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Game Story: VIKINGS BLAST SNOHOMISH 40-6
Jayden Limar’s 4 TD lead the way, Vikings 3-0 headed into league play
In a game of highly contrasting styles, Lake Stevens upped its season record to 3-0 with a 40-6 win at Snohomish (two-time defending Wesco 4A South champs) last Friday night.
Statistical oddities abounded as Lake ran just 27 plays but exploded in many of them for 441 total yards. Snohomish, conversely, plowed for 70 plays, 58 of those on the ground, which netted just 218 yards overall. While Lake rushed a mere 15 times for the entire game, senior Panther running back Joshua Vandergriend accounted for 42 carries all by himself. The difference was that Lake's rushes totaled 149 yards and four touchdowns (9.9 per carry) while Snohomish's methodical wishbone ground attack, though successful in eating up large chunks of clock, was held to 2.7 yards per carry.
Vandergriend's 42 carries may be the most ever by a Viking opponent. Though a svelte 170 pounds, his quick feet, darting moves, and imperviousness to heavy contact accounted for 141 net yards, allowing Snohomish to control the ball for more than two-thirds of the game clock. But all that accomplished was to keep Lake's explosive offensive off the field, essentially depriving the Vikings from potentially scoring even more touchdowns.
Lake received the opening kickoff and scored in three plays, the first a 13-yard Grayson Murren to Trayce Hanks completion followed two plays later by Murren's 51-yard screen pass touchdown to Jayden Limar. The latter, a junior, one of the nation's most highly-recruited backs, flashed his signature moves and speed to break into the clear. Macray Flanders added the PAT boot. 7-0, at 10:51 of the first.
Viking defensive line then held Snohomish to one yard net in three rushes, forcing a punt with Lake taking over on its own 31. Three plays later (a trend which was to continue throughout) Murren hit a wide-open Drew Carter for 57 yards to the Panther one-yard line, followed by Limar's TD run on the next play. 14-0, at 8:02 of the first.
Snohomish responded by launching one of its several time-consuming drives, eating up almost seven minutes and gaining four first downs and 61 yards to the Viking four, before Dylan Slezak's sack of quarterback Kale Hammer followed by the latter's fumble for a three-yard loss, compelled Hammer's 30-yard field goal try which sailed wide left.
Lake's subsequent possession resulted in its most sustained touchdown drive of the game, eight plays covering 80 yards, 60 of those on Murren's four-for-four passing, the longest of those a 29-yarder to Hanks and finished by Limar's three-yard TD run. When Flanders' PAT boot slammed off the right goal post it left the score at 20-0, at 9:23 of the second quarter.
For its second straight possession, Snohomish mounted another long time-devouring drive, 77 yards in SIXTEEN plays, all but one via the rush, earning six first downs, mostly via three- to five-yard Vandegriend dives into the middle of Lake's line until his final plunge earned a one-yard TD. But his run for a two-point conversion was stopped short by Madison Wynkoop, TK Perkins and Naveer Kaile. 20-6, at 1:04 of the second.
That would have been plenty of time for Lake to score before halftime, with Hanks returning the kickoff 32 yards to the Viking 42 and Limar's 31-completion (a nifty athletic catch) for a first down on the Snohomish 27, but Murren's pass on the next play was intercepted by Ezekiel Neubauer in the end zone. This was Murren's only setback of the game and his first and only interception of the season so far. He finished the game 10 for 11 for 290 yards and two TDs.
The second half pretty much mirrored the first. Snohomish's ground game (Vandergriend) milked the clock but failed to dent the scoreboard, while Lake first three possessions resulted in three TDs, as follows:
Murren's 56-yard TD pass to Hanks. Flanders' PAT was wide right. 26-6, at 8:05 of the third.
Limar's 29-yard TD run. A three-play "drive" including (another) 29-yard Limar carry and Murren's 21-yard completion to Hanks. Flanders added the PAT. 33-6, at 9:00 of the fourth.
Lake's final TD involved all of four plays. Limar runs of 12, 14 and seven yards, and after Lake first penalty of the game (holding), Hanks' 13-yard TD run. Flanders notched the PAT. 40-6, at 5:14 of the fourth. Viking reserves mopped up the remainder of the game.
Lake, assessed 23 penalties for 182 yards in its first two games, was flagged only twice this time, for 21 yards. Snohomish had no penalties for the game. Another statistical oddity is that Snohomish had one more first down (18 to 17) than Lake.
Limar carried 12 times for 116 yards and three TDs. Hanks had three totes for 33 yards and a TD. Hanks caught four passes for 119 yards and a TD. Limar's three catches spanned 92 yards and a TD. Carter caught three balls for 79 yards.
Leading all Viking tacklers was Wynkoop with 21 (three of those for losses or no gain). Also scoring in Lake's "hit parade" were Carter and Perkins with 11 tackles each, Dylan Slezak with 10, and Kaile and Joe McGinnis with 9 apiece. Perkins, Slezak, and Cole Becker each contributed a quarterback sack. A dozen different Viking defenders were in on at least one tackle for loss or no gain.
Lake initiates its quest for an eighth straight Wesco championship when it hosts Mariner this Friday night.