A spot in the Class 4A state title game is on the line when Lake Stevens hosts Kamiakin in Saturday’s state semifinal clash.
Here’s a look at the matchup:
4A NO. 6 KAMIAKIN AT NO. 2 LAKE STEVENS
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Lake Stevens H.S.
Radio: 1380 AM KRKO
Stream: NFHS Network
The skinny: League champions meet in the penultimate round of the 4A state playoffs with a chance to play for the state title at Husky Stadium next Saturday.
Kamiakin: 10-2; beat Chiawana 20-13, lost to Moses Lake 15-14, beat Southridge 50-14, lost to Kennewick 20-14, beat Hanford 54-21, beat Walla Walla 42-0, beat Hermiston 42-14, beat Richland 42-35, beat Pasco 50-0, beat Wenatchee 42-0, beat Emerald Ridge 36-35, beat Mount Si 8-6
About the Braves: Kamiakin is back in the state semifinals for second time in three years and is seeking its first berth in the title game since winning the 3A state championship game in 2016. After blowing out Wenatchee in the winner-to-state Week 10 playoffs, the Braves have pulled out a pair of tight victories to reach this point. In the first round, Kamiakin gambled with a two-point try in overtime and converted for a 36-35 win over Emerald Ridge. The Braves, who finished in a three-way tie for first in the 4A/3A Mid-Columbia Conference, then beat Mount Si 8-6 in a defensive slugfest in last week’s quarterfinal. Kamiakin held on after a safety and rushing TD from quarterback Trent Woodhouse in the first quarter. The victory came despite being outgained 157-145 in yardage and losing the turnover battle 2-0. Senior Camden Schmidt has run for 327 yards and five TDs over the past three weeks. Woodhouse has passed for 264 yards, four TDs and three interceptions over that stretch. Gavyn Buchanan has been his top target with seven receptions for 93 yards and one TD. Kamiakin has held five of its past seven opponents to 14 points or less. Schmidt, senior Mason Grigg and junior Dom Powell are among the teams leading tacklers. Powell also leads the pass rush, and the Braves have eight different players with at least one interception on defense.
Lake Stevens: 11-1; 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, beat Kennedy Catholic 44-21
About the Vikings: Lake Stevens has cruised through its three matchups since the winner-to-state Week 10 playoff round and is now just one win away from its fourth appearance in the state title game over the past five postseasons. The Vikings, winners of the Wesco 4A league title and the defending 4A state champions, have outscored opponents 139-21 and haven’t allowed a point through the first three quarters over the past three weeks. The run includes turning last week’s 2022 championship game rematch against Kennedy Catholic into a one-sided beatdown that featured a running clock to start the second half. In last week’s win, Kolton Matson needed just one half to accumulate 298 yards and four TDs through the air en route to a 44-0 lead at the break. The junior quarterback now has 2,858 yards and 41 TDs passing, the latter of which is one shy of tying a single-season program record. Matson has an array of reliable targets at his disposal, led by seniors David Brown and Paul Varela. Brown sports team highs with 781 yards and 17 TDs receiving, and Varela has added another 505 yards and five TD receiving. They share the team lead with 45 receptions apiece. Six different Lake Stevens receivers have at least three TD grabs and 11 players have a TD reception overall. Running backs Jayshon Limar and Talha Rai have combined for 1,394 yards and 20 TDs rushing to lead the backfield. The Vikings’ defense has been lights-out over the past six weeks, surrendering just 41 total points during the stretch, a number buoyed by 21 points scored by Kennedy Catholic against Lake Stevens’ backups in the fourth quarter last week. Junior Keagan Howard and senior Mason Turner are the team’s leading tacklers, while senior Gage Solomon’s eight sacks are a team best. Brown has accounted for six of the defense’s 12 interceptions, including two returned for scores.
Herald pick: Lake Stevens