Dylan Morris and the rest of this Graham-Kapowsin High School football team spent time this past week going over the film from two years ago against Lake Stevens.
Sure, there are a few differences between that Lake Stevens and this one — like that one having 6-foot-6 University of Georgia-bound Jacob Eason, and this one having 6-foot-1 converted wide receiver Tre Long. But Morris said he just wanted to remember what it felt like to lose that state-playoff game.
“I wanted this one back,” said Morris, G-K’s junior quarterback who started as a freshman on that 2015 team. “I watched the game a couple of times just to get that feeling back in my head, like, ‘I want to win this game.’
“And we got it done.”
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It took a little breath-holding at the end, but the fifth-ranked Eagles left Lake Stevens High School with a 38-31 victory to advance to the 4A state quarterfinals for the fourth time in school history, and first since it lost to the Vikings at home two seasons ago.
Graham-Kapowsin (10-1) will host second-ranked Woodinville (11-0), which ended Kentwood’s season Saturday, at a time and date to be determined next week.
And a welcome sight for the Eagles?
How about Micah Smith? He returned to the lineup after missing the past two games and ran 24 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith led the South Sound in rushing last year with 228 carries for 2,028 yards, but he proclaimed before the season that, while last year was the year of the bull, this is the year of the Air Raid as G-K expanded its offense to take advantage of their UW-commit quarterback’s lethal throwing arm.
Smith has missed three games with injuries and the new offensive schemes haven’t been favorable to his rushing stats, either – and neither was losing star left tackle Foster Sarell to Stanford. Smith’s game Saturday night pushed him to 816 yards for the season.
“I’m fine,” Smith insisted. “Our quarterback, Dylan Morris – he’s four-star. And he does things with teh ball. Last year, when I ran for 2,000 yards, you didn’t hear him complain – as long as we’re winning.”
Smith’s night was his second-best output of the season (he ran for 221 yards against Arlington). And each game he’s had at least 20 carries (three), he’s rushed for more than 100 yards.
“It just shows the player he is,” Morris said. “Coming off the season he had last year, it’s really easy to get upset about not having as big of a season. But he’s doing just fine. He’s been banged up a little bit and he’s worked for every yard he’s ran for this year.”
His 93-yard touchdown run in the second quarter shifted all the momentum to Graham-Kapowsin.
Lake Stevens was within two yards of scoring a touchdown and taking the lead on G-K in the second quarter when the Vikings fumbled it. Smith answered the next play with the long TD run to put the Eagles ahead 21-10.
That was the halftime score and Lake Stevens cut it to 21-17 after Thomas Wheeler’s fumble led to Lake Stevens’ eight-yard TD run by Kayshawn Mounarath. But Graham-Kapowsin answered with 17 unanswered points to push the lead to 38-17 in the fourth quarter.
And suddenly it was looking quite opposite of when Eason, the nation’s top-ranked QB recruit, threw for 262 yards and four touchdowns in Lake Stevens’ 49-14 win in Spanaway in 2015’s quarterfinals.
Long was playing quarterback because senior Conor Bardue (139-for-222, 2,131 yards, 28 TDs) broke his hand after nine games. He made things interesting late with a 10-yard TD pass to Anthony Hutchinson and then a 31-yard TD to him with three minutes to play.
Lake Stevens had one final drive with 35 seconds left at its own 20, but was out of timeouts and didn’t make it far before the final horn sounded on the 4A Wesco champs’ season.
“They came down and took it to us two years ago and it was nice coming up here and playing well,” G-K coach Eric Kurle said. “Now we get Woodinville and they’re a really good team, so we’re going to have to play our A-game.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
NO. 5 GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN
NO. 10 LAKE STEVENS
GK – Micah Smith 4 run (Collin Manners kick)
LS – Austin Calvin 4 run (Brock Widmann kick)
GK – Tre Mason 36 pass from Dylan Morris (Manners kick)
LS – Widmann 24 field goal
GK – Smith 93 run (Manners kick)
LS – Kayshawn Mounarath 8 run (Widmann kick)
GK –VIliami Hansen 4 pass from Morris (Manners kick)
GK – Manners 22 field goal
GK – Hansen 9 run (Manners kick)
LS – Anthony Hutchinson 10 pass from Tre Long (Widmann kick)
LS – Hutchinson 31 pass from Long (Widmann kick)
RUSHING – GK: Micah Smith 24-200; Viliami Hansen 4-18; Aaron Olmos 5-10.
PASSING – GK: Dylan Morris 10-20-0-182.
RECEIVING – GK: D’Angelo Biggs 2-85; Tre Mason 3-56; Thomas Wheeler 3-29; Viliami Hansen 1-4.