ARLINGTON — In the inaugural year of the Northwest 2A Sky Division last season, Lakewood entered league play with an impressive 3-0 record, but couldn’t hold up and didn’t win a league game.
Lakewood proved on Friday that it is a force to be reckoned with in 2019. Especially the Cougars’ defense.
In a huge statement victory, the Cougars (4-0, 1-0 Northwest 2A Sky) blanked ninth-ranked Sedro-Woolley, 27-0, in both team’s league opener at Lakewood High School.
“I think until you get a couple of signature wins, they’re going to always sort of wonder who you are,” Lakewood head coach Dan Teeter said. “We haven’t really had a whole lot of talk about us or anything. Our guys are proud, and they realize that and they wanted to make a statement.”
The Cubs entered Friday averaging 41.6 points in three non-conference wins, but the Cougars were not fazed by Sedro-Woolley and their star wide receiver, Eastern Washignton commit Brent Vanderveen.
The Cubs recorded just 104 yards of total offense and Vanderveen caught just two passes for 21 yards.
“Coach Mitch Robbins, our defensive coordinator, has put a lot of time in and I’m so proud of those guys,” Teeter said. “They worked really hard and you can’t say enough about the defense.”
The slate doesn’t get any easier for Lakewood, with juggernauts Lynden and Archbishop Murphy up next.
But the confidence around Lakewood has the team feeling more prepared than ever.
“We expect very big things out of our team this year and we think we’re going to go far,” quarterback Jared Taylor said. “This is just step one to it.”
With about three minutes to play in the third quarter, Lakewood had dictated the game, but held on to just a 10-0 lead.
After forcing yet another Sedro-Woolley punt, junior running back Malik Dotson broke off a 48-yard run on first down. Then, Teeter dialed up the play that swung the momentum for good.
Taylor connected with senior Jackson Schultz on a swing pass, who subsequently launched a 24-yard touchdown pass to Carson Chrisman to put the Cougars up by three scores with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter.
“We were thinking about calling it sometime in that drive. I wanted to get the ball to a certain spot,” Teeter said. “When that broke open, I thought this was definitely the time to go for it. (Schultz) could have picked either reciever.”
— Taylor finished 7-for-16 with 76 yards and a touchdown through the air and went for 110 yards on 19 carries on the ground for the Cougars.
— Dotson racked up 94 yards on nine carries.
— Senior running back Landon Pruitt finished with 52 yards on nine carries, including a 30-yard scamper on Lakewood’s first drive of the game.
— Senior placekicker Alan Sepulveda made 2-of-3 field-goal attempts, including a 44-yarder late in the fourth quarter, which, according to the stadium’s public address announcer, was a school record.
Teeter: “Dave Ward is a great coach and has his team really well prepared. They’re tough, they’re physical and they have a Division-I receiver, and our guys rose to the challenge. We don’t have any one guy … that’s being college recruited at this point, but we have a team that’s playing really well together.”
Taylor on the defense: “Our defense? Outstanding. Every possession they were handing it to them and they just got the job done, like we thought they were gonna.”
Lakewood travels north for a road contest againt perennial 2A power Lynden, while Sedro-Woolley takes on Burlington-Edison in a rivalry game.
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