Lakewood football earns playoff berth

LAKEWOOD — After two weeks of close losses, the Cougars got the decisive victory they needed.

In a 57-0 beating of Sultan Oct. 15, Lakewood almost couldn’t help but work with a short field, earning a playoff berth in the process.

“We’ve played some tough competition lately and lost some heartbreakers,” said Lakewood coach Dan Teeter. “But we managed to get ahead early and get a conference victory.”

After suffering back-to-back losses to Archbishop Murphy and King’s by a total of 10 points, Lakewood was up 14-0 after just one offensive play against Sultan. Sophomore wideout Brandon Stott ran back the opening kickoff 87 yards for a score, and Sultan’s botched snap on fourth down put the Cougars just two yards away from a score one minute later. Donovan Evans ran the ball in for the touchdown.

Evans scored the second of his three touchdowns in the first half, helping the Cougars to a 36-0 halftime lead. Also scoring in the first half were Alex Wilson — on his first career carry from one yard out — and Dustin Stanton, returning a fumble for 16 yards.

“The big difference tonight was the size and strength to shed blocks and bring guys down,” said Teeter, whose team posted its second shutout of the season.

In fact, Lakewood’s defense was so dominant that it held the Turks to just 80 total yards — all of them through the air.

Leading the Cougars’ defense was Christian Melton, who had 14 tackles and forced a pair of fumbles.

“Melton was without a doubt our top player tonight,” Teeter said. “He was all over the field on defense, and he led us in rushing.”

Melton had 64 yards on seven carries and scored a touchdown.

The win gives Lakewood a 3-2 record in the Cascade Conference, tied with Cedarcrest for third place, and in a lock with the Red Wolves for the No. 2 playoff spot in the Class 2A standings. The two teams will play for that spot Oct. 22, which comes with it the right to play host to a playoff game.

“It’s an exciting step for us this year and for our program,” Teeter said about earning the postseason berth. “But we’ve still got a couple games left to play for hosting a playoff game.”

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