LAKE STEVENS — Dallas Landeros missed Lake Stevens’ playoff opener last week while recovering from a concussion.
But nothing, not even tweaking his ankle, could keep him out of Saturday’s playoff matchup.
Landeros, a senior for the Vikings who vividly remembers last season’s loss to Union in the Class 4A state championship game, made sure this one had a different ending. Landeros had over 100 yards rushing in the first quarter and finished with 272 yards and two touchdowns to lead the No. 3 Vikings to a 28-21 victory over No. 14 Union in a Class 4A state first-round game at Lake Stevens High School.
“We were really prepared,” Landeros said. “We had a shot at them on our field, so we wanted to make the most of it. We definitely used (last year) to fuel us to get the win”
The Vikings’ game plan quickly became apparent as the offense fed No. 6 repeatedly. Landeros, who had 38 carries, briefly limped off the field in the third quarter but came back with his ankle taped and promptly ran for a 2-yard score that proved to be the game winner.
Lake Stevens (11-0) quarterback Tanner Jellison added the other two scores with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sergio Pelayo and a 1-yard keeper that gave Lake Stevens a 21-14 lead at halftime.
“No team can really stop Dallas, so why not just give it to Dallas every play?” said Jellison, who finished 12 of 13 for 81 yards. “I know he didn’t want to miss any of this game. He wanted his revenge on them. I know he’ll be sore in the morning. He’s just a beast.”
The Vikings move on to host No. 11 Mount Si (9-2) next weekend in the state quarterfinals.
Last year Union (6-5) topped Lake Stevens 51-20 in the Class 4A title game. That contest was also close at halftime before the Titans scored 38 unanswered points to pull away.
It’s the Vikings’ only loss the last two seasons. Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri made it clear that his players were not the only ones motivated by last season’s finish.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, been a head coach for 15 years and been in some big games,” Tri said. “This one was every bit as important to me just because of the ramifications. You never want to make it personal but (Union coach Rory Rosenbach) has always been a tremendous coach and a great friend. He’s also kind of one of my mentors. He’s a guy I look up to.”
Rosenbach started the Glacier Peak program, Lake Stevens’ WesCo 4A rivals, in 2008 and coached the Grizzlies for eight seasons before leaving in 2016 to take over at Union.
The coaches have similar offensive styles, both favoring the spread.
“It’s a ton of fun to be back up here,” Rosenbach said. “… It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve been at Lake Stevens. I would rather have this (game) in the quarters or the semis. But I always love competing against these guys. I consider them friends. We talk in the offseason a bunch. It’s fun to coach against great coaches.”
This year’s Union team didn’t field the same fire power as last year’s state championship squad, with dual-threat quarterback Lincoln Victor among 14 all-league players who graduated.
Junior quarterback Alex Gehrmann, who took over three weeks ago for injured University of Idaho commit Caleb Jordan, finished 21 of 30 for 188 yards and two touchdowns and added another score on a 1-yard keeper.