The Lancers rallied in the second half to get within a touchdown, but the Falcons put the game away with a late drive, winning 42-28.
Brandon Mortenson picked a great time to show off his improved quarterbacking skills for the Kentlake football team.
Not only did he pile up 318 all-purpose yards and figure in five touchdowns, he showed his moxie when things got tight.
Mortenson, a senior, led the Falcons on a late, game-clinching drive, capped by a 19-yard TD run by Marques Fualaau with 1:29 to play. His team passed its first big test in a 42-28 triumph over high-scoring Kennedy Catholic on Friday night in an NPSL Cascade Division game at French Field.
Mortenson knew his team needed a response after the Lancers (3-2, 1-2 NPSL) rallied from down 21 points in the second half to get within 35-28 with 3:44 left in the game. That came when freshman quarterback Sam Huard lobbed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Junior Alexander in the left corner of the end zone.
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“We were playing really good, but when it came down to crunch time and (Kennedy) was within seven, we told everyone to stay calm,” said Mortenson, who ran for three scores and passed for two more in addition to going 22 of 43 for 276 yards. “We said we have three minutes left, and if we get two first downs we close out the game.”
Junior receiver Jeremiah Woods caught five of Mortenson’s passes for 92 yards and two TDs.
“We’ve got so much respect for Kennedy; they never gave up,” Kentlake coach Brett Thompson said. “I’m proud of our guys for grinding it out and finding a way to finish that game. That was hard-fought.”
It looked like Kentlake (4-1, 3-0) might blow away the Lancers, but the Falcons could never get separation.
The lead swelled back to 21 points at 35-14 when Mortenson scored on his third 1-yard keeper of the game with 27 seconds left in the third quarter.
Kendell Oakes got Kennedy back to 35-21 at the 10:53 mark of the fourth quarter, jetting for a 36-yard touchdown run.
“Kennedy’s so explosive and they’ve got so many weapons,” said Thompson, whose team outgained the Lancers 463 yards to 458. “And with number 39 (Oakes) running that ball, he’s tough to bring down.”
The Falcons started the second half the way they ended the first, taking a 28-7 lead on a 27-yard pass from Mortenson to Carson Lucas just 4:45 into the second half.
Huard, the son of former Husky and NFL quarterback Damon Huard, finished 18 of 34 for 204 yards passing with two TDs.
Kennedy rode the legs of Oakes to pull within 28-14 with 5:08 showing in the third. Oakes had 73 yards rushing on the Lancers’ 80-yard drive. Oakes finished the game with 194 yards and two TDs on 17 carries.
“I feel like (Kennedy) does a lot of press [coverage], so we did a lot of slants and posts and then hit them with the streak,” Woods said. “Get them with one move, and hit on the streak. That’s how we got the deep ball. Mort brought it all today, and today was one of his better games. He threw a lot of deep balls and got a lot of completions.”