Prep football: Strong second half not enough for Royals comeback against Ballard

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Falling behind 26-0 at halftime, the Lynnwood Royals fought back in the second half of their 2017 season opener and made a game against the Ballard Beavers, but ultimately, the Royals succumbed to the Metro League member school 26-21 Friday at the Northwest Athletic Complex stadium in Seattle.

The Royals dominated second-half play, scoring touchdowns on a pair of TD passes by sophomore Nate Killen and an interception return by Daniel Tran, but couldn’t overcome the hole they had dug for themselves after a shaky first half.

Lynnwood gave up a touchdown to Ballard on the Beavers’ opening drive of the game when quarterback Owen Coutts connected with Gunnar Beck for a 7-yard TD pass.

Although Lynnwood stood tall against the Beavers for large portions of the first half, a two-minute stretch of the second quarter staggered the Royals. Lynnwood had Ballad in a third down with 39 yards to go when the Beavers’ Zedekiah Webster scampered for a 76-yard touchdown run with 8:11 to go before halftime, putting Ballard up 13-0.

The Royals’ fumbled the ball away on the ensuing kickoff, giving the Beavers the ball at the Lynnwood 30-yard line; Ballard promptly scored again on a Webster TD rush.

Then with 6:14 to go before the half, Ballard’s Ryan Blokker hooked up with Webster on a 36-yard TD pass, putting the Beavers up 26-0 — all the points they would need for the victory.

The Royals scored their first points of the game midway through the third quarter when, after a block of a Beaver quick kick attempt on fourth down, Killen found David Weitkamp for a 23-yard touchdown reception.

Near the midpoint of the fourth quarter Lynnwood’s Connor Bjornson scored on a 10-yard swing pass from Killen that the junior took up the center of the field for a touchdown.

Lynnwood had picked up two points earlier in the final quarter when Ballard chose to run the ball out the back of their own end zone for a safety in lieu of facing a difficult punting situation deep in their own territory.

The Royals’ made the final minutes interesting by pulling to within five points when Tran picked off a pass attempt by Coutts and ran untouched into the end zone for a score. But Lynnwood couldn’t move the ball on their final possession late in the quarter and the Beavers were able to run out the clock for the win.

Lynnwood (0-1) will next play on Friday, Sept. 8, when they face the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks at 8 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium.

Prep Football: Lynnwood vs. Ballard, Sept. 1

Lynnwood     0    0   6   15 — 21
Ballard         7   19   0    0 — 26

First Quarter
8:42 — Owen Coutts (Ballard) 7-yard TD pass to Gunnar Beck; PAT kick good

Second Quarter
8:11 — Zedekiah Webster (Ballard) 76-yard TD run; PAT kick failed
7:49 — Zedekiah Webster (Ballard) 30-yard TD run; two-point conversion attempt failed
6:14 — Ryan Blokker (Ballard) 36-yard TD pass to Zedekiah Webster; PAT kick good

Third Quarter
6:52 — Nate Killen (Lynnwood) 23-yard TD pass to David Weitkamp, PAT kick failed

Fourth Quarter
10:22 — Lynnwood safety when Ryan Blokker (Ballard) runs out of back of end zone
6:52 — Nate Killen (Lynnwood) 10-yard TD pass to Connor Bjornson; two-point conversion attempt failed
3:52 — Daniel Tran (Lynnwood) 30-yard TD interception return; PAT kick good

Records
Lynnwood 0-0 in Wesco League, 0-1 overall; Ballard 0-0 in Metro League, 1-0 overall

Lynnwood next game
Lynnwood versus Marysville-Pilchuck, Friday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium

–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski

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