Lake Stevens shows promise for the future, beats highly touted Lincoln in superstar matchup

Tre Long throws for 4 touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Abes 38-21

Payne Patchett

Payne Patchett
Protect this House: Senior wide receiver Ian Hanson gets control of the ball after catching it before Friday’s game against the Lincoln Abes. In their home opener, the Vikings win 38-21. Hanson helped the offensive cause with a team high 6 catches for 52 yards.

Entering this season, the Lake Stevens Vikings varsity football team knew that another shot at the Tacoma Dome to aim for their first state title wouldn’t be easy, as the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) implemented a new system where teams are picked who they are playing against in the postseason due to their strength of schedule and how well they play against the schedule.

So when the Vikings decided to put themselves to the test in their first home game of the year, they decided to take on one of the hottest teams in western washington to do it.

Knowing that their position in the postseason in November will be affected by games like this, the Vikings showed to the state that they can take on the tough stuff, as they beat the Lincoln Abes 38-21 at Lake Stevens High School.

The Vikings, entering this game ranked 6th in the Associated Press’s (AP) first 4A poll of the season, started the game off strong on defense, as junior Kasen Kinchen, the only Vikings player to get an offer from a Division 1 school, picked off Lincoln quarterback Caden Filer and drove the ball to Lincoln’s 49 yard line for his second interception in as many games, to which Lake Stevens capped off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by senior running back Tom Lewis to take an early 7-0 lead.

After Lincoln, who was ranked 2nd in the AP’s first 3A poll,  punts the ball on their next drive, the Vikings take a two-possession lead with a 19-yard touchdown pass from senior Tre Long to junior Skyler Reyna in the top right corner of the east end zone, as Reyna leaps up above two Lincoln defenders to make the catch and to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead.

But that lead would soon be extinguished, as Lincoln would respond with two touchdowns of their own to tie the game at 14 with 11:50 left in the first half, but Lake Stevens would take back the lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Long to senior Joe Gonzales to make it 21-14 at the half.

But when the second half began, the Vikings slowly began to slip away from the Abes with every passing possession, as, on the first drive of the half, Long got his third touchdown of the night on a 32-yard pass to Kinchen to make it 28-14.

After that, it seemed like the Lake Stevens offense was in control of the game from there, as they marched down the field for a 14 play drive, highlighted by a muffed punt return by Lincoln, for a 25-yard field goal by senior Brock Widmann to start the fourth quarter with a 31-14.

Lake Stevens would make another long trip down the field, this time in 11 plays, and score again for good measure, as Long connects with Reyna for the second time in the game, this time from 12 yards out, to make it 38-14.

Lincoln would later score on the ensuing drive, but would get stopped on another attempt with seconds left in the game on a tipped pass into the hands of Kinchen for his second interception of the night and his third in two games to seal the game for good and to make the final score 38-21.

Tre Long finished the night completing 20 of 33 passes for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns in his first varsity regular season start. Lewis led the rushing game with 17 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown, with junior Dallas Landeros not too far behind Lewis with 17 carries for 95 yards.

Reyna led the team in receiving with 3 catches for 32 yards and 2 touchdowns, while senior Ian Hanson also performing well with 6 catched for 52 yards.

Next week, the Lake Stevens Vikings will start their journey towards their sixth consecutive Wesco conference title as they face off on the road against longtime rivals Monroe, who have lost to the Vikings in 11 of the last 12 meetings, with the only loss being in 2013 at Lake Stevens High School.

That is also the last time the Vikings lost a conference game, as they are riding a 31-game conference winning streak entering next friday’s game.