On Fridays and Saturdays, it feels pretty good to be PurpleThere’s nothing like a late summer day on Montlake. Especially on gameday. Last Saturday I had the opportunity to join my brother in the University of Washington student section as the Huskies took on #22-ranked Boise State.
The visiting Broncos brought the nation’s longest winning streak to Seattle, followed by a 25,000 strong army of supporters who made the trip from Idaho. Everywhere I looked, I saw blue people.
Only moments after two A-10 Thunderbolts appeared on the horizon of Lake Washington and screamed over the stadium during the National Anthem, the Huskies had raced out to a two-touchdown lead over the reigning Fiesta Bowl champs.
The freshman phenom from Ferndale quarterback Jake Locker led the Dawgs on two impressive drives.
The 19-year-old Locker is a mixture of John Elway and Marques Tuiasosopo, and he resembles an overgrown Dutch farmboy. Like Elway, he posses a rocket arm and gave up a promising career in baseball to pursue a college education and gridiron stardom. Like Tui, Locker is a threat in the air and on the ground, running through defensive backfields like a rabid stallion, juking and butting his way through large chunks of yardage.
As the game drew to a close, the Huskies held on to defeat the Broncos 24-10 in what turned out to be a defensive struggle (neither team scored in the second half).
It appears that the Jake Locker era has begun thus adding legitimacy to the reign of Head Coach Ty Willingham.
As I filed out of the stadium, all the purple-clad fans celebrating the victory reminded me of the game I saw the night before in Lake Stevens.
It’s hard to beat Friday Night Lights in Lake Stevens. And while the Peter Berg directed series on NBC is stellar, I’m speaking of Viking football at the high school.
Like Willingham, LSHS Coach Tom Tri has turned a storied program around, and on the heels of a playoff bid last year, our Vikes are looking formidable once again.
Led by the record-breaking, bruising, blur of a tailback that is Isaac Molstre, the Purple and Gold are off to a 2-0 start. Molstre carries the brunt of the load, but this is no Wing-T attack. The Vikes play an exciting pro-style offense and are just as likely to strike through the air as on the ground, while an opportunistic defense pressures opponents in to turnovers and mistakes.
On Friday, the visitors from Mountlake Terrace raced to a 13-0 lead, but the Vikes reeled off 26 straight points (including another 200 yard rushing performance from Molstre) and held on to win in front of a near-capacity crowd.
Both of the purple squads the Dawgs of Montlake and the Vikings of LS have big games next week. The Huskies welcome The Ohio State Buckeyes and their lofty top-ten status to Husky Stadium (12:30, ESPN HD if you’re setting the TiVO) while Lake Stevens hits the road to take on long time rival Monroe (7:00 at Monroe HS).
I’ve got a student ticket again for the Ohio State game, and my press pass will get me access to the Vikes/Monroe battle, but I honestly don’t know which game I’m more excited about. Football is a tough sport a long season and there’s bound to be highs and lows, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can.
From where I’m sitting right now, though, it feels pretty good to be Purple.
Kevin Hulten is the former Managing Editor of the Lake Stevens Journal and maintains the Off the Record blog at www.lakestevensjournal.com. Send feedback or questions to email@example.com.