By Kris Hill and Katherine Smith
This was Kentwood’s second overtime victory of the season in a back and forth affair with playoff seeding implications.
It was the Falcons who struck first on a 16-yard scoring run by senior quarterback D’marye Dedrick with 5 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first quarter but the Conquerors responded quickly on a pair of Brandon Sytsma runs — a 57-yarder on the ensuing drive set up the senior running back’s three-yard touchdown with 4:52 on the clock in the first frame, but the missed PAT allowed Kentlake to retain a 7-6 lead.
Early in the second quarter Dedrick hit Tyler Harris in the corner of the end zone on fourth and long for a 20-yard touchdown to put Kentlake up 14-6.
Again, Kentwood responded, this time with a 49-yard run by Sytsma who took it to the house. The two-point conversion failed and Kentlake retained a narrow 14-12 lead with 9:42 left in the second.
On the Falcons’ next series, the Conks’ Marcus Lubom returned a turnover for a touchdown to give Kentwood its first lead of the game at 18-14 with 7:55 left in the first half.
Kentlake took advantage of a short field after John Morasch put together a 64 yard kickoff return. The drive, which chewed up more than four and a half minutes of clock, was capped with a touchdown when Danstan Kaunda punched it in from one yard out to give the Falcons the lead again, this time 21-18 with 3:14 left in the second quarter.
Kentwood responded yet again in the third quarter thanks to a long Sytsma run. On second and 14, Sytsma ran from his own 26 to the Kentlake 10, setting himself up for another touchdown run a few plays later to make it a 25-21 Kentwood lead with 48 seconds on the clock in the first half.
The scoring slowed down in the second half. Kentlake took the lead back with five seconds left in the third quarter Taylor Roney ran it in from inside the 10, slipping in just inside the pylon, to make it 28-25 in Kentlake’s favor.
With four seconds left on fourth down, Bangsund tied the game with a 36-yard field goal, sending it into overtime.
In the first overtime, Kentwood started with the ball, and Bangsund put the Conks ahead 31-28 with a 35-yard kick. Then the Kentwood defense stepped up as Kentlake struggled to move the ball which ended on an incomplete pass that secured the victory for the Conks over the Falcons.
Kentlake will play a crossover game against Bethel at 7 p.m. Friday at Art Crate Stadium in Puyallup to wrap up the season while Kentwood will take on Eastlake, the fourth seed out of KingCo 4A, either Friday or Saturday night. Winner of that game will be the top seed out of District 3.
TAHOMA 21, THOMAS JEFFERSON 13
Tahoma defeated Thomas Jefferson at the Bears’ homecoming game Nov. 1 to secure the number 3 seed out of the SPSL North headed into the playoffs.
The first quarter started off with both teams forced to punt.
On the Raiders second possession they opted to go for the conversion on fourth down and pushed through to earn a new set of downs. With that Thomas Jefferson continued to push down field and struck first with a touchdown and the PAT to put Jefferson up 7-0 with 3:04 to go in the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Bears breakthrough came courtesy of sophomore O.J. Jenkins, who intercepted the ball in the Bears’ end zone with 9:38 to go in the half. Tahoma marched the ball down to the 35 yard line in Jefferson territory and on the next play Denham Patricelli made a catch moving down to the 30. A personal foul was called on a Raiders player for dragging on Patricelli’s jersey which put the Bears on the 15 yard line. A few plays later Jerome Woods went in for the touchdown and the extra point tied things up 7-7 with just under eight minutes to go in the half.
On the next drive Jefferson started on its own 20 yard line and made it out to the 23 before a sack by Woods pushed the Raiders back to their own 11 and they were forced to punt.
The remainder of the first half the teams traded punts, which left the score at 7-7 to end the half.
On Tahoma’s first drive of the third quarter Nelson connected with Williams to earn the first down and put the ball on 44 yard line. On third and four a flag on Jefferson gave Tahoma another first down which the Bears followed up with a long pass to Williams who made the catch at the 16 yard line. On fourth and eight, Nelson scrambled and connected with Patricelli for the touchdown. The extra point was good and put Tahoma up 14-7.
On their next possession, the Bears crossed into Raiders’ territory and Woods carried the ball just short of the 20 yard line. Another flag against Jefferson pushed Tahoma to the 12 yard line. Joe Donahue got the touchdown for the Bears and the extra point put Tahoma up 21-7 with just over 2:30 to go in the quarter.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter Jefferson pushed downfield and scored with just under eight minutes to go. The extra point was blocked by Tahoma, making the score 21-13.
Jefferson went for the onside kick, but Tahoma recovered and started on the Raiders’ 47 yard line.
The two teams traded punts again and on the last drive of the game the Bears held Thomas Jefferson to clinch the win.
The victory secured Tahoma the No. 3 seed out of the North division. This week they’ll play Gig Harbor in the first round of the playoffs.