A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Kennedy Catholic’s Xe’Ree Alexander during the Class 4A state championship game Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Kennedy Catholic’s Xe’Ree Alexander during the Class 4A state championship game Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

4A state quarterfinal capsule: Lake Stevens vs. Kennedy Catholic

The Vikings host the Lancers in a rematch of last year’s state championship game.

An in-depth look at the Lake Stevens vs. Kennedy Catholic Class 4A state quarterfinal matchup.


When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Lake Stevens High School

Radio: 1380 AM KRKO

The skinny: Last year’s 4A state finalists meet in a rematch in the quarterfinals. Lake Stevens beat Kennedy Catholic 24-22 to secure the state title last fall. Neither team has lost to an in-state opponent this season.

Kennedy Catholic: 10-1; lost to Regis Jesuit (Colorado) 36-33, beat Highline 45-38, beat Kentwood 49-6, beat Decatur 30-6, beat Federal Way 46-26, beat Kentridge 51-0, beat Auburn Riverside 57-6, beat Tahoma 58-14, beat Mount Rainier 57-7, beat North Creek 28-20, beat Curtis 37-34

About the Lancers: Kennedy Catholic is seeking its second consecutive state semifinal appearance and eighth overall as a program. The Lancers were champions of the 4A North Puget Sound League and didn’t receive much of a challenge while beating six league opponents by an average of 30.3 points. However, the team has needed some fourth-quarter heroics over the past two weeks to keep its season alive, including erasing a five-point fourth-quarter deficit to upset seventh-seeded Curtis last week. Junior Devon Forehand leads the Lancers’ passing attack with 2,063 yards and 28 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He’s spread the wealth with a quartet of targets who have at least 398 yards and exactly six TDs apiece. Sophmore Dante Saladino leads the way with 464 receiving yards on 31 receptions. Junior Indiana Jones leads the backfield with 1,090 yards and 21 TDs while averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He’s also second in receiving at 447 yards on a team-best 32 receptions. The Lancers have forced a whopping 30 turnovers this season, including 18 interceptions. Saladino and junior Landen Kahai each have a team-high five interceptions. Sophomore Derek Colman-Brusa is second on the team in tackles and has team bests of 18 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.

Lake Stevens: 10-1; beat Garfield 48-21, beat Bellevue 34-31, beat Federal Way 63-13, lost to West Linn (Oregon) 49-30, beat Jackson 42-3, beat Eastlake 35-27, beat Mariner 71-6, beat Kamiak 54-7, beat Glacier Peak 42-7, beat Olympia 54-0, beat Woodinville 41-0

About the Vikings: Lake Stevens is in the state quarterfinals for a fifth consecutive time and the seventh time in the past eight postseasons. A victory would put the Wesco 4A champion Vikings in the state semifinals for the fourth time in the past five postseason. Lake Stevens holds victories over three teams still standing between the 4A and 3A fields. The team hasn’t had much to sweat this postseason, beating its two opponents by a combined 95-0 since the Week 10 playoff round. The Vikings have received a major boost with the late-season return of junior running back Jayshon Limar, who piled up 219 yards and two TDs on just 15 carries in last week’s rout of 15th-seeded Woodinville. Junior Kolton Matson has amassed 2,561 yards and 36 TDs to just six interceptions while completing 64.6% of his throws. Senior David Brown leads a deep receiving corps with 675 yards and 16 TDs on 41 receptions. Senior Paul Varela has added another 418 receiving yards and four TDs on 40 receptions, while Jesse Lewis, Steven Lee Jr., Jaxson Lewis and Keagan Howard all have over 200 yards and a combined 23 TDs receiving. The defense has allowed just 20 points over the past five weeks, including back-to-back shutouts in the postseason. Howard, a junior, and senior Mason Turner are team’s top tacklers. Brown has accounted for six of the defense’s 12 interceptions, including two returned for scores. Senior Gabe Kylany has returned a pair of fumbles for TDs and blocked two punts. Senior Gage Solomon has a team-best six sacks.

Herald pick: Lake Stevens

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