Kent-Meridian beats defending South Puget Sound League North champion Kentlake | Football
By KRIS HILL
Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor
September 12, 2012 · Updated 9:45 AM
Kentlake had a 21-14 lead late in the third quarter but Kent-Meridian shocked the defending South Puget Sound League North champion Friday night by responding with 14 unanswered points late in the game to take the 28-21 victory.
Royals head coach Brett Allen, who is in his third season at the helm, said in an email it was “really a team effort more than anything” which led to the win over the Falcons.
Chris Paulson, head coach for Kentlake who is also in his third season, wrote in an email that Kent-Meridian has improved significantly since last season and he gave Allen a large portion of credit for that.
“We had too many negative plays, which put us in third and long situations,” Paulson wrote. “We struggled with their athletic inside linebackers and had some missed reads in our option game. We just weren’t consistent enough to finish drives.”
That wasn’t the case early in the game, though, for the Falcons.
In the first quarter, Kentlake scored first with 6 minutes, seven seconds on the clock when Caleb Mathena hauled in a 46-yard touchdown pass from Steffin Church. The Falcons took a 14-0 lead on a seven-play, 94-yard drive that culminated in Church’s second touchdown strike to Sanit Singh who covered 37 yards for the score early in the second quarter.
Kent-Meridian answered when Vinnie Malietufa punched it in from one yard out. Cartez Green put together a 37 yard run then Quincy Carter put together a 28-yard pass to set up the touchdown to cut the Kentlake lead in half with 9:38 on the clock.
With 6:25 left in the first half Malietufa tied it up when he bounced outside and ran it in from 20 yards out to tie the game. Malietufa, who is a sophomore, carried the ball 11 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. He also chipped in a sack on a fourth down play to end a drive.
The Royals and the Falcons were tied at halftime before Mathena broke it up when he picked off Carter and ran it back for a touchdown with 3:49 left in the third quarter to put Kentlake up 21-14. It was the last time Kentlake had the lead.
Carter found two other weapons in his offensive arsenal as the Royals answered the pick six by Mathena with a touchdown reception by Randall Cooper who pulled it in from five yards out with his does down at the back pylon to tie it up at 21-21. Cooper also added six solo tackles and a pair of interceptions on the other side of the ball where he plays strong safety.
In the fourth quarter Carter handed the ball off to Thomas Kemp to score the go-ahead touchdown for the Royals who beat the Falcons for the first time in over a decade. It was the first win against a Kent School District rival for Kent-Meridian since an October 2005 victory over Kentridge.
The Royals rolled up 297 yards of total offense. Kemp carried the ball 12 times for 63 yards including the game winning score and defensively had five solo tackles as well as an interception. Defensively senior defensive end Jaycob Kuhman contributed five solo tackles, three assists and a sack for K-M.
Kentlake drops to 1-1 in league play and faces Puyallup Friday in a non-league contest at 7 p.m. at French while Kent-Meridian improves to 1-1 and travels to Thomas Jefferson Friday for an SPSL North division matchup.
Contact Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor Kris Hill at email@example.com or (425) 432-1209, ext. 5054.