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Lakewood runs past Lindbergh in state tourney
LAKEWOOD — Lakewood hosted the Lindbergh Eagles in the first round of the 2A State Football Tournament looking to become the first 10-win Cougar team in the school’s history.
Lindbergh’s 13-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter would be the only time the Eagles’ offense found the end zone. Lakewood would not have such a problem, scoring on the ground and through the air for a 43-13 win.
“We found film that said Lindbergh was a passing team with a good quarterback and wide receiver,” said Lakewood head coach Dan Teeter of the Cougars’ first-round opponent, against whom the Cougars put an extra man in the defensive secondary to slow the Eagles’ aerial attack. “I’m proud of our guys for not letting up big plays. Lindbergh scored a touchdown on their first possession, but not much after that.”
Lakewood’s own offensive attack, the three-headed rushing beast of Justin Peterson, Christian Melton and Donovan Evans, emerged this season as the team adjusted to adversity.
“With the loss of (senior tight end Dustin) Stanton we switched to run-heavy personnel,” Teeter said of his team that scored five times on the ground against Lindbergh. “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
Lakewood junior running back Donovan Evans put his team on the board in the first quarter with a 25-yard touchdown run. Lindbergh answered with a touchdown through the air, but Evans broke through from two yards out, complemented by junior quarterback Justin Peterson’s two-point conversion run, to put his team up 14-7 after the first 15 minutes.
Junior wide receiver Brandon Stott gave Lakewood’s running backs a breather, burning Lindbergh’s defense in the second quarter for a 39-yard touchdown through the air, though the following two-point pass attempt would fail.
Lakewood senior Christian Melton cruised for a 6-yard touchdown run to put his team up 27-6 at the half and Peterson scrambled from the one-yard line to extend the Cougar lead to 34-6 after three quarters. Cougar sophomore kicker Randy Anaya joined the Lakewood scoring party with a 35-yard field goal in the fourth.
Lindbergh scooped a Cougar fumble and returned it 42 yards for a score in the final 15 minutes, but Lakewood had the last laugh, though they missed the extra point, with a three-yard Melton touchdown run to finish the game, 43-13.
Lakewood moves on to host W.F. West of Chehalis, a squad that employs the option and makes defenses play physically, in the State quarterfinals at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Nov. 18, beginning at 7 p.m.