Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
On a night when clocks are turned back an hour, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks would like to turn back the game clock of their 3A Quad District football playoff game to replay the second quarter, when the offense fumbled once and punted twice, and the defense gave up three touchdowns.
The Kennedy Catholic Lancers built a 21-3 halftime lead from its second quarter performance and held on to beat the Hawks 35-29 Saturday night at Highline Stadium in Burien. The Lancers (8-1) move on to the first round of the State 3A Football Championships while the season ends for Mountlake Terrace (5-5).
Though disappointed with the game’s outcome, Hawks Head Coach Tony Umayam liked the spirit that his squad showed. “I thought the kids really fought hard,” he said. “You hope that things kind of go your way to where you deserve to win the game, but they made a few more plays than we did. Kennedy is a good team.”
The Lancers ran up 277 rushing yards on the Mountlake Terrace defense, and completed all three of their pass attempts, two in the pivotal second quarter, for an additional 54 yards. “We didn’t play the stout defense that we’re been playing,” Umayam admitted.
The Hawk offense struggled in the first half, then scored touchdowns on each of their four possessions of the second half with drives of 95, 80, 80 and 78 yards. “I’m proud that they came out in the second half and just kept battling after being down 21-3,” Umayam said.
Junior Devante Downs led the Hawks with 128 rushing yards on 17 carries and a touchdown before he was ejected with 3:34 left in the game for taking a swing at a Kennedy player. Senior Lucas Pope rushed for 94 yards on four carries; the bulk of his yardage came on an 80-yard run with 1:30 left in the third quarter.
Senior quarterback Beau Kennedy had his biggest statistical game of the year throwing the ball, completing 15 of 28 pass attempts for 178 yards and two touchdowns. One of his TD passes went to senior Shawn Evensen, who had seven receptions for 113 yards. Senior Quinton Barnard was on the receiving end of a four-yard TD pass with just two seconds remaining in the game.
Mountlake Terrace opened its fateful second quarter by fumbling the ball away to Kennedy on the Hawk 31-yard line; the Lancers scored three plays later on a Drew Thompson 19-yard run. Later in the quarter Thompson found the end zone again with an 18-yard run, putting Kennedy up 14-3.
The Lancers scored a controversial TD as time ran out in the half. Their ball carrier appeared to be stopped at the goal line, only to fumble the ball ahead into the end zone and then fall on top it. After an officials’ huddle, the play was ruled a touchdown. Kennedy Catholic got a break just being able to run the play as they were out of timeouts, but the officials had stopped the clock to bring the yardage markers out onto the field to measure for a first down. Following the measurement, the Lancers quickly lined up, snapped the ball, and were credited with the score.
The Hawks fell behind 28-9 in the second half before mounting their comeback. The Pope 80-yard touchdown run came late in the third quarter, then Beau Kennedy’s 45-yard TD pass to Evensen came with 8:46 left in the game, bringing MTHS to within six points of Kennedy Catholic, 28-22. The Hawks’ defense was called upon to keep the team in the game.
“Right after the offense scored, we gave them a short field,” Umayam explained. The Hawk kickoff only traveled 13 yards, giving the Lancers starting field position at their own 47-yard line. “That’s where we needed to stop them,” Umayam added. “I believe we had the momentum back.” Kennedy Catholic put together an 11-play drive, culminating in a two-yard Colin Cossette touchdown run and putting the Lancers out of reach at 35-22 with 2:41 left in the game.