Three second-half scores turned a tie game into a 35-14 victory as Lincoln defeated Lynnwood in a WIAA 3A postseason matchup Friday night at Lincoln Bowl.
The Lincoln defense held Lynnwood without a first down in nine of the Royals’ 14 drives, forcing three takeaways and one fourth down stop. By the end of the night, Lincoln outgained Lynnwood 499-182. Senior Patrick Rogers finished the night with two interceptions and a long touchdown catch for the Abes.
“The coaches did a great job game-planning and preparing for the week, and the kids did a phenomenal job of studying the game plan, doing what we asked them to do,” Lincoln head coach Masaki Matsumoto said. “It came out on the field. I’m very proud of the guys.”
The first half featured two scoring drives and two takeaways for each team as the half concluded with a 14-14 tie. Lincoln struck first, as quarterback Joey Sinclair connected with Patrick Rogers for a 38-yard touchdown. Lynnwood tied it on a 15-yard pass from Alton Hammond to Jared Anderson early in the second quarter. Lincoln reclaimed the lead on a 1-yard scoring run by Tristian Kwon before Hammond matched that with a 1-yard score of his own.
The turning point in the game came early in the second half. Lincoln opened the third quarter with an eight-play 61-yard scoring drive, but a missed extra pointleft the score at 20-14. On the ensuing possession, a deep Hammond pass fell through the hands of the intended receiver on what would have been a big gain and possibly a long touchdown.
Instead, Hammond’s next pass found a leaping Rogers for his second interception of the night to set the Abes up with another short field. They capitalized two plays later, when Sinclair found Camron Deloney on a crossing pattern in the middle of the field for a 36-yard touchdown. The two connected again for a two-point conversion to make it 28-14.
“I had to do it for my team,” Rogers said. “This is my senior year; this is the playoffs; it’s do or die. So honestly, I just did it for my brother. As I was going for the interception, I was just like, ‘I gotta come down with it.’ ”
From there on, it was all clock management and defensive stops for Lincoln, with the one exception of a 56-yard touchdown run for LJ Lovelace late in the fourth quarter.
“I just love the fact that we can stay together another week,” Matsumoto said. “They can stay together and extend this journey a little bit longer. Football is really good for these kids, and a lot of them need it.”
Bonney Lake 24, at No. 2 Squalicum 7: The Panthers did what they do best — run the football and play solid defense, and it handed the Storm its first shocking loss of the season at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
Adam Fahsel, a former wide receiver now playing tailback, scored two touchdown runs, and kicker Tate Hamlett made three field goals in advancing to the 3A quarterfinals.
But the Panthers’ defense was fantastic all night, forcing two turnovers, including a key interception by Braydon Tressler in the end zone with five seconds remaining in the first half that protected a 10-7 Bonney Lake lead.
“(Tressler) turned around and made an incredible play in the corner of the end zone,” Bonney Lake coach Jason Silbaugh said. “Especially on the road, you want to keep that lead.”
After that, Squalicum was held in check, gaining just 90 total yards in the second half.
In perhaps a panic move, the Storm went for a fake punt on fourth-and-5 on the final play of the third quarter. Ben Peterson was tackled for a 5-yard loss at the Squalicum 25-yard line.
It led to Hamlett’s third field goal — a 21-yarder than extended the Panthers’ lead to 16-7 with 9:58 to go.
Squalicum tried another fake punt with Peterson on its next series. It netted the same result — a loss and turnover on downs at the Storm 38.
“It’s our mentality piece — we’ve got to play great defense. We preach great defense,” Silbaugh said. “And the kids believe it.”
Three players later, Fahsel galloped 32 yards for a final touchdown, and Bonney Lake was in control, 24-7, at the 6:59 mark.
The Panthers outgained Squalicum, 328-283, with 273 coming on the ground.
No. 2 Eastside Catholic 39, No. 10 Timberline 21: The Crusaders’ Tyler Folkes weaved through defenders a minute into the second half, igniting a run of 18 unanswered points — two touchdowns, two safeties — that secured Eastside Catholic (10-1) a spot in the 3A state quarterfinals and ended the Blazers’ season.
The Blazers — who have lost in this round in their past five playoff appearances — rallied from an early deficit to forge a 21-21 halftime tie.
Timberline quarterback Trenton Horn was 11 of 23 passing for 136 yards and the two rushing touchdowns. Timberline was limited to just 105 yards on the ground — its rushers averaged less than three yards per carry — and 134 through the air.
At No. 8 Liberty 20, No. 10 Steilacoom 13: Holden Kooiker kicked two field goals for the Eagles, including the final one with 1:49 to go, and the Liberty defense made a game-clinching interception 13 seconds later in a victory at home in Issaquah.
Jaymason Willingham’s interception for the Sentinels early in the second half set up the visitors’ lone touchown on Anthony Leiato’s 13-yard pass to Marques Hampton with 8:14 remaining in the third quarter.
But Liberty went right back down the field to regain the lead, 14-7, on Austin Regis’ 1-yard plunge.
Kooiker had field goals of 32 and 21 yards over the final 14 minutes.
At No. 3 Tacoma Baptist 69, Crescent 36: The Crusaders got the challenge they wanted – and pass through to the 2B quarterfinals with a victory at Viking Stadium in University Place.
Doug Stone caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from PJ Talen, then picked off KC Spencer and returned the turnover 50 yards for a score at the end of the third quarter to give Tacoma Baptist breathing room — 53-28.
“They were big and physical with a big group of seniors,” Crusaders coach Tim Rasmussen said. “They challenged us, which was good.”
In the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2011, Tacoma Baptist will host Neah Bay, the 2013 and 2014 1B champion, next weekend.
Staff writer Todd Milles contributed to this report