Lake Stevens overcomes mistakes to whip Wildcats | Football

John Lanningham, left, tackles Lake Stevens
John Lanningham, left, tackles Lake Stevens' Brad Barry as Troy Sturdevant (37), Sheyenne Sams (35) and Dakota Sinchak (5) close in.
— image credit: John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times

About the only thing that could stop Lake Stevens was Lake Stevens.

The Vikings overcame four turnovers to defeat the Oak Harbor football team 41-28 at Wildcat Memorial Stadium Friday, Sept. 14.

Lake Stevens, which punted only once, rolled up over 500 yards of offense when it could hold onto the ball.

Oak Harbor had its own problems, committing three turnovers and failing to convert on fourth down twice, but could not match the Vikings’ offensive output when given the chance.

The game featured two of the area’s top teams. After starting the season with two big nonleague wins over 4A teams, Oak Harbor moved into the state polls this week, sitting in the top-10 in at least three 3A rankings. Lake Stevens, now 2-1, having lost to powerful Glacier Peak, is considered the favorite to win the Wesco 4A North division.

Both teams were inconsistent early. Lake Stevens had three turnovers and a punt in its first five possessions while the Wildcats began with two turnovers and three punts in its first six.

Lake Stevens scored in its second possession when Gavin O’Neal hit Conner Coleman for a 46-yard bomb.

As the offenses sputtered with inconsistency, the game remained 7-0 until Oak Harbor defensive lineman Quinton Wallace intercepted a pass and returned it to the Lake 32 to set up the Wildcats’ first score, one 1-yard run by Fred Webster. Frank Grecco kicked the PAT.

The Vikings came right back and covered 62 yards in just over two minutes to take a 14-7 lead at the half.

Oak Harbor tied the score midway late in the third period when Webster rumbled in from 11 yards. The drive was kept alive by a pass interference call on a fourth down play.

Three plays later, Lake Stevens regained the lead when Coleman took a pass over the middle, broke three tackles and raced 81 yards for a TD.

After the Wildcats came up a half yard short on a fake punt, Lake Stevens took over at the Wildcat 39 and marched in for a score and a 28-14 lead.

Oak Harbor responded. Quarterback Ian Kolste, who struggled early while missing on all seven of his first-half passes, which included two interceptions, came up big late. On fourth-and-22 he split two defenders as Andre Cumberbatch wrestled the DBs for the ball and came away with a 32-yard touchdown grab. Grecco’s kick cut the lead to seven, 28-21.

A 37-yard pass play and major penalty gave Lake Stevens the ball at the 6. Tthe Vikings scored on the next play to make it 35-21 with 5:13 left.

Hope for an Oak Harbor comeback slipped away with it fumbled on its first play after the Lake score. A 40-yard pass after the turnover set up the last Lake Stevens’ TD.

The Wildcats weren’t finished. Kolste hit JoJo Webster for gains of 19, 13 and 38 yards, the final completion a lunging, finger-tip grab for a score as Webster kept his balance long enough to dive into the end zone.

Lake Stevens’ Tanner Krenz led all rushers with 119 yards on 10 carries. The Vikings rotated junior O’Neil and freshman Jacob Eason at quarterback, and the two finished a combined 12-for-25 for 273 yards.

Fred Webster had 73 yards on 19 carries for Oak Harbor. Kolste, with a strong second half, was 8-for-20 for 170 yards. JoJo Webster had six receptions for 103 yards.

(All statistics are unofficial.)

Wildcat coach Jay Turner said, “We knew they were physical; a good, well-coached team. This was a learning experience for us. The kids didn’t quit; they kept competing. We will look at the film and make some corrections.”

Oak Harbor (2-1) opens Wesco 3A North play at home with Everett (0-3) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21.

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