Throughout the 2012 football season the Sumner Spartans have relied on their defense and running game.
Why would the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs against Kingston be any different?
Sumner’s defense held Kingston to 266 total yards, and Sumner running backs Lokahi Kamau and DeJon Lynch each eclipsed 100 yards on the ground in the Spartans’ convincing 26-9 victory over the Buccaneers on Friday night at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
Kamau rushed for 143 yards on 22 carries. Lynch had 14 carries for 100 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown run on the opening offensive play of the third quarter, giving Sumner (9-2) a 26-3 lead. Spartans coach Keith Ross said his team’s mantra has been the same since practices began in mid-August.
“We have been living on our running game and our defense,” Ross said.
The defense came up huge early in the second quarter. Spartans’ outside linebacker Jeremy Jackson intercepted Kingston quarterback Robert Reece on an out-pattern before returning the ball 46 yards for a touchdown, extending Sumner’s lead to 14-0 with 8:03 left in the second quarter.
“Jeremy is a big-time player and he makes big-time plays,” Ross said. “That kind of closed the door a little bit and really got the momentum back on our side early in the game.”
“It really added to the momentum of the game. That play really helped get us going,” Kamau said. “It really took a lot of pressure off of the offense.”
The Spartans will host the winner of today’s first-round matchup between Lynden and Mark Morris on Nov. 17 at Sunset Chev Stadium in the Class 2A quarterfinals. Ross said the Sumner football program hasn’t played in the state quarterfinals since 1978.
He said the winner of the Mark Morris/Lynden game will be his team’s toughest challenge yet this season.
“They are both storied programs and we’re a program on the rise trying to get to their level,” he said. “It is going to be a great challenge for us, but I know we’ll be ready.”
The Spartans are one game away from playing in the Class 2A semifinals at the Tacoma Dome.