The No. 10 Vikings hand previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Monroe its first loss of the season 38-12 to extend its league win streak to 31 games.
MONROE — Slowly during the second half, Monroe fans started to roll up the blankets and padding used this football season to reserve their seats in the stands.
There’s always a wait-until-next-season vibe around the town whose team has never had much success.
This was thought to be the season. Undefeated and fourth in The Seattle Times’ Class 4A state rankings, Monroe had the rug pulled from underneath it again. A young, No. 10 Lake Stevens outplayed the senior-laded Bearcats to win 38-12.
With the victory, the Vikings won a seventh straight Wesco 4A league title and tallied their 31st straight league win.
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“We knew they were the underdog,” Lake Stevens senior Anthony Hutchinson said. “Not to try to sound cocky or anything, but we knew we had a good game plan. We were coming in strong.”
The game mirrored last season when Lake Stevens (8-1, 7-0 Wesco) again handed Monroe (8-1, 6-1) its first loss of the season. The Vikings used five plays to score first off a 34-yard pass from senior Conor Bardue to Austin Murren with 10:11 left in the opening quarter.
Lake Stevens took a 14-0 lead with 11:52 left in the second quarter. That time senior Kayshawn Mounarath ran it 5 yards for the touchdown.
“It just snowballs from there,” Monroe coach Michael Bumpus said. “They’re a good team. We’ve taken an ‘L,’ now we know what it feels like and I’m sure we don’t want that feeling again. … It sucks to experience this in the last game of the season for a league championship. We’ll learn from it.”
The Vikings’ youth was on its defensive and offensive lines. It wasn’t noticeable Friday. Monroe seniors Ricky Baker and Isaiah Cole intercepted Bardue, but the Lake Stevens defense forced Monroe to punt on both ensuing possessions.
Monroe also had big kickoff returns from senior Isaiah Lewis. But, again, the Vikings defense was there to prevent the mishap from turning into a scoring opportunity.
The Bearcats, who defeated their previous opponents by 29 points or more this season, didn’t convert for a first down until the second quarter. Monroe’s first touchdown was a 7-yard run from Lewis with 1:26 left in the opening half.
“We put our defense in some awkward spots,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri said. “For our defense to be backed up against the wall like that to a team that can put points on the board, that is a huge testament to how strong they played.”
Both teams advance to the Class 4A state preliminary round and will have home games next week.