Valhalla

Lake Stevens makes statement in season opening win over Ferndale

Running backs combines for 219 yards and 6 touchdowns in 42-14 blowout win

Payne Patchett, Reporter

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Football in Ferndale: Junior Kasen Kinchen makes a catch before Friday’s game against the Ferndale Golden Eagles. The Vikings won 42-14. Kasen, who is the only Vikings player entering the season with a D1 offer, started off the defensive attack with an interception in the first quarter.

 

After finishing last year on a heartbreaker to the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles 38-31 in the first round of the WIAA 4A state playoffs, the Lake Stevens Vikings were set on starting the 2018 season anew and get some momentum.

Fortunately, that momentum began after they finished off a tough battle with one of the states’ top teams.

Lake Stevens, entering the year ranked 10th on The Seattle Times’ 4A high school football rankings, with their stellar defense and efficient rushing attack, beat the Ferndale Golden Eagles, who were ranked 4th in the Times’ 3A rankings, 42-14 at Ferndale High School.

The Vikings started things off less than two minutes into the game when, after they punted the ball on their first possession, they got the ball on an interception by junior Kasen Kinchen, and the Vikings capitalized on the pick with a 2-yard touchdown (TD) run run by senior Jackson Grafe to give the Vikes a 7-0 lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter.

Ferndale would punt on their next possession and the Vikings started their next drive on their own 14 yard line, but they would conduct a 9-play, 86-yard drive, highlighted by a 37-yard pass play from senior quarterback Tre Long to Kinchen, and would end in another rushing touchdown by Grafe, this time from one yard out, to end the first quarter with a 14-0 lead.

At the dawn of the second quarter, the Golden Eagles were no match for the illustrious Vikings defense, as they would turn the ball over on downs on their next possession after a botched punt attempt ended in a momentum-changing tackle by senior Brandyn Roberts gave the ball back to the Vikings on Ferndale’s 31 yard line, which ended on a 5-yard touchdown run by Long to give the Vikings a 21-0 lead after one half of play.

But when the second half began, just when the game looked to be over and won by the Vikings, Ferndale made it interesting.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Vikings increased their lead to 28-0 with an 18-yard touchdown (TD) run by senior Tom Lewis on his first carry of the night, but Ferndale would quickly respond with a rushing touchdown of their own, a 13-yard run by quarterback Bryan Ebe, to cap off a 4-play, 71-yard drive to give the Golden Eagles their first points of the game with 3:58 left in the third quarter.

The third quarter would eventually end with that very same 28-7 score, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long, as Tre Long would punch it into the end zone from one yard out for his second touchdown of the game to make it 35-7.

Ferndale would turn the ball over once again on their next possession, making way for the Lake Stevens backups to play the rest of the game, which also gave the spotlight to an up and coming running back in junior Dallas Landeros, and he did not disappoint, as he took it to the house on a 40-yard touchdown (TD) run, making a number of Golden Eagle defenders break their ankles and lose their marbles as the Vikings would lead 42-7 and, after a late Ferndale score, would make the final score 42-14.

Tre Long finishes the night completing 6 of 11 passes for 97 yards, while Grafe lead the team in rushing with 18 carries for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns as he comes back from sitting out most of the 2017 season due to injury.

Junior Ian Hanson led the team in receiving, catching 3 passes for 42 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, it was highlighted by the early interception by Kinchen, who was given an offer to play for the University of Oregon over the summer, as well as a few big sacks by Brandyn Roberts, junior Logan Bruce-Jones and sophomore Seth Becker.

With the win, the Vikings will go into their 2018 home opener undefeated at 1-0, as they will play another 1-0 team in the Lincoln Abes from Tacoma, who are coming off a statement win of their own, narrowly beating powerhouse Camas 31-29 after leading 31-3 at halftime.

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Lake Stevens makes statement in season opening win over Ferndale