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Kentlake upsets Tahoma at French Field
Kentlake 62, Tahoma 56
With little more than two minutes left in the first quarter, Tahoma was up 21-0 and it looked as though Kentlake may not recover from the early onslaught, but when the horn blared at French Field to signal the end of the period the Falcons cut the lead to 21-14 signaling the start of a wild shootout in the fog.
Tahoma struck first after recovering a Kentlake fumble on the opening kickoff. The Bears took advantage of the short field as they started on the Falcons 27. Tahoma quarterback Shane Nelson connected with DeShon Williams on a 16-yard touchdown strike, the first of Williams' five touchdowns on the night. It took Tahoma just 1 minute, 20 seconds to score.
After Tahoma's Michael Clausen pulled in the interception on the Kentlake 29, a few plays later Williams grabbed another pass from Williams on third and 16 for a 34-yard touchdown.
Kentlake took it to the Tahoma 5-yard-line on its next drive but could not convert. The Bears took the ball from the 2 and marched down the field thanks to a 49-yard catch by Denham Patricelli with the drive capped by a 28-yard touchdown reception by Julian Sumler who took Kentlake defenders with him into the end zone. With 2:16 left in the first quarter, Tahoma was up 21-0.
On the next drive Kentlake wide receiver Matt Burley made his first big play of the night as he pulled in the deep pass from D'marye Dedrick for a 68-yard touchdown pass.
That was followed by a muffed kickoff return by Tahoma as Kentlake recovered on the Bears' 1.
Moments later Dedrick ran it into the end zone untouched. The Falcons missed the PAT on the previous scoring drive but made up for it with a successful two point conversion to cut the lead to 21-14.
Tahoma stretched the lead out again with 29 seconds left in the first quarter when Williams put together a 72-yard catch and run for the touchdown to make it 28-14.
Kentlake did not give up, though. Tyler Harris gained a chunk of yardage for the Falcons on a pass play that moved them from their own 18 to the 41. A Bears defensive pass interference call moved the Falcons to the Tahoma 24. Daunston Kaunda capped the drive with a 9-yard scamper for the score to cut Tahoma's lead to seven again.
On the ensuing drive, however, Tahoma responded when Nelson connected with Williams in the middle of the end zone for a 36-yard score.
The shootout continued in the second quarter. John Morasch pulled in a 63-yard catch which set up a 17-yard touchdown run by Dedrick a few plays later as everyone seemed to be fooled on the option keeper in the fog.
Kentlake's defense stepped up on the next Tahoma series as the Falcons stopped the Bears on fourth and one to take over on downs. Kentlake started its next drive on its own 33 and finished with Morasch plucking the ball out of the air right in front of a Tahoma defender at the goal line before he fell into the end zone to tie the game at 35-35 with 1:32 left in the first half.
With 17 seconds left in the second quarter, Morasch took the pitch from Dedrick then scooted into the end zone just in front of the pylon for the touchdown to help Kentlake to its first lead of the game, 42-35.
After stopping Tahoma on its first drive of the third quarter, Kentlake started on its own 27, a drive which didn't last long because Dedrick took it 60 yards to the house to extend the Falcons lead to 49-35 less than 90 seconds into the second half.
Tahoma responded with a 65-yard drive capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Alex Jeric.
Then the Bears responded with a defensive stop but the Falcons' Burley was ready to step up for his second big play of the night when he picked off Nelson and returned it 53 yards for the touchdown to make it 56-42 Tahoma with 4:46 left in the third.
A Kentlake fumble recovered by Patricelli put Tahoma on the Falcons' 25 and the Bears took advantage again of the short field, finishing the drive off with a four-yard run by Grant Amador which tied it up at 56-56.
On the next Kentlake series, another big catch by Morasch put the Falcons on the Bears 35 before Dedrick scored from three yards out on third down. With the missed point after, Kentlake was up 62-56 with 5:38 left on the clock.
Tahoma shifted gears to the short passing game on its final drive. A holding call negated a Patricelli touchdown but the Bears recovered and marched into the red zone but the Falcons defense responded. Harris made a tackle for a loss of four on third down which brought up fourth and 10 with 1:10 left then Nelson's pass to Williams in the corner of the end zone fell incomplete. Tahoma turned the ball over there on downs and Kentlake took over on its own 16 with 1:03 on the clock.
Nelson finished the game 36-of-52 for 508 yards passing and seven touchdowns. Williams pulled in 13 catches for 287 yards and five touchdowns while Patricelli tallied 12 catches for 124 yards. Defensively Black Donahue collected 11 tackles, including one for a loss, while Elijah Suka had 10 tackles along with Clausen and Seonte Kong racking up nine tackles each.
With the win, Kentlake improved to 3-4 in league play, 3-5 overall, while Tahoma dropped to 4-3 in the North and 5-3 overall with one game remaining on the regular season schedule. Tahoma is currently in fifth place while Jefferson is in third behind Kentwood and Auburn Riverside.
Tahoma hosts Thomas Jefferson at 7 p.m. Friday at Bill Maxwell Stadium.