Partially-blocked field goal clears uprights in final seconds as Knights win, 18-15
By AARON COE
EVERETT — A fake punt, a backup kicker, a blocked kick and a bounce off the cross bar.
Some how, some way, the Kamiak Knights found their way into the state playoffs Tuesday night when Ryan Carlson’s kick tumbled through the uprights in an 18-15 victory over Lake Washington.
How they did it is something Kangaroos everywhere will be contemplating now that their 7-3 season is over.
The game seemed destined to go into overtime when Kamiak (9-1) faced a fourth-and-6 at the Lake Washington 43 with 17 seconds remaining. After all, the Knights had turned the ball over five times, and had little business being in a 15-15 tie with the Kangs.
Then came the play they had worked on for half a season. The one Kamiak coach Dan Mack has explained to officials before the last five games, so they’ll know what’s happening if the play is used. The play he’s been tempted to use several times, but wanted to use when it was needed most.
The Knights lined up in punt formation, and the ball was snapped to Scott Haight, who was lined in front of Kamiak punter Jamal Jackson. Haight bent over, faked a snap to the punter and took off down the field while leaving behind several bewildered Kangs. Haight, who gained 32 yards, was tackled at the 11, and a time out was called with six seconds left in regulation.
Carlson’s kick was partially blocked, which put it on a course straight for the cross bar. The ball hit the bar, went nearly straight up, but hurdled over as the clock expired.
"I just told myself that I was not going to buckle under pressure," said Carlson, who began the season as Kamiak’s third-string kicker and was pressed into duty when starter Brian Leach injured his ankle two weeks ago. "When I saw it was blocked, I just hoped for the best. When it went in, I just went crazy."
He and a full house at Goddard Stadium.
Carlson might have never had a chance, if not for a mistake by Haight. Mack instructed Haight to let the clock run down to one second and call a timeout before the fake punt, which Mack wanted as the last play.
"Coach yelled at me for calling that timeout, but I guess it ended up working," said Haight, who also had a 38-yard reception in the game. "I was just running for my life. I just looked up an saw tons of green."
The Knights will play at South Kitsap on Saturday in the first round of the state playoffs.
"Football is a funny game," said Mack, whose team is in the state playoffs for the second straight year. "We overcame a lot of adversity, most of which we put on ourselves. The kids did it when they had to."
Though the usually potent Kamiak offense committed blunder after blunder, the Knights defense bent but never folded in holding an equally strong LW offense to only 15 points, all of which came in the first half.
The play that went a long way toward giving the Knights a chance to win came immediately after a John Hurney’s 54-yard touchdown reception gave the Kangs a 6-0 lead three minutes into the game.
Despite a strong kicking game, The Kangs went for two on the conversion, but Kamiak was not fooled. Nate Santiago broke up LW’s pass and kept the score at 6-0. After Lake Washington scored to take a 12-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter, they went for two again and failed.
Kamiak took a 7-6 lead with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by a Mike Boyle TD catch with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter. Boyle made a diving catch early in the drive on third down, and quarterback Ryan Jones scrambled twice for 24 yards.
The Kangs used Kamiak’s third turnover of the game to take a 15-7 lead on a 29-yard Darion Powell field goal with 2:49 remaining in the half.
Despite its turnover problems, the Knights managed to tie the score at 15 just before halftime.
Kamiak running back Justin Washington gained 25 of his 69 first-half yards during the drive, which was capped by a 3-yard Boyle TD catch with 28 seconds left before the half.
Washington gained 124 yards on 16 carries. Lake Washington quarterback Dan Gillison completed eight of 16 passes for 115 yards, passed for one touchdown and ran for another.
LW—Hurney pass from Gillison (pass failed)
Kamiak—Boyle 6 pass from Jones (Carlson kick)
LW—Gillison 1 run (run failed)
LW—Powell 29 FG
Kamiak—Boyle 3 pass from Jones (Jones run)
Kamiak—FG Carlson 28
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