A 28-21 overtime victory over Lakes on Friday night at Ingersoll Stadium has the unbeaten Cougars feeling a sense of fulfillment – with yet another tough non-league game looming at Enumclaw next week.
Without question, they’re on the map as one of 3A’s elite teams, as they started 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
“For us, to win this game is a major boost for our kids,” Capital coach J.D. Johnson said. “We got tested tonight, and how we responded was the most important thing.”
Capital jumped to a 21-0 lead with touchdowns from Roman Vern and Jourdan Weiks. Quarterback Alex Everson had a superb first half, completing 6-of-7 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. His only hiccup was an interception in the final seconds of the half, as Capital enjoyed a 21-6 lead with all the momentum on its side heading into the locker room.
But on Lakes’ first possession of the second half, a fake punt on its own 37 resulted in a 63-yard touchdown run by Ma’ne Manaea, as he dodged a few Capital defenders along the left sideline for the touchdown to slice the Cougars’ lead to 21-14.
“We let them back in the game with that fake punt,” Johnson said. “We didn’t finish it in the way we thought we should have. ... This was like a state championship game.”
That fake punt was the spark the Lancers and their no-huddle spread offense needed to get back into the game. Capital had the 208-83 advantage in total offense in the first half. But in the third and fourth quarters, Lakes exploded for 325 yards of offense, and got the game-tying touchdown on Cedric Dozier’s 36-yard pass to Manaea to make it 21-all with 5 minutes, 11 seconds remaining.
In the Kansas tiebreaker overtime, Capital struck first on Tyler Sundberg’s 2-yard touchdown run. Sundberg, who ran for a school-record 318 yards last week in a 49-28 victory over Olympia, ran for all 25 yards on the four-play overtime drive, and finished the game with a team-high 120 yards rushing on 28 carries.
Capital linebacker Chase Lamoreaux came up with big defensive stops, but none was bigger than his sack of Lakes quarterback Dozier on third-and-goal from the 2 on the Lancers’ overtime possession.
That sack put Lakes into a fourth-and-8 situation, and Dozier’s pass thrown to Tyler McAllister was incomplete in the end zone.
“Lakes is a great team, and they’re never go to stop fighting,” Everson said. “The defense did a great job when they needed to.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473, firstname.lastname@example.org