The Lakewood football team travelled to face the two-time defending State Champion Hockinson Hawks in the Quarterfinals of the 2A State Tournament on Nov. 23.
Lakewood started off with the ball to begin the game but quickly had to punt it away after a three-and-out drive. The Cougars' defense responded to the Hawks as they forced an interception on their first drive and ran it back for a 34-yard pick six, going up 7-0. Hockinson took to their ground game as they drove down the field and scored a rushing touchdown to tie it up at 7-7 heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was back and forth early on, as the Cougars had a fumble recovery on their 25-yard line, threw an interception a few plays later and then forced an interception of their own. Immediately after getting the ball back, Lakewood pulled out a double-pass trick play and were able to score from 20-yards out, 14-7. Both teams traded possessions over the next two drives as the Cougars controlled the ball for the last possession prior to halftime. Lakewood marched down the field and scored on a short run, heading into halftime up 21-7.
The Hawks came out in the second half looking to close the gap as they scored on a rushing touchdown in the first three minutes, 21-14. The Cougars responded on their next drive as they worked their way down the field to score a rushing touchdown of their own to extend the lead back to 28-14. Through the rest of the half, Hockinson took over and Lakewood stumbled as the Cougars lost the ball on multiple turnovers. The Hawks scored two more touchdowns on the ground and converted a two-point conversion to go up 29-28. Lakewood had a chance to go for the win with two minutes left, but unfortunately threw an interception and lost the game by the close score of 29-28.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these guys and no matter what the score was they were going to be champions to me. They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them, they’ve come together, matured as men and have executed all year long. This was a really special group and we’re going to miss having them out there,” said Lakewood Head Coach Dan Teeter.
The Cougars’ seniors Jared Taylor, Landen Pruitt, Morgan Stacey and Mason Toponce made a big impact on the game. Taylor, quarterback, went 7-10 passing for 91 yards and a touchdown as well as rushing 21 times for 88 yards. Pruitt, running back, had eight carries for 25 yards and a touchdown, four catches for 60 yards and one kick return for 24 yards. Stacey, receiver and linebacker, had one catch for an 18-yard touchdown and also had an interception on defense. Toponce, senior receiver, showed out on special teams with three kick returns for 81 yards.
Lakewood’s juniors Malik Dotson and Carson Chrisman also contributed on both sides of the ball. Dotson, running back, made the most of his carries as he had eight for 45 yards and a touchdown. Chrisman, receiver and defensive back, only had two catches for 13 yards on offense but showed out on defense with a 34-yard pick six.
With the loss to the Hawks, Lakewood finishes the season as one of the top-8 2A football teams in Washington with a record of 9-2.