Sports

Lakewood football looking for answers in loss to S. Whidbey

The Lakewood Cougars took their lumps against a South Whidbey team with something to prove.

A fierce running game and some key plays helped the Falcons prevail in the Sept. 18 game, winning at Lakewood High School 56-32.

The offense was not unlike the one the Cougars had vanquished at Lynden Christian the week before but the defense, still new and finding its footing, missed tackles and overpursued, extracting a heavy cost as the ballcarrier got behind the defensive backs and into the end zone, said Lakewood coach Dan Teeter.

South Whidbey running back Henry Mead scored four touchdowns against Lakewood, on carries ranging from 11 to 52 yards.

“We were very well aware of Henry Mead. He is a tremendous back and hurt us last year as well,” Teeter said. “Our intent was to put as many defenders in the box to key on him as possible, but once he made someone miss and made it to the open field, that meant there was nobody really left to stop him.”

The Falcons took a 12-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to Mead and widened it as they took advantage of Lakewood mistakes. A drive down to the South Whidbey 10-yard line ended in another Falcon score when Lakewood fumbled the ball on a quarterback sneak on fourth down, returned 95 yards for a touchdown and 18-0 score.

Lakewood rallied in the second quarter, scoring twice as quarterback Justin Lane connected with wide receiver Sam Johnston for a 24-yard reception in the end zone that put the Cougars on the board. Christian Melton capped off another drive with a three-yard run that put Lakewood down only by five points. But Mead scored again on a 43-yard breakaway run and Lakewood was unable to carry out a double-pass trick play late in the first half, trailing 32-20 at halftime.

South Whidbey proceeded to outscore Lakewood four touchdowns to two in the second half, sealing the victory. Lane scored in the third quarter on a one-yard keeper and freshman wide receiver Justin Peterson caught his second touchdown pass of the night in the fourth quarter.

“The South Whidbey game was certainly an important game for us. It was the first game that really counted for playoff implications,” Teeter said. “Thankfully, it is still very early in the season and we have plenty of time to improve the things that we need to, and we are still confident that we can have a very successful season.”

Lakewood will be on the road for three of their next four games, facing King’s in Shoreline Sept. 25. Their home game will be Oct. 9 against Archbishop Murphy.

Although the loss puts Lakewood a game behind their goal in conference standings, Teeter expressed confidence that the team could bounce back from the setback.

“At the end of the season, I hope to look back on this week and see it as a turning point for the better,” he said. “Some of the best lessons are learned in the hardest ways. Getting beat so badly Friday night wasn’t fun for anybody, but it can be a catalyst to help us improve as a team.”

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