Lakewood holds on to take Cascade Conference title

ARLINGTON — The Lakewood football team got it all Friday night.

Holding on for a 17-14 victory over Cascade Conference rival King’s, the Cougars got a league championship, clinched the first undefeated regular season in school history and, most importantly, now will receive league champion T-shirts.

“We said ours from a couple years ago are getting old,” Lakewood head coach Dan Teeter said.

It’s the first outright league title at Lakewood since 1994. The Cougars won a share of the league title with Archbishop Murphy in 2011, but this was the first time the Cougars finished with sole possession of the championship in Teeter’s eight years at Lakewood.

“The people were wondering what it’s going to be like with all the players that left (due to graduation),” Teeter said of the high roster turnover this past season. “To come back and make history with this group of hard-working, blue-collar kids. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The Cougars’ offense had 154 yards in the first half — and 227 yards in the game — but it was the defense that Lakewood relied on in the final two quarters to secure the victory. King’s scored 14 straight points and got the ball with 40 seconds left in the game.

But once again Lakewood’s defense stepped up and stopped King’s.

“It’s going to be tough to keep an offense like that down all game,” Teeter said. “Our defense may bend but it won’t break. ? If we have to trust in our defense to win, I’m confident.”

The Cougars’ defense shined all night. Lakewood forced a fumble, which it recovered for a touchdown, and five three-and-outs. King’s didn’t get a first down until there was 12 seconds to play in the third quarter.

The fumble recovery was even a bit unique. Lakewood’s Paulmer Gregory ripped the ball out of the hands of the Knights’ running back on the seven yard line. Gregory ran the ball back six yards and dove forward for the last one to put the Cougars up 10-0 soon after a 43 yard field goal by Randy Anaya.

King’s had 19 yards of offense in the first half.

Lakewood, meanwhile, scored 17 straight points to take a 17-0 halftime lead. After three incompletions, Cougars’ quarterback Blake Watts’ first completion was an 18-yard touchdown pass to Eric Murray.

Watts finished with 22 carries for 101 yards and was 2-of-5 passing for 36 yards and a touchdown. After a rush where he was taken down by about five King’s defenders, the junior had his non-throwing arm looked at in the fourth quarter while missing part of a Lakewood offensive series.

But after a few plays, No. 5 ran back out to the huddle.

“He’s a competitor,” Teeter said. “He’s hard-nosed. I told him he’d have to be a work horse for us.”

Watts said the Cougars knew it was going to be a tough fight. Lakewood, the No. 5 team in the most recent Associated Press poll, and King’s — No. 8 in 1A — both wanted the league title.

“We just said we need to do what we’ve been doing all season long,” Watts said. “It was going to be a dog fight from the beginning. Just smash-mouth football.”

It looked like Lakewood might cruise to the league title in the first half, but King’s came out with a 94-yard kickoff return by Nick Severson to start the third quarter. It set up a 1-yard Koa Wilkins touchdown run — the first of two for Wilkins — to get the Knights on the board.

“(At halftime) it wasn’t anything X’s and O’s. It was just attitude and effort,” said King’s coach Jim Shapiro of his halftime speech. “We just challenged them to come out and fight in the second half. And they did.”

After a tough first half, Wilkins finished 8-of-18 for 60 yards passing. Including sacks he had 12 carries for 34 yards but made some big plays with his legs in the fourth quarter to keep the second King’s scoring drive alive.

“You’ve got to hand it to a sophomore quarterback like Koa,” Shapiro said. “To step in there and do it was incredible.”

Wilkins got the Knights right back in the game and, with a defensive stand, King’s got the ball back in the final minute.

But that’s when Lakewood’s defense stepped up, easing some of the nerves of their head coach on the sideline.

“Oh I was never –,” Teeter started with a laugh. “Of course. Their offense is explosive. I was confident. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous.”

The game was largely just for bragging rights. Both teams had already locked up their classification’s respective No. 1 seeds out of the Cascade Conference with Lakewood (6-0 league, 9-0 overall) taking the top 2A seed and the Knights (5-1, 7-2) securing the 1A No. 1 spot.

Shapiro said it was a great atmosphere for King’s to play in before the district tournament, which starts next Friday.

“I told the kids we’re playing for a championship (against Lakewood),” Shapiro said. “But it’s just the first one. Now we’re playing for another one. This will be the spark and focus and energy this team needs.”

Teeter agreed, saying this was just the test Lakewood needed before the playoffs. He’s hoping the Cougars can carry their momentum — and new T-shirts — into the postseason.

“You’re going to see nothing but quality teams from here on out,” Teeter said. “It’s a great confidence builder for us. King’s is a great team.”

At Dick Cardinal Stadium, Lakewood

King’s 0 0 7 7 — 14

Lakewood 3 14 0 0 — 17

L–Randy Anaya 43 FG

L–Paulmer Gregory 7 fumble recovery (Anaya kick)

L–Eric Murray 18 pass from Blake Watts (Anaya kick)

K–Koa Wilkins 1 run (Lucas Swanson kick)

K–Wilkins 14 run (Swanson kick)

Records–King’s 5-1 league, 7-2 overall. Lakewood 6-0, 9-0.

Talk to us

More in Sports

The Silvertips' Koen Macinnes stops a shot during a game against the Blazers on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kristin Ostrowski / Everett Silvertips)
Tips trade netminder, add 11 players through drafts

Everett sent Koen MacInnes to Regina for picks. Forward Julien Maze headlines the draft haul.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep results for Thursday, May 19

Postseason prep results for Thursday, May 19: (Note for coaches/Scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Snohomish's Evalyn Messina holds the championship trophy Thursday evening at Phil Johnson Ball Field in Everett, Washington on May 19, 2022. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 14-7 to claim the NW District 1 3A Championship title. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Another milestone: Cascade softball rolls past Snohomish for district crown

The Bruins continue their breakthrough season and blast 7 homers to beat the Panthers 14-7 in the 3A District 1 title game.

Boston Red Sox's Trevor Story is congratulated after his second two-run home run of the night, during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park, Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Story hits 3 homers, Red Sox power past M’s

Seattle’s pitchers struggle in a 12-6 loss at Fenway Park.

Everett
Pro skateboarding competition coming to Everett in August

Street League Skateboarding’s championship tour will be at Angel of the Winds arena for two days.

Skyline’s Ryan Grace is swarmed by teammates after striking out a batter to complete a 10-inning complete game win against Jackson Wednesday, May 18, 2022, during a Class 4A matchup at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Jackson softball falls to Skyline in 10-inning bi-district marathon

The T-wolves lose a 3-2 extra-inning heartbreaker in the 4A District 1/2 semis, but still have 2 more chances to reach state.

Bonney Lake's James O'Callaghan stands dejected as Edmonds-Woodway's Victor Ibarra, far right, celebrates Edgar Cabrera’s goal in the second half Tuesday evening at Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington on May 17, 2022. The Warriors won 3-1. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Edmonds-Woodway advances to state soccer round of 16

Forced into a 3A state play-in game, the Warriors put on a clinic in a 3-1 win over Bonney Lake.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep results for Wednesday, May 18

Prep results for Wednesday, May 18: (Note for coaches/Scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners' Ty France hits a single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)
France, Gonzales leads Mariners past Blue Jays

Seattle salvages the series with a 5-1 win.

Most Read