LAKE STEVENS — The Lake Stevens Vikings mounted a comeback effort Saturday worthy of their school’s ferocious nickname.
However, a fourth-quarter surge proved insufficient to overcome a three-touchdown deficit as the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles held on for a 38-31 win in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at Lake Stevens High School.
“We had the momentum,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri said. “To our credit our kids played hard and did what they were supposed to do and executed in the fourth quarter, but you have to do it for four quarters, not just one.”
The Vikings (9-2) turned the ball over four times and weren’t able to overcome Micah Smith’s two touchdowns and 187 yards rushing for G-K.
Lake Stevens junior quarterback Tre Long finished 26 of 43 passing for 449 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
The Vikings never led in the contest, and a 9-yard touchdown run by G-K’s Viliam Hansen at 8:29 pushed the lead to 38-17 and appeared to seal the game for the Eagles (10-1).
But Anthony Hutchison hauled in touchdown passes of 10 and 31 yards from Long to cut the deficit to 38-31 with three minutes to play.
The Vikings got the ball back again with 35 seconds to go, but couldn’t drive the length of the field.
“It’s going to gnaw at me probably longer than it should,” Tri said. “You work hard, you get your soldiers in the right position and for the most part we made some great plays tonight, but we just made too many uncharacteristic mistakes…”
The Vikings trailed just 21-10 at the half, and pulled within four after forcing a fumble and an 8-yard scoring run from Kayshawn Mounarath at 10:02 in the third.
A Hansen 4-yard touchdown reception pushed G-K’s lead back to double digits, and Colin Manners added a 22-yard field goal at 2:23 for a 31-17 lead through three quarters.
The game pivoted early in the second quarter.
Lake Stevens appeared poised to take its first lead when Mounarath got behind the defense and hauled in a 60-yard completion from Tre Long before he was ruled to have stepped out at the 1-yard line.
But the Vikings fumbled the next snap and the Eagles recovered. Smith followed with a 92-yard touchdown run and a 21-10 lead at 7:34 in the second quarter.
That’s how it remained at the half as a G-K interception ended another promising Vikings drive.
“I was disappointed in the way we played offensively,” Tri said. “We just had one too many mistakes in the first half and buried ourselves a little too deep and weren’t able to overcome it because we ran out of time.”
The long scoring run was also Smith’s second touchdown run of the game. His first came on a 4-yard scoring run at 10:34 in the first quarter after the Eagles recovered a Vikings fumble at the Lake Stevens 8-yard line.
The Vikings tied it 7-7 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Austin Calvin at 9:19 after three Eagles penalties helped sustain the drive.
G-K answered when Dylan Morris found Tre Mason for a 36-yard touchdown reception at 8:16 and a 14-10 lead.
Lake Stevens kicker Brock Widmann’s 24-yard field goal cut it to 14-10 with two minutes to go in the first.
Eagles 38, Vikings 31
G-K 14 7 10 7 – 31
LS 10 0 7 14 – 38
GK – Smith 4 run (Manners kick), 10:24
LS – Calvin 3 run (Widmann kick), 9:19
GK – Mason 36 pass from Morris (Manners kick), 8:16
LS – Widmann 24 FG, 2:00
GK – Smith 92 run (Manners kick), 7:34
LS – Mounarath 8 run (Widmann kick), 10:02
GK – Hansen 4 pass from Morris (Manners kick), 8:55
GK – Manners 22 FG, 2:23
GK – Hansen 9 run (Manners kick), 8:29
LS – Hutchison 10 pass from Long (Widmann kick), 5:31
LS – Hutchison 31 pass from Long (Widmann kick), 3:00