Quarterback Jaiave Magalei accounted for six total touchdowns as Lakes pulled away in the second half to a 56-36 victory Friday over O’Dea at Memorial Stadium.
The victory sends the Lancers to the Class 3A state playoffs for the 23rd time in school history. It’s the first time since 1993 that the Fighting Irish have missed the playoffs, ending a run of 21 consecutive appearances.
Magalei completed 22 of 27 passes for 276 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on a night when Lakes did not punt once. He also rushed for 49 yards and three scores.
“Our offense is really balanced,” Lakes coach Dave Miller said. “Our passing game really came through for us and I think it opened up the run a little bit.”
Lakes (8-2) totaled 530 yards of offense and wore down O’Dea (7-3). After rushing for 224 yards before halftime, the Irish were held to minus-8 rushing yards in the second half.
Trailing 28-27 to open the third quarter, the Lancers forced a three-and-out and quickly drove for the go-ahead score.
Magalei capped a six-play, 70-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to brother Maika Magalei to retake the lead. Dedrian Milligan then intercepted O’Dea quarterback Nathan West as the momentum continued to build for Lakes.
Magalei found Chris Hunter for a 24-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 42-28.
“We just executed what (coach Miller) wanted us to do,” Jaiave Magalei said.
Yisrael Stephens added a pair of touchdown runs from 19 and 17 yards and Andrew Bostic ran for 140 yards on 20 carries for the Lancers.
After the Irish grabbed the early 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by West, Magalei gave Lakes the lead with a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs of his own.
O’Dea answered with another 1-yard touchdown run by West to tie the game at 14-14 before a surprise onside kick recovered by Zachary Oster caught the Lancers napping.
Hunter Franco scored on a 38-yard touchdown run to put the Irish back on top before an 11-yard touchdown pass from Magalei to Cale Lindsay tied the game once again.
After a 5-yard Fredrick Cooper touchdown run for O’Dea, Magalei scored on a 1-yard run as Lakes trailed 28-27 at halftime following a missed extra point.
West completed 9 of 20 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown, a 65-yarder to Quinton Lewis in the fourth quarter.
Cooper had 107 yards on 16 carries for the Irish.
STATE PLAYOFFS: Lakes (8-2) at Kamiakin (8-2), Saturday, Nov. 14, time TBA