ARLINGTON — It didn’t look like there was any way for Lakewood senior Justin Peterson to be happier Friday night.
His Cougars had just defeated Cascade Conference rival Archbishop Murphy — for the second year in a row — in a blowout, 49-0. The weird thing was, it wasn’t the first time Peterson had been involved in a game against the Wildcats ending in that score.
His freshman year the score was also 49-0, only Lakewood was on the other end.
“It’s so amazing,” Peterson said. “My freshman year that was the score, but they did it to us. This is the most amazing thing ever. I don’t know if that’s fate or something.”
It appears the power has shifted in the Cascade Conference. Archbishop Murphy (0-2 league, 2-2 overall) had Lakewood’s number until last season, when the Cougars won 26-22 and handed the Wildcats their first conference loss ever. As the final seconds ticked away Friday, the Lakewood fans chanted “back-to-back” as the Cougars began celebrating on the field.
This season, Lakewood (1-0, 4-0) gave Archbishop Murphy another first that it didn’t particularly want.
It’s the third time in the Wildcats’ history they’ve been shutout — the first two times coming in 2001 against La Conner (34-0) and Cascade Christian (14-0) — but the first time Archbishop Murphy has failed to score in a league game.
“I think this is a confidence booster,” Lakewood head coach Dan Teeter said. “The guys knew they were pretty good. This will encourage them.”
Lakewood set the tone early in the game. On its first drive, Archbishop Murphy lined up to punt on fourth down, but snapped the ball to Hans VanderWel who tried to run for the first down. The Cougars’ defense immediately stopped him.
Two plays later, Lakewood quarterback Kolby Schueller threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Peterson, who brushed off one defender and took it to the end zone.
Those six points would turn out to be all the Cougars would need to win, but they continued to pile them up. Lakewood’s defense forced a fumble and grabbed an interception, leading to touchdown runs of 18 and 9 yards, respectively, by Donovan Evans to give the Cougars a 21-0 halftime lead.
“I honestly can’t say I expected that,” Teeter said. “We haven’t played like we’re capable of yet and we showed a glimpse of what that is tonight.”
The Cougars’ defense came out just as intense in the second half. There were two interceptions returned for touchdowns. The first was a 45-yard return by Brandon Stott that gave Lakewood a 42-0 lead and began a running clock as part of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s mercy rule.
The second was a 65-yarder by Eric Murray on the Wildcats’ subsequent drive.
“They’re our biggest rival,” Peterson said. “There’s just no stopping. It’s pedal to the metal the whole time.”
Teeter singled out defensive coordinator Mitch Robbins for developing “a great game plan” and executing it. The Cougars tallied two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
The offense didn’t fare too poorly either. Peterson, who plays quarterback, wide receiver, running back and defensive back, proved to be a triple threat. He threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Evans, caught the 57-yard touchdown reception from Schueller and ran 51 yards for a touchdown.
Peterson finished the night with 63 yards rushing on three carries, 2-for-4 passing for 63 yards and two receptions for 67 yards. Evans ran the ball 13 times for 46 yards and Schueller completed 4 of 7 passing attempts for 74 yards.
“That’s just a team victory,” Teeter said.
Alex Galgano continued to be the workhorse for Archbishop Murphy. The senior running back had 135 yards on 29 carries. VanderWel ran the ball five times for 13 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter. He appeared to have his ankle taped and did not return in the second half.
Teeter was excited to repeat last season’s victory over Archbishop Murphy. But he’s also looking for another, bigger repeat this season for the Cougars.
“It’s year to year. I know they’re going to bounce back,” Teeter said of the Wildcats. “But we’re going to lay our claim to (the rivalry) tonight. We were conference champions last season and we want to repeat.
“They’ll have to fight to take it away from us.”
At Lakewood H.S.
Lake—Justin Peterson 57 pass from Kolby Schueller (run failed)
Lake—Donovan Evans 18 run (Randy Anaya kick)
Lake—Evans 9 run (Evans run)
Lake—Evans 42 pass from Peterson (Anaya kick)
Lake—Peterson 51 run (Anaya kick)
Lake—Brandon Stott 45 interception return (Anaya kick)
Lake—Eric Murray 65 interception return (Anaya kick)
At Lakewood H.S.
L—Justin Peterson 57 pass from Kolby Schueller (run failed)
L—Donovan Evans 18 run (Randy Anaya kick)
L—Evans 9 run (Evans run)
L—Evans 42 pass from Peterson (Anaya kick)
L—Peterson 51 run (Anaya kick)
L—Brandon Stott 45 interception return (Anaya kick)
L—Eric Murray 65 interception return (Anaya kick)