EVERETT – Kai Van Sickle is as deserving of a break as anyone. He ran the ball 51 times in Capital’s first-round matchup in the Class 2A state playoffs against Lakewood on Saturday at Frank Goddard Stadium.
But he won’t be too upset that he isn’t getting one. Capital is moving on to the quarterfinals.
It’s Lakewood that is taking the break after it couldn’t keep Van Sickle from rushing for six touchdowns and 322 yards as Capital held off Lakewood for a 47-36 victory.
His score from 2-yards out with a minute, 43 seconds left in the game put Capital ahead for good following a second half that featured six lead changes.
The lead changed hands nine times in all, with the final switch coming on Van Sickle’s fifth TD of the game, a 32-yard run to the end zone with 6:47 to go.
Capital pooch-kicked the ensuing kickoff and Derek Chase ran it down at the Lakewood 31-yard line before Van Sickle scored his sixth touchdown and sealed the victory.
It’s the second straight state quarterfinal appearance for Capital, but the first at the 2A level. It reached the 3A quarterfinals last season. The Cougars have successfully reached the state playoffs in 4A, 3A and 2A all in the span of eight seasons.
Van Sickle scored three touchdowns in the first half, rushing for 195 yards. He gave Capital its biggest lead in the first half with a 2-yard run in the second quarter that put the Cougars ahead of Lakewood. 21-10.
But Lakewood scored with less than two minutes left in the half on a 21-yard run from Donovan Evans. The Cougars got the ball to start the second half and took a 22-21 lead, its first lead since the first quarter, on a 17-yard pass from Kolby Schueller to Justin Peterson.
Lakewood looked like it had Capital on its heels early when Schueller hit Peterson for a 77-yard touchdown pass on its first play of the game. But the play was called back after the officials ruled Lakewood had an ineligible man downfield.
It got a lot worse for Lakewood. The next play was fumbled by Brandon Stott on a reception and recovered by Capital in great field position. Van Sickle would then score his first TD of the game as Capital took a 6-0 lead after it failed to convert the 2-point conversion.
But the beauty of team sports is redemption, and Stott got it.
He caught a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown to make up for his earlier fumble and put Lakewood ahead 7-6.
It was the second straight state appearance for Lakewood and fourth appearance in school history. It’s last trip before last season was in 1994. preps.theolympian.com