Lake To State

Lake Stevens Football makes a deep run in the state playoffs


Lucien Sevilla

Lake to State! The Lake Stevens Football team takes a knee at post-game prayer after beating Eastlake 45-28 at Pop Keeney Stadium on November 27, 2021.

This postseason for Lake Stevens football has been met with a lot of ups and downs. The program was met with adversity from the beginning of the season with the covid situation and that continued on during the playoffs.They continued to fight through this and that led them to a state championship game against a nationally ranked the Graham-Kapowsin High School Eagles football team. Though they ultimately fell short in a 44-7 loss in the championship. Although they did fall short of the championship trophy, they still have much to be proud of in this season after fighting through all of the hardship they were faced with.

With starting quarterback Grayson Murren injured during the Homecoming game vs Kamiak that left the team with 2nd string quarterback Kaden LaPlaunt as the starter in the Wesco championship against Glacier Peak. During that game as we came out victorious, LaPlaunt also was injured after taking a monster hit in the fourth quarter. That left the Vikings starting freshman QB Kolton Matson for the first round of the State Playoffs.

The Vikings first opponent was Emerald Ridge led by QB Jake Schakel who holds offers from numerous Division 1 schools. It was also Matson’s varsity debut with his first pass being a TD to senior Drew Carter. They did face some adversity with Emerald Ridge scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter, but the Vikings shut them down with a second-half shutout coming out with a 63-21 win. Junior running back Jayden Limar rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns. In his debut, Matson threw for 229 yards and a touchdown.

They then had to face Richland from the west. They didn’t pose a major threat with Lake Stevens coming out with an easy win 53-7. Senior Trayce Hanks ran for 130 yards and had 119 yards receiving with him also scoring two touchdowns. Carter and junior Isaac Redford both caught a touchdown. Freshman Jayshon Limar added a rushing touchdown as did his older brother Jayden with Jayden also catching a touchdown as well. Matson had a stellar game with him throwing for 226 yards and 4 touchdowns in the blowout win.

“Kolton definitely impressed a lot of people with his performance especially as a freshman,” sophomore Gabe Kylany said.

The Vikings’ final home game was against Gonzaga Prep, who many people thought was ranked too low. This was one of the most anticipated games between two undefeated teams who had the talent to be in the final four. A lot of hype also surrounded senior Grayson Murren coming back after taking 4 weeks off during injury. He didn’t show any rust as he threw for 216 yards in his return. The Vikings run game was on full display with Jayden Limar with 4 rushing touchdowns as well as Hanks having a rushing touchdown. The defense also had a tremendous game having 2 interceptions from Hanks and Redford. With the Vikings at full strength, they routed the Bullpups 35-14.

Lake Stevens was in unfamiliar territory being the lower rank in the matchup vs number 2 seed Eastlake. These two teams were scheduled to face each other but was canceled due to the Covid Situation the team faced earlier this year. Eastlake looked strong, taking a few plays to score on their first drive. This game was a close game with Freshman Jayson Limar showcasing his talent due to his brother’s injury in this game.

Lake Stevens came out on top with a score of 45-28. This game even though they came out with a win they lost their stellar quarterback Murren after taking a hard hit he was diagnosed with a broken collarbone, sidelining him for the championship game. He didn’t go out quietly in his last game with him throwing for 340 yards and two touchdown passes to send them to the big game. Carter had 13 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Jayshon Limar also rushed for three touchdowns while Jayden got one rushing touchdown as well.

“Making it to state was a dream come true, but making it to the state championship was like a whole nother dream. I definitely will not take it for granted,” Redford said.

The championship stage was set with the Lake Stevens Vikings going against the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles for the 4a title. These two 4a juggernauts were the two best teams in 4A. Unfortunately, unable to get over the hump of injuries, the Vikings were at the end of the road losing 44-7 to GKHS in the championship.

“The fans make a bigger impact than they realize… we feed off of their energy when we are on the field and I believe that we have the best fans in the state,” Carter said.