G-K overcomes miscues, fends off rally by Mead
Kapowsin in Spanaway.
“They compete and they play hard,” Eagles coach Eric Kurle said. “We made some mistakes on special teams. On defense, communication on some coverage stuff (hurt us).”
Despite three costly turnovers — including two that led to Mead touchdowns — allowing a long kickoff return for a score, and the two botched attempts to recover onside kicks in the final minutes, the Eagles did enough to set up another postseason meeting with No. 3 seed Lake Stevens (11-0) next week.
“We wanted it bad,” Roberson said. “We’ve been with each other for years. It’s a great group of people and the bonds are inseparable.”
This is the third time in the past four seasons the to programs will play. Graham-Kapowsin beat the Vikings by a touchdown in the opening round last year, and Lakes Stevens ousted the Eagles in 2015 with quarterback Jacob Eason, who is redshirting with the Washington Huskies this season after transferring from Georgia.
“They’re a great team,” said Eagles quarterback Dylan Morris, a UW commit, who will meet the Vikings for the third time in his career. “We have to have a great week at practice, prepare well, and it will be a good game.”
This almost annual meeting almost didn’t happen. Every time the Eagles seemed that they would open up an insurmountable lead on Saturday afternoon, the Panthers found a way to respond.
Mead scored the game’s opening touchdown at the 8:33 mark in the first quarter, capitalizing on Graham-Kapowsin’s fumble on the first play of the game.
Blair connected with Jonathan Baird for 3 yards on the first of his four passing touchdowns.
That was Mead’s only lead of the game, and it lasted little more than two minutes, but GrahamKapowsin could never quite creep away.
“It’s tough,” Morris said of the late theatrics. “We practice it, but it’s just hard to prepare for it. ... You just want to pick the guy up (who didn’t recover the ball) and clean it up in practice.”
Morris finished 18 of 24 passing for 376 yards, the three long touchdowns, and two interceptions. Roberson was his top target, hauling in nine catches for 247 yards and two scores.
Shabro Johnson led all rushers with 124 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, balancing a Graham-Kapowsin offense that outgained Mead, 563-390, and controlled possession for much of the contest.
Mead ran the ball just 18 times in the contest, and attempted 48 passes. Blair finished 30 of 48 for 318 yards, the four touchdowns, and one intercep- tion that led to Johnson’s rushing touchdown in the second quarter.