Lakewood defense comes alive vs. Red Wolves

Lakewood halfback Christian Melton, 25, finds a hole in the Cedarcrest defense. The senior finished with 44 yards on eight carries. - Travis Sherer
Lakewood halfback Christian Melton, 25, finds a hole in the Cedarcrest defense. The senior finished with 44 yards on eight carries.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

LAKEWOOD — The playoffs are in the cards for the Cougars, but a pivotal game remains.

Lakewood defeated Cedarcrest 31-13 in dominating fashion Oct. 22, but the upcoming match up against South Whidbey will decide if they have to travel the first week in the playoffs.

“We worked hard tonight and this was a step, but I told them we aren’t finished yet,” said Lakewood coach Dan Teeter.

The Cougars jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, capitalizing on a Cedarcrest fumble and then turning a fake punt into a 50-yard touchdown. Justin Lane ran in the first touchdown from five yards out, and for the second, he remained on the field on fourth down, hunched over as the punting team came on. Standing in front of the punter, the senior quarterback got a direct snap and aired one out to sophomore receiver Brandon Stott, who beat his defender for a 50-yard score.

“We spend some time on them,” said Teeter of trick plays, which have become more common this season. “And it’s one of the things the kids have a lot of fun with.”

But Cedarcrest wasn’t phased, scoring a pair of touchdowns within the next six minutes to make the score 14-13.

“They were a little more successful on offense than we thought,” said Teeter of the Red Wolves. “They got their linemen out quickly to get blockers on our linebackers.”

That changed though, after halftime, as the Cougar defense allowed just 86 yards on defense to shut out the Red Wolves.

One of the key players defensively for the Cougars was junior safety Alex Keen, who came up to the line to stuff a previously potent Red Wolves ground attack.

Keen also came down with a late interception to help keep Cedarcrest off the board in the second half.

“I was just reading (the quarterback’s) eyes and saw him throw toward me,” Keen said. “There was just a different atmosphere in the second half (on defense). Guys were flying around and getting crazy.”

Meanwhile, the Cougars ran away with the game, scoring on Donavan Evans’ 7-yard run and Justin Peterson scored on a 61-yard fumble recovery.

Lane finished the game with 214 yards through the air, completing 15 of 28 pass attempts.

The win puts Lakewood at 6-2 overall with a 4-2 conference record. With two losses against 2A Cascade Conference teams, the Cougars are tied with the Falcons for the No. 2 playoff spot, and will need to beat them to earn the right to host a district playoff game.

“We’re going to miss this group of seniors a whole lot,” said Teeter about his seniors on senior night. “But we’ve still got work to do next week and it’s like I told them: We can still get back here for one more home game.”

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