Kent-Meridian’s Joe McConico made his presence felt in a hurry last night, returning the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Kentlake’s Marques Fuala’au blocked the extra point kick, but the Royals jumped out to a 6-0 lead with only 11 seconds ticked off the game clock. Kent-Meridian scored again in the first quarter, after holding the Falcons on fourth down in their own territory. Royals QB Ben Woods connected on a 42 yard touchdown strike to put Kent-Meridian up 13-0. With all the momentum going the Royals way early, the Falcons needed a big play. Eddie Edwards came through with an unbelievable 90 yard kickoff return, reversing field at least three times before being pushed out at the Royals 5 yard line. Marques Fuala’au punched it into the end zone, and making the score 13-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Kentlake’s offense started clicking in the second quarter with a solid 65 yard drive capped by a 1 yard TD run by Tony Heimann to give the Falcons the lead at 14-13. Kent-Meridian responded late in the half with a drive and scoring pass from Woods to McConico. The Royals attempted a two-point conversion, but were pushed back to the 18 yard line after a dead ball penalty. The attempted failed, making the score Kent-Meridian 19, Kentlake 14 with just 1:10 left in the half. Eddie Edwards came to the rescue again with another big kickoff return, 50 yards to midfield. Brandon Mortenson followed up with a 20 yard completion to Trask Rogers, and Tony Heimann scored from the 1 yard line with 9 seconds remaining to give the Falcons a 21-19 lead at halftime.
Both defenses played well in the third quarter. Joe McConico moved from receiver to tailback for the Royals, but he found little room to run against a stout Falcons defense. Eddy Mixich recorded a big sack in the quarter, and Brayden Laukala blocked a punt. Mixich also recovered an offensive fumble and rumbled nearly ten yards for a first down. Both sides turned the ball over in the quarter, and neither team was able to score.
Sophomore safety Hudson Potts kicked off the fourth quarter with his first varsity interception, returning it into Royals territory. A few plays later, Brandon Mortenson scored from 25 yards out on a quarterback keeper. Kentlake opened a nine point lead, 28-19, with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Royals responded again with a couple of big pass plays, including a scoring strike from Woods to McConico to make the score 28-26 Kentlake with 9:00 remaining. The teams exchanged possessions, and Kentlake’s defense ultimately held on the Royals final charge, holding on fourth down with 2:00 remaining. Tony Heimann ground out a first down, and the Falcons were able to run out the clock.
Kentlake remains undefeated at 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the NPSL Cascade division. The Falcons will next face the Lancers of Kennedy Catholic at Highline Memorial Stadium at 5:00 pm on Friday, September 30th.