EDMONDS — After letting an opportunity to win slip away once, Lynnwood’s Ryley Johnson made sure he capitalized when afforded a chance at redemption.
Johnson, who hadn’t previously attempted a kick all night — that duty went to Royals kicker Oscar Nunez — missed a 32-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have sent Lynnwood home with a homecoming win.
Royals defensive back Jared Anderson intercepted Everett quarterback Murdock Rutledge on the first play of overtime, and facing a fourth-and-long on the subsequent Lynnwood possession, Johnson got his second chance.
The senior brushed off the original miscue and was true on a 35-yarder, giving Lynnwood an epic 37-34 walkoff Wesco 3A South win over Everett on Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
Equally as improbable as Johnson’s second-chance kick was Everett’s fourth-quarter comeback.
Tied at halftime, Lynnwood (3-2 Wesco 3A, 5-2) posted 21 unanswered third-quarter points to take a 34-13 lead into the fourth, but the Seagulls came charging back thanks in large part to impressive running from Jacob Leonard, who finished with 217 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
Royals quarterback Alton Hammond, who was 0-for-3 passing during the first half, finished 7-of-14 for 183 yards and two touchdowns. He provided Lynnwood a much-needed spark and seemingly put the game out of reach by the end of the third quarter with the help of receivers Bryce Milne and Johnson, who each caught TD passes.
But an Everett 10-yard touchdown strike from Murdock to Elijah Ross-Rutter cut Lynnwood’s lead to 34-20 with 7:13 to play in the fourth quarter and gave the Seagulls a glimmer of hope.
After getting the ball back, Leonard dashed for 58 yards to set up a 1-yard TD plunge that trimmed the Royals’ lead to 34-27 with 5:05 to play. Everett’s defense got one more critical stop, and Rutledge navigated his offense on a nine-play, 53-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 13-yard TD pass to Louis Davis with 1:19 remaining. Seagulls kicker David Eisenkraft calmly put the ball through the uprights, tying the game at 34-34 and setting up overtime fireworks.
Despite the second half string of points, Lynnwood and Everett countered each other throughout the first half.
Everett (2-3, 4-3) took less than two minutes to get on the board, capping off a four-play, 62-yard touchdown drive with a Josiah Chavez 17-yard TD run.
After an opening-drive three-and-out, Lynnwood tied the game at 7-7 with a 50-yard touchdown run from power back Michael Kirkman, who provided much of the Royals first-half offense and finished with 98 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
Outside of Kirkman, the Royals struggled moving the ball, but a key interception from Johnson set Lynnwood up in prime scoring position midway through the second quarter.
Lynnwood back Delaun Smiley-Tatum on the next play converted the turnover to points, taking a sweep around the left side before diving across the goaline for a score that put the Royals in front 13-7 with 4:35 to go until halftime.
Leonard helped the Seagulls even the score as the second quarter expired. Leonard, on a fourth-and-1 from Everett’s 40, took a handoff 48 yards, which set up a 23-yard David Eisenkraft field goal, tying the game at 13-13. Eisenkraft converted from 38 yards early in the second quarter.
Kirkman’s second score — a 2-yard TD — gave the Royals a 20-13 lead minutes into the third quarter, but Royals QB Alton Hammond set up the touchdown with 71 yards passing during the quick drive.