Vikings finish business

Lake Stevens wraps up Wesco 3A title with win over Everett

By AARON COE

Herald Writer

EVERETT — Since the end of the 1999 season, the motto for the Lake Stevens football team has been "Unfinished Business."

Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium, The Vikings finished their business late in a 21-18 Western Conference 3A triumph over Everett.

Lake Stevens improved to 6-0 in league and 7-1 overall, and guaranteed itself the conference championship with one game remaining. Everett dropped to 4-2, 5-2 and out of the playoff picture.

"This is what we dreamed about since we were freshman," said Shaun Sheddy, who preserved the victory with an interception with 33 seconds remaining. "I knew there was no way we were going to let them score."

Everett, which trailed the entire game, grabbed an 18-14 lead on a trick play with just 1:53 remaining. Backup quarterback John Cronin took a pitch from quarterback Matt Symons and hurled a 22-yard touchwon pass to a wide-open Jamie Lee.

The play capped a 72-yard drive.

With time running out, the Vikings, who turned the ball over three times in the second half after early domination, put themselves in position to score right away.

Quarterback Nolan Perkl side-stepped the Everett rush and found Nik Williams for a 47-yard gain.

Facing third-and-3 from the 13, Perkl again evaded Everett defenders and scrambled 12 yards to set up Joey Daube’s 1-yard plunge with 55 seconds remaining.

"Nolan and Nik saved our butt," Lake Stevens coach Ken Collins said. "It’s nice to have a quarterback who can buck up and be as tough as Nolan. We are champions because of what he did."

Though passes won the game in the end, Matt Williams kept the Vikings going throughout the evening with 145 yards on 26 carries.

Nik Williams admitted the Vikings’ heads were hanging when Everett took its lead.

"We were a little down when we got behind, as you’d expect," Nik Williams said. "But we picked ourselves up because we wanted the championship."

The Vikings looked like a championship team in the first quarter, wasting no time to score their first touchdown.

Nik Williams hauled in Perkl’s 39-yard pass on the Vikings’ first play. Matt Williams took it from there, weaving his way 26 yards for a 7-0 lead only 40 seconds into the game.

The Vikings scored on their second possession when Perkl hit Nik Williams for a 13-yard TD to cap a 12-play drive.

Behind 14-0, Everett appeared to be in trouble. Its defense was not stopping Matt Williams, who had 10 carries for 70 yards in the first quarter alone. And the Seagulls offense, which can’t afford to get too far behind because it rarely passes, managed one first down in three drives.

But things turned around for Everett late in the first half. The Seagulls stopped the Vikings a yard short of the first down marker on third-and-3. The Seagulls then drove 76 yards in 16 plays, the last of which was a Ben Challman 1-yard TD run on fourth down. Everett missed the conversion attempt and trailed 14-6 at the half.

Everett’s Travis Schultz opened the second half with a 36-yard kickoff return, and the Vikings were penalized 15 additional yards for a late hit on Schultz.

The penalty gave Everett the ball at the Lake Stevens 28. Everett had a first-and-10 at the 11, but after a penalty and three short running plays, the Seagulls faced third-and-16.

Everett, which has played several games without as much as attempting a pass, dusted off a passing play from the play book, and Blake Scott hauled in a 14-yard pass from Symons. Brian Price then rolled around the right side of his line for an easy score to cut Lake Stevens’ lead to 14-12.


Lake Stevens14007—21

Everett

0

6

6

6—18


Lake Stevens—M. Williams 26 run (Balunsat kick)

Lake Stevens—N. Williams 13 pass from Perkl (Balunsat kick)

Everett—Challman 1 run (kick failed)

Everett—Price 2 run (run failed)

Everett—Lee 22 pass from Cronin (pass failed)

Lake Stevens—Daube 1 run (pass failed)

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