Left to right: Senior captains Brady Pahukoa, Christian Gasca, Jake Nelson, Korey Young and Cody Tupen.
Not bad for openers.
Lake Stevens Vikings kicked off their 2011 football season with a home field 70-6 win over Cascade of Everett (of Wesco South).
Pretty much everything went right for the Vikings, who scored 10 touchdowns in their 11 possessions, enroute to establishing all-time single game records for points (the old record was 63 vs. Stanwood in 1966), points in a half (49), most touchdowns, and widest margin of victory.
Individually, Christian Gasca with three TD receptions tied that record, while several teammates also racked up some eye-popping stats.
Lake’s avalanche started slowly before gaining overwhelming momentum. It took the Vikings eight plays to score on their first possession, following Carey Campbell’s recovery of a Bruin fumble on the Cascade 43 at 10:09 of the first quarter. Jake Nelson completed a 15-yard pass to Brady Pahukoa on Lake’s first play, and Nelson followed that with an 11-yard scramble to set up his own one-yard scoring run. This was to be the first of six touchdowns Nelson accounted for in the first half -- four touchdowns passing and two rushing, covering a total of 275 yards. Nelson did not play in the second half.
Two plays after the kickoff Cascade fumbled again, with Shae Giddens recovering for Lake on the Bruin 40. Nelson teamed with Pahukoa for a one-armed catch for a 12-yard gain and with Christian Gasca who made a nifty cut to the middle for a 13-yard touchdown grab.
Lake’s third opening quarter TD covered 46 yards in four plays culminated by Nelson faking a handoff to Giddens then scampering 28 yards for a touchdown. Tanner Sellars’ PAT kick was blocked (otherwise he connected on all eight of his tries).
When Cascade QB Larry Baker Bruce went down with a leg injury late in the first quarter it seemed to signal the end for the Bruins, whose body language sagged limply for the remainder of the game.
Lake’s next touchdown netted 65 yards in four plays, including Nelson passes to Pahukoa for 17 yards, Gasca for 43 yards, and finally Gasca for a two-yard score. With less than a minute gone in the second quarter it was 27-0.
Four was again the magic number on Lake’s next possession. That’s how many plays it took to nail another TD to the scoreboard, a 10-yard Nelson to Giddens toss. Nelson, holder for the PAT kick try, instead flipped to Juan Delgado for a two-point conversion and a 35-0 lead at 8:08 before halftime.
It was getting easier. Next time Lake had the ball it scored in THREE plays. Nelson to Pahukoa for 34 yards, Nelson to Andrew Elgean for 20 yards, Giddens for a 28-yard scoring burst up the middle.
Cascade was awarded a gift touchdown on Lake’s next possession (the only time Lake didn’t score when it had the ball). After Pahukoa’s interception gave Lake possession on Cascade’s 16, Giddens was stripped of the ball by Steven Rios after an eight-yard gain, Rios returning the fumble 24 yards for a touchdown. Giddens appeared to be down before Rios stole the ball from him, but the touchdown stood. Cascade fumbled the PAT kick try, and Gavin O’Neil and Ryan Simoneaux smothered the attempted two-point run.
Irritating as it may have been to give up a ghost touchdown with just 13 seconds left in the half, it set up a remarkable last-gasp performance by Gasca, who returned the kickoff 50 yards to the Cascade 42, and with two seconds left was on the receiving end of Nelson’s “hail Mary.” That’s 92 yards in two plays in 13 seconds for a touchdown.
Lake’s 49-6 halftime lead set up the ridiculous “continuous running time” rule for the final two quarters, in which the clock is stopped only for time outs. With reserves playing in these situations they are deprived of rare playing time and experience. Most starters for the winning team are benched during the second half of blowouts, so it makes no sense to humiliate the losers with such a lame “mercy rule.”
While the teams combined to run a mere 30 plays in the second half (compared to 65 in the first half) Lake still had the better of it, outscoring Cascade by 21-0. Delgado carried the ball just twice in the second half, but made the most of his chances, blowing through Cascade’s hapless line for scoring blasts of 80 and 41 yards in the third quarter.
Elgean, Nelson’s second half replacement, capped the scoring with 8:50 left via a 15-yard run.
Lake ran a total of six offensive plays in the second half, netting 169 yards. For the game, Lake carried the ball 24 times for 285 net yards, while Nelson added 222 yards through the air on 11 of 14 (no interceptions) and four scores. Lake netted 507 total yards for the game to Cascade’s 171 and had 20 first down’s to Cascade’s 10.
Gasca’s five catches totalled 114 yards, with 3 TDs. Pahukoa caught four for 78 yards. Nelson rushed for 53 yards in six carries with a pair of TDs, while Giddens netted 55 yards in 11 carries and a touchdown.
Cascade running back Zac Duncan carried 20 times for 77 net yards.
Thirty different Vikings made at least one tackle, topped by Delgado’s 10.
For stats, video and pictures, visit PurpleandGoldPigskin.com