Lake Stevens senior running back Dallas Landeros is The Herald’s 2019 All-Area Offensive Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lake Stevens senior running back Dallas Landeros is The Herald’s 2019 All-Area Offensive Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Purchase Photo

Football Offensive Player of the Year: Dallas Landeros

The Lake Stevens senior ran for 1,645 yards and 27 TDs to help lead the Vikings’ high-scoring attack.

The Lake Stevens High School football team’s juggernaut offense boasted an extraordinary wealth of talent this season, including a deep array of skilled receivers and another elite quarterback in the program’s long line of polished passers.

But even with all of the aerial firepower, the Vikings’ high-scoring attack centered on the elusive and ultra-reliable Dallas Landeros churning out consistent chunks of yardage behind a powerful offensive line.

That was never more evident than in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs, when Landeros carried the ball a whopping 41 times for 275 yards and two touchdowns in a hard-fought victory over defending state champion Union.

Lake Stevens put the game in the hands of its senior running back, and he came through with a career-best performance to lead the Vikings into the state quarterfinals.

“We were blessed with all kinds of talent — from our quarterback (to) five or six receivers that can all run and catch and make guys miss after the catch,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri said. “But when your back’s up against the wall, you’re going to go with what your greatest strength is.”

Landeros rushed for 1,645 yards and 27 touchdowns this season, averaging 8.1 yards per carry and 150 yards per game while cutting off blocks from his bruising offensive line and making defenders miss with his shifty maneuverability. He also had 128 yards receiving and two touchdown catches.

And with the Vikings cruising to seven running-clock routs this fall, those gaudy numbers came despite Landeros often being on the sideline for most of the second half.

“He did all those things in really two or three quarters of work for the bulk of the season,” Tri said.

For his standout campaign and integral role in a high-powered Lake Stevens attack that averaged 51 points per game, Landeros is The Herald’s 2019 All-Area Offensive Player of the Year for high school football.

“We’ve had a lot of really good running backs over the past 15-plus years, but he’s certainly one of the best we’ve ever had,” Tri said.

Dallas Landeros averaged 8.1 yards per carry this season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Dallas Landeros averaged 8.1 yards per carry this season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

For the vast majority of this past decade, the Vikings lit up scoreboards with high-octane offenses featuring a balanced mix of run and pass. But they’ve leaned more toward the run over the past two years, with their rushing rate climbing above 60 percent in both seasons.

The reason? Lake Stevens’ ground attack — led by Landeros and an offensive line that Tri said was the best in his two decades with the program — was often borderline unstoppable.

As a two-year starter, Landeros amassed over 3,000 yards rushing and 44 total touchdowns, helping lead the Vikings to the 4A state title game last season and the state quarterfinals this fall.

“The biggest key was the O-line, for sure,” Landeros said. “… (They) made the game so much easier.”

Yet while Landeros deflected credit, Tri heaped praise on his star running back’s vision, elusiveness and quick-cutting ability.

“All five of our offensive linemen had a great year, and that’s what helped open up holes for Dallas,” Tri said. “That being said, a lot of those yards were because of his vision — his ability to anticipate (and) see something. He’s able to set guys up and make guys miss and turn a 1-yard gain into a 7- or 8-yard gain.

“He can press the hole really well, but then sees and anticipates cutbacks as well as any back we’ve ever had,” Tri added. “His balance and ability to go from a speed cut to a jump cut to a power cut and back to a speed cut, that’s why I think he was able to get so (many extra) yards.”

And despite 390 carries over the past two seasons, Landeros fumbled just two times and never had a lost fumble.

“That, to me, is a remarkable stat with just how much we used him through his junior and senior year,” Tri said. “… We’ve never had a stat like that with any of our guys touching the ball that many times and protecting it that well.”

Dallas Landeros averaged 150 yards rushing per game, despite often playing just two or three quarters during the Vikings’ blowout-filled season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Dallas Landeros averaged 150 yards rushing per game, despite often playing just two or three quarters during the Vikings’ blowout-filled season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

In a Week 2 non-league showdown against eventual 3A state semifinalist Lincoln, Landeros totaled 167 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to lead Lake Stevens past the ultra-talented Abes. The following week, he amassed 285 total yards and five touchdowns in a 73-28 rout of archrival Monroe.

But his biggest performance was the 275-yard state-playoff outing against Union, when Landeros carried the ball on 41 of the Vikings’ 59 offensive snaps.

“I didn’t really notice it was 41 (carries) until like an hour after the game,” he said. “Then my body felt it.”

Landeros tweaked his ankle early in the third quarter, yet battled through to help Lake Stevens avenge its state-title game loss to Union from the year prior. With the Vikings facing third-and-11 in the closing moments, Landeros ran for a 12-yard gain to seal the victory.

“At the end of every series, I’d pull him aside and ask him, ‘Hey, do we need to give you a series off?’” Tri said. “And he goes, ‘No, no. This is my game, coach.’ … And you could just see it in his eyes and in his heart that there was no way he was coming off that field.

“Playing with a bum ankle, I think he rushed for another 100 yards there and kind of sealed the deal at the end of the game for us,” Tri added. “And that really kind of describes who Dallas is in a nutshell right there. That game was the epitome of the type of player and career that Dallas had for us.”

Dallas Landeros ran for 275 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries in the Vikings’ first-round state-playoff win over Union. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Dallas Landeros ran for 275 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries in the Vikings’ first-round state-playoff win over Union. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Yet for all of Landeros’ on-field accomplishments, Tri and running backs coach Jim Lussier gushed equally about his character, leadership and selflessness.

Earlier this season, Landeros postponed a recruiting visit to Central Washington University so that he instead could dress up as a superhero for the birthday party of a local 4-year-old whose family had experienced tough times. After hearing what Landeros was planning to do, eight teammates joined him in superhero costumes to surprise the young boy at his party.

“He had every right to go over and be recruited by Central and go to a Central football game and sit on their sidelines for free, (but) he chose out of the kindness of his heart to stay here and do something for his own community,” Tri said. “That’s just every bit as cool as anything I’ve ever seen before as a coach.”

Tri and Lussier also said Landeros’ unselfishness was evident in the second halves of Lake Stevens’ numerous blowouts.

“When he comes out of the game, he’s the biggest cheerleader on the sideline for the younger kids that are getting an opportunity to run the football,” Lussier said. “And you don’t (often) get that out of 18-year-old kids who are trying to go play college football — who need the video, who need the film, who need the stats. … You talk to Dallas, he’ll never take credit for nothing. It’s all about everybody else around him. It’s never about him.

“This kid is one of the most unselfish people I’ve ever been around,” Lussier added. “… This world needs a whole lot more Dallas Landeroses in it.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson greets a player after a soccer training session Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Seattle. The Sounders play Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Opportunity too good for Cascade High grad to pass up

Former soccer standout Chris Henderson looks forward to new position with Inter Miami

Is Mike Hopkins the right coach for the University of Washington men’s baskethall program’s long-term future? (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
POLL: Is Mike Hopkins the right coach for UW hoops?

The Huskies have seen both tremendous highs and discouraging lows during Hopkins’ four-year tenure.

Left, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) and teammates after the AFC championship NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 38-24 (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson). Right, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with his teammates after winning the NFC championship NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Sunday. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps).
Old (Brady), young (Mahomes), different Super Bowl 55 awaits

Only 22,000 will be let in the stadium, with vaccinated health-care workers getting 7,500 of the tickets.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly celebrates scroring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 40-3. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Seahawks position overview: Tight end

Seattle may look from within to bolster tight-end spot in 2021.

Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford sprawls on the dirt and reacts after sliding safely home during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Seattle. Crawford scored on a double hit by Kyle Seager. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Results matter to M’s pitcher Gonzales, shortstop Crawford

The two clubhouse leaders aren’t buying the talk that this will be another building year for Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (32) carries as Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill defends during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seahawks position overview: Running back

Seattle’s top two backs, Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, are set to become free agents in March.

FILE - Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron smiles during a press conference at Atlanta Stadium, Ga., after the game in which he hit his 715th career home, in this April 8, 1974, file photo. With him is his wife Billye, partially obscured. Hank Aaron, who endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and gracefully left his mark as one of baseball’s greatest all-around players, died Friday. He was 86. The Atlanta Braves, Aaron's longtime team, said he died peacefully in his sleep. No cause was given. (AP Photo/File)
Hank Aaron, baseball’s one-time home run king, dies at 86

Aaron endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record.

Seattle Sounders' Jordan Morris, right, tries to advance the ball past Columbus Crew's Aidan Morris during the second half of the MLS Cup championship game Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. The Crew won 3-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Sounders’ Morris loaned to Swansea City for rest of season

Morris has 41 goals 23 assists in 121 appearances for Seattle since signing with the club in 2016.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) walks on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seahawks position overview: Quarterback

Seattle must find an offensive coordinator who can maximize Russell Wilson’s prime years.

Bill to expand sports betting introduced in state Legislature

A similar proposal failed last year, but supporters say the new effort has bipartisan support.

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) was deemed by the readers as the most important unrestricted free agent for the team to re-sign. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
POLL RESULTS: Wright is the priority free agent

Nearly half the responders said LB K.J. Wright should be at the top of the Seahawks’ re-signing list.

Montana State head coach Jeff Choate walks on the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Who will become UW’s next defensive coordinator?

Here’s a look at some possible candidates to replace the departed Pete Kwiatkowski.