Irish capitalize on Lake Stevens’ miscues, once again put together big third quarter
By KEVIN BREIWICK
SEATTLE — Week after week, O’Dea has been accustomed to its own offensive blowouts, but before Friday the Irish hadn’t faced Lake Stevens.
Only a 15-point third quarter helped nudge the undefeated Irish (11-0) past Lake Stevens 18-6 in a Class 3A quarterfinal state playoff game at Seattle Memorial Stadium.
O’Dea will meet the winner of today’s Lakes-Prosser game next weekend in the semifinals.
Lake Stevens’ defense left O’Dea dumbfounded in the first half. Before Firday’s game, the Irish had outscored opponents 323-20.
"I think we played them a lot tougher than everyone said we would," Lake Stevens wide receiver Nik Williams said.
In the first quarter, O’Dea’s opening drive resulted in a punt. A 30-yard field goal finished off the Irish’s second drive at the beginning of the second quarter.
Lake Stevens’ opening drive was promising, but the Vikings (9-2) were unable to finish it off. They worked their way to the O’Dea 21 after starting from their own 35, but turned the ball over on downs.
The Vikings’ achieved one of their goals in the half — stop O’Dea’s running game. In turn, that gave Lake Stevens’ offense a chance to shine.
The Vikings’ diverse offense cut through O’Dea’s defense with under six minutes remaining in the second half. Despite numerous penalties against the Vikings, which could have easily dissolved the drive, Lake Stevens still managed to score the game’s first touchdown.
An 11-yard pass from Nolan Perkl to fullback Joey Daube and a 10-yard pass to tight end Jason Russell helped bring the Vikings to the 1-yard line. Daube muscled into the end zone on a 1-yard run with 4:20 remaining in the half.
Perkl finished the half with 81 yards on 5-for-12 passing.
Lake Stevens’ defense forced O’Dea to punt on the ensuing drive, and the Vikings were back in the same situation. This time, threatening on the 15. But a blocked field goal on third down with 16 seconds remaining left Lake Stevens with a 6-3 halftime lead.
"We came out in the first half and showed them we could play, Williams said.
"They got us at the end, but we stayed with them."
O’Dea’s 23 third-quarter points blew open its game last week. The Irish used another big third quarter against Lake Stevens to build an 18-6 lead Friday.
Lake Stevens’ defense stymied the Irish on their opening drive of the second half, forcing O’Dea to settle for a field goal.
O’Dea’s defense found its way back along with the offense. The Irish defense sacked Perkl on the Lake Stevens 30 on the Vikings’ first possession of the third quarter.
A few plays later, Ty Eriks ran for an 18-yard touchdown with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter. The Vikings blocked the extra point to keep it close.
The revived Irish defense attacked again when Lake Stevens took over on offense.
Perkl fumbled after he was sacked and O’Dea’s Regan Hupf picked up the fumble for a 4-yard touchdown.
"We gave it up couple of times on offense, but that happens," Williams said.
The fourth quarter was scoreless and a defensive battle.
It was easy for Nik Williams to sum up the season.
"This season has been the greatest sports experience of my life, he said. "We all came out and played with heart. Nobody has us going this far and we made it to the top eight.
O’Dea—FG Christianson 30
Lake Stevens—Daube 1 run (kick failed)
O’Dea—FG Christianson 36
O’Dea—Eriks 18 run (kick failed)
O’Dea—Hupf 4 fumble recovery return (run failed)
Records—Lake Stevens 9-2 overall. O’Dea 11-0.
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