Week 2 of the high school football season is in the books in the South Sound and beyond. Here are a few takeaways from the second week of action.
LINCOLN IS CLOSE
It’s not often that the collective feeling after losing a highly anticipated matchup is optimism, rather than disappointment, but that’s what Lincoln seemed to have after a 35-26 loss to Class 4A state runner-up Lake Stevens at Lincoln Bowl on Friday night. Lincoln was in the game the entire tonight, scoring first in the game and jumping out to a quick lead in the first quarter and pulling within a point late in the third quarter before Lake Stevens closed out the game in the fourth. If not for some costly penalties on both sides of the ball, Lincoln had a real shot to win on Friday night.
And that’s good news for the Abes — penalties are something that can be taken care of with coaching and extra attention in practice. But Lincoln looked dangerous on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Caden Filer was his usual efficient self, completing 18 of 32 passes for 237 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception. Julien Simon racked up a game-high 84 yards receiving on seven catches with a touchdown, also tallying 20 yards rushing on four carries and a touchdown. Lincoln running back Majesty Irving tallied 46 yards on 12 carries for the Abes. If it all comes together, there’s no reason Lincoln can’t make a deep run through the Class 3A state tournament.
“A couple mishaps and things we have to clean up,” said Lincoln coach Masaki Matsumoto. “Just like last week, proud of the kids. They fought until the end. I didn’t see kids with heads down. Those things are better from last year.”
Lincoln played Lake Stevens last season, also, dropping a 38-21 decision. This time around, things were closer.
“It was definitely more of a competitive game, for sure,” said Lincoln coach Masaki Matsumoto. “We were in it until the last five minutes. Last year, it was 38-21 but that last touchdown was against their (second string). So it was 38-14 with really no chance. Again, I told our players, I feel really good about our team, even after our Camas loss. Today, again, I feel like that point was proven. We just have to do some things better.”
JULIEN SIMON CAN DO IT ALL
Speaking of the Abes and things coming together this season, how about that Wildcat package featuring Lincoln’s Swiss Army knife Julien Simon? The four-star recruiting prospect already lines up as as a defensive back on the defense and a receiver in the offense, but Friday night’s game featured him taking some direct snaps and running in between the tackles, too.
And why not? The 6-foot-1, 221-pound junior is built like a linebacker but has the a running back’s speed, and opposing defenses aren’t going to be excited about the prospect of trying to bring him down in short-yardage situations.
Lincoln used the Wildcat play with Simon three times in a row in the red zone on fourth down, daring Lake Stevens to stop it. Simon gained 18 yards on those three carries and found the end zone on the last effort.
“It’s something we talked about in the offseason,” Matsumoto said. “We can’t be in 10 personnel all the time, even 20 personnel. We needed a goal-line package, short-yardage package. That’s what we did. We said, ‘Let’s make sure we have that next year.’ (Julien) is special, he really is.”
THREAT SHUTS DOWN 3A MATCHUP
Central Kitsap, a 3A SSC squad, was scheduled to visit 3A PCL squad Lakes at Harry Lang Stadium on Lakewood on Friday night, but the game was canceled when a threat of violence was discovered in the afternoon.
Clover Park School District communications director Leanna Albrecht issued a statement to The News Tribune via email.
“Today, after school, the Lakes High School principal was notified that someone might bring a weapon to tonight’s football game. Lakewood Police was immediately notified and began an investigation. We also notified Central Kitsap to coordinate. Because of the timing and out of an abundance of caution, the game was canceled. Central Kitsap buses were en route and returned home. Both schools notified their families, staff and community of the cancellation.
“Since then, the police completed its investigation and found it not to be credible. School and community safety is paramount. While we are disappointed our Lancers aren’t able to flex their football might this evening in what would have been a thrilling game, we greatly appreciate the quick and thorough support of the Lakewood Police Department.”
Both schools floated the idea of playing the game on Saturday at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood, but the decision was made to cancel the game altogether.
“Our players are very disappointed — we’re all very disappointed,” said Lakes coach Dave Miller. “This is the first time in my career something like this has happened.”
GIG HARBOR SECURES WIN OVER CURTIS
Maybe the 3A SSC won’t be quite as weak as we thought this season, after a dismal league-wide performance in week one (Gig Harbor won its first game, however). Gig Harbor scored a convincing 21-6 win over 4A SPSL opponent Curtis on Friday night, holding Curtis to just 138 total yards on the night.
Quarterback Cade Dessert completed 6-of-9 passes for 40 yards and a touchdown, while receiver Zane Skansi completed a pass for a four-yard touchdown. But most importantly for the Tides, Gig Harbor outgained Curtis 172 to 25 in the ground game. Trevor Zeitner racked up 81 yards on 16 carries, Dessert gained 41 yards on eight carries, Jake Dolven had 41 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
With Oregon State commit Samuel Peacock and Division-I caliber talent Brenden Rivera anchoring the Gig Harbor offensive line, running the football will be the key to Gig Harbor’s success this season.