SNOHOMISH — Glacier Peak gave the Lake Stevens High School football team a scare last season, providing the Vikings their toughest conference test in nearly four years.
This time, it was all Lake Stevens.
The top-ranked Vikings scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions and rolled to a 41-3 rout of Glacier Peak in a Wesco 4A showdown of unbeatens Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“We had a really good idea of how they were going to defend us, whereas last year I don’t think we put a very good game plan together,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri said, referencing last season’s 24-21 win over the Grizzlies that ultimately determined the conference title.
“(Glacier Peak coach) Shane Keck outcoached me last year, and I didn’t want that to be the case again this year. So we watched all their films, and then we watched our film from last year an awful lot. (We) had a pretty good idea of what they were trying to do with their 4-2-5 defense. We just kind of ran away from their strength over and over.”
Glacier Peak entered the night allowing just 9.4 points per game, but it didn’t take long for the Vikings’ high-powered offense to surpass that mark. Lake Stevens opened with TD drives of 80, 66, 42 and 56 yards to build a 27-0 lead just nine seconds into the second quarter.
Dallas Landeros rushed for 155 yards and three TDs, averaging 6.5 yards per carry behind the Vikings’ dominant offensive line. Kasen Kinchen added six catches for 107 yards and two scores.
“Dallas ran really hard, we had some receivers make some great plays and our O-line did a great job of just running their feet after contact and creating some holes for us,” Tri said.
With the victory, Lake Stevens (6-0 overall, 4-0 Wesco 4A) extended its conference win streak to 42 games and cleared the most significant remaining hurdle to a seventh consecutive conference title.
VIKINGS RACE TO BIG LEAD
On the game’s opening possession, Lake Stevens marched 80 yards and scored on a 6-yard TD run by Landeros.
Then after the Vikings’ defense forced a three-and-out, sophomore receiver Drew Carter took a jet sweep to the left, juked a defender with a hard cutback to the right and reversed field for a 34-yard TD run to make it 13-0.
“He’s an athlete,” Landeros said. “He’s a freak of nature, and he’s only a sophomore. (That run) was crazy.”
Lake Stevens then forced another three-and-out and took advantage of a short field with a quick scoring march. Max Moenoa keyed the drive with a tough 25-yard catch just inside the left sideline, and Landeros punched in a 1-yard TD two plays later.
On the final snap of the opening quarter, the Vikings forced and recovered a Glacier Peak fumble to give the ball back to their high-scoring offense. Tanner Jellison then connected with a wide-open Kinchen for a 56-yard TD pass on the very next play, extending the margin to 27-0.
“We didn’t play very well, and we probably had to play really well to win that game,” Keck said. “… A team like Lake Stevens, if you make mistakes, they’re going to capitalize. And they did that in the first half.”
The Vikings opened the second half by recovering a pooch kick, then scored on Landeros’ third TD of the night to make it 34-3 less than two minutes into the third quarter.
SHINING ON DEFENSE
Lake Stevens held Glacier Peak’s offense to just 225 total yards and 3.6 yards per play. The Vikings twice turned away the Grizzlies (5-1, 3-1) in the red zone during the second half, intercepting a pass in the end zone and coming up with a fourth-and-goal stop.
“I’m super proud of our defense,” Tri said. “They flew around, made plays tonight and held a pretty good offensive team to three points on their field. That’s very impressive. … (Glacier Peak is) a good team, so our ability to stuff them, that’s huge.”
With its latest rout, Lake Stevens has outscored opponents by an average of 46.7 points per game this season. The Vikings have averaged 57.2 points per contest and scored more than 40 points in five of their six games, twice topping the 70-point mark.
Dallas Landeros, sr., Lake Stevens: Landeros posted his fifth 100-yard rushing performance of the season, finishing with 155 yards and three TDs on 24 carries. Through six games, the senior running back has 873 yards rushing and 17 TDs.
Kasen Kinchen, sr., Lake Stevens: Kinchen caught six passes for 107 yards and two TDs. The highly ranked cornerback recruit broke wide open for a 56-yard TD reception in the second quarter and made a defender miss for a 17-yard score in the fourth.
“We’ve gotta get better every week. … Ultimately, we’re trying to win a state championship. I know Graham-Kapowsin’s getting better. I know Union’s getting better. I know Woodinville’s getting better. … They’re all trying to get better too. And so we don’t really look at who we’re playing, per se, each week, because more importantly, we are trying to get better ourselves. It’s not about them. It’s about us. We say that every week.” — Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri
Lake Stevens: The Vikings host Cascade (3-3, 2-2) next Friday night before closing conference play against winless Jackson and Mariner.
Glacier Peak: The Grizzlies look to bounce back against Mariner (2-4, 2-2) next Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Looming the following week is a pivotal matchup at Monroe that could determine the No. 2 seed in Wesco 4A.