By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
The Lynnwood football team learned its lesson.
After falling behind 33-7 in the first half in last week’s loss to Mariner, the Royals came out strong against Cascade and only trailed 14-7 at halftime.
Unfortunately Lynnwood was unable to sustain its effort in the second half as the Bruins scored three touchdowns to prevail 34-20 in a Western Conference 4A South Division game Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
Big plays seemed to be the undoing for the Royals (0-3 in the league 0-6 overall). Casey Smith blocked a punt and then ran it back 20 yards for a touchdown to give Cascade (2-1, 5-1) a 7-0 lead with 5:59 remaining in the first half. The Bruins then broke open the game when quarterback Josh Smith connected on a 72-yard touchdown pass to Kalbe Dobson to extend the advantage to 34-14 with 4:25 left in the game.
“We’ve got to stop giving teams free points,” Co-head coach Danny Hawkins said. “We got undisciplined in the second half. But we came out strong. … I felt the first half we played very smart besides the special team’s miscue.”
Lynnwood tied the score at 7 on 21-yard touchdown run by senior running back David Nguyen with 2:39 remaining in the first quarter. Cascade retook the advantage on 7-yard touchdown run by Josh Smith and went into halftime ahead 14-7.
The Bruins extended the lead 21-7 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Kejuan Coleman before Lynnwood clawed back into the game with a 13-yard touchdown run by running back Andrew Katzenberger, which cut the lead to 21-14 with 1:18 left in the third quarter.
The Bruins responded with a 10-yard TD run by Coleman to boost the back to 27-14 and then extended the lead to 34-14 with the Smith-to-Dobson 72-yard scoring strike.
“We gave up that last big play. That was kind of the turning point,” Hawkins said.
Lynnwood’s Nguyen closed out the scoring with a 66-yard touchdown run with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter.
“He’s a great player and hard worker,” Hawkins said. “He always try to get the ball in his hands and we were able to get the ball in his hands. He showed up on Senior Night.”
Lynnwood had some success running the ball in the first half but then was forced to pass the ball more in the second half to try to catch up with Cascade.
“Number 79 (Randin Crecelius), the big tackle did a great job of plugging up the run,” Hawkins said. “They stacked the box, but we really got away from the running in the second half. We got away from it and went to the passing game, which wasn’t too effective.
“We might have to stick to our heavy running package for the next couple of games and go from there.”
Hawkins added that Lynnwood still has to find a way to get its passing game going.
“We’ve got to be able to throw the ball,” he said. “We can’t come back if we can’t throw the ball.”
What Hawkins did like was the fight shown by the Royals, even down by 20 points.
“These guys are working on finishing and not quitting,” Hawkins said. “That’s what we’re really looking for this year. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. They haven’t. We’re about a year away from where we need to be.”
Next week Lynnwood takes on district rival Edmonds-Woodway at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at Edmonds Stadium.