiak: Roland Upenieks. Lynnwood: Gerardo Reyes-Ortega. Records—Kamiak 3-1 league, 3-2 overall. Lynnwood 2-1-1, 2-1-1.
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