The Kentlake defense stuffed the Enumclaw running game and forced three second-half turnovers to lead the Falcons to a 35-6 4A NPSL crossover victory over Enumclaw on Saturday in Kent.
All three turnovers were key to the Falcons’ victory, but one more than most. Senior Larry Alar returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown with 3 minutes, 58 seconds to play in the third quarter. Instead of Enumclaw potentially cutting the deficit to a touchdown, Alar’s interception return gave the Falcons a 22-point lead and all but put the game away.
“The ball just kind of popped into my hands,” Alar said. “It was good team defense all the way around. Everyone did their job and it just happened to pop in my hands. I had good blocking all the way down the field and I was able to score.”
The turnovers proved to be the big plays, but momentum was already on the Falcons’ side thanks to their defense. Thanks to several sacks, Kentlake held the Hornets to negative-29 yards rushing for the game.
“We knew Enumclaw prides themselves on running the football, and we knew we had to try to take that away from them,” Kentlake head coach Brett Thompson said. “We pride ourselves on the ability to stop the run, and that’s what we were trying to do.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Kentlake scored touchdowns on back-to-back drives to take a 14-0 lead. Enumclaw put together a 13-play, 72-yard drive highlighted by an 18-yard touchdown pass from senior Jacob Revell to junior Bear Kuro to make it 14-6 at the half.
Enumclaw wouldn’t score again.
Kentlake (2-0) scored on its opening possession of the third quarter to make it 21-6, and Alar’s interception return made it 28-6. Enumclaw put together several long drives in the third quarter, but all of them eventually stalled or ended with a turnover.
“That’s a good football team, but we just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities — and they definitely did,” Enumclaw head coach Mark Gunderson said. “That was definitely the difference in the game.”
A muffed punt by Enumclaw in the fourth quarter led to Kentlake’s final touchdown, an 8-yard run by junior Marques Fuala’au. Fuala’au carried the ball four times in the game, but scored two touchdowns.
In addition to his interception return, Alar had seven catches for 63 yards. He rushed for 18 yards on four carries.
Brandon Mortenson started at quarterback for Kentlake in place of senior Justin Petersen, who was injured in last week’s victory over Auburn Mountainview. Mortenson finished 11 for 20 for 92 yards passing and ran for 65 yards on nine carries.
“Brandon Mortenson would be the starter for a lot of teams, and he’s our guy for right now,” Thompson said. “He’s doing a great job and just makes some good solid decisions.”
Thompson said he expects Peterson to miss three weeks.
Revell finished 21 for 39 for 256 yards passing, with one touchdown and one interception for the Hornets (1-1). His favorite target, junior Kaden Anderson, caught 10 passes for 124 yards.
Enumclaw 0 6 0 0 – 6
Kentlake 0 14 14 7 – 35
K – Tony Heimann 1 run (Tyler Padilla kick)
K – Marques Fuala’au 3 run (Tyler Padilla kick)
E – Bear Kuro 18 pass from Jacob Revell (kick blocked)
K – Mitchell Lockhart 5 run (Tyler Padilla kick)
K – Larry Alar 78 interception return (Tyler Padilla kick)
K – Marques Fuala’au 8 run (Tyler Padilla kick)
Rushing – E: J. Ennis 2-16. K: B. Mortenson 9-65; M. Fuala’au 4-13-2
Passing – E: J. Revell 21-39-1-256. K: B. Mortenson 11-20-0-92
Receiving – E: K. Anderson 10-124; B. Kuro 5-73-1. K: L. Alar 7-63
Records – Enumclaw 1-1, Kentlake 2-0.