Lincoln High football coach Jon Kitna called it a “black eye for Tacoma.”
Rarely does a regular season end with two metro schools playing a 3A Narrows League football game with everything on the line – but that was the case Friday with the seventh-ranked Abes and Foss.
The Abes (8-1 overall, 5-1 3A Narrows) finished in a tie for the league title with a 30-24 victory over Foss (5-4, 3-3) at Mount Tahoma Stadium on Friday night but will take the league’s No. 2 seed to the round-of-32 playoffs after losing earlier in the season to co-champion Timberline.
Lincoln travels to Eastside Catholic next week for the playoffs. A Falcons’ loss meant Wilson sneaks in as the No. 3 seed, and the Rams will take on Glacier Peak.
Somehow talk of the playoffs – in what was a fiery, competitive, emotional 48 minutes – took back seat to a second half that was littered with 28 penalties, including 19 in the third quarter.
Most of them were personal-foul or unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties. They were called on players. Coaches were flagged for arguing. The whole scene was ugly.
And Kitna did not mince his words after his defense recovered a Foss fumble at its own 25-yard line to end the Falcons’ march for a go-ahead score with 1:15 remaining in the game.
“Until we start taking seriously who we hire as referees, this is a debacle,” Kitna said. “Two good football teams that play hard – and (the referees) could not control the game.”
Foss took a 21-10 lead on quarterback John Moore’s 2-yard touchdown run with 4:39 to go in the third quarter. The Falcons were whistled for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on the score, and it was enforced on the kickoff.
Lincoln returned the ball to the Falcons’ 38, and scored a touchdown in five plays on Rayshaun Miller’s 12-yard jaunt. Jordan Kitna added the two-point conversion run, and the Abes trailed 21-18 with 2:32 left.
Then Lincoln recovered an onside kick. Fourteen seconds later, Kitna hooked up with Dehonta Hayes on a 47-yard touchdown, and the Abes never looked back.
“It is something we feel confident in ... to change momentum,” Jon Kitna said.
Clinging to a 30-24 lead, Jordan Kitna was sacked and fumbled on fourth down near midfield with 3:52 remaining. Foss drove as far as the Abes’ 23 before a fumbled exchange led to a turnover.
At Kentwood 31, Kentlake 28 (OT): Given a second try because of a Faclons penalty, Conquerors kicker Brandyn Bangsund nailed a 36-yard field goal with four seconds to go to send the game in overtime.
And Bangsund’s game-winner – a 35-yarder – gave Kentwood the divisional title at French Field.
Auburn Riverside 20, at Auburn 7: The Ravens erased an early deficit with a 17-point second quarter, scoring touchdowns on Cole Huckaby’s 7-yard run and Kevin Thomson’s 29-yard strike to Gavin Hettinger, to earn the division’s second seed with a win at Memorial Stadium.
At Tahoma 21, Jefferson 13: The Bears built a 21-7 lead, and held on to earn the division’s fourth seed to the district playoffs.
The Raiders trimmed it to 21-13 on Zach Grayson’s 2-yard touchdown scamper with 7½ minutes to go, then later forced a Tahoma punt to try to tie the game.
The Bears pinned Jefferson at its own 1-yard line – and the Raiders’ drive stalled at the 30 with 2:03 to go.
Curtis 32, at Federal Way 7: A pair of Eagles’ special-team gaffes led to Mitchell Hersey touchdown runs, and the Vikings claimed the division’s No. 2 seed to the district playoffs by pounding fourth-ranked Federal Way at Memorial Stadium.
The Vikings scored the go-ahead points one play after blocking a Federal Way punt on Hersey’s 6-yard touchdown to take a 10-7 lead.
And after recovering a fumbled kickoff to start the second half, Curtis opened a 17-7 lead on Hersey’s 19-yard scamper.
Graham-Kapowsin 49, at Spanaway Lake 12: Trevor Asbjornsen passed for three touchdowns, Teague James ran for two scores, and the Eagles closed out their first undefeated regular season at Art Crate Field.
Franklin Pierce 42, at Washington 26: Three Daimonte Delavergne second-half touchdowns allowed the Cardinals to pull away and nab the league’s third seed to the playoffs with a victory at Franklin Pierce Stadium.
Orting 38, at Fife 34: Three Trojans fumbles led to Orting touchdowns, and the Cardinals clinched the No. 4 seed with a road victory.
The Trojans cut it to 38-34 on Austin Woods’ 80-yard kickoff return with seven minutes to go, but a late Fife pass-interference penalty gave the Cardinals an opportunity to run out the clock.
At Eatonville 17, Cedar Park Christian 6: The Cruisers jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead, capped by George Tomal’s 80-yard touchdown gallop, and earned the league’s No. 3 seed to district.