Conks give up 21 unanswered, fall 24-20 to Tahoma
Covington, Wash. – After trailing 20-3 midway through the third quarter, the Tahoma Bears reeled off 21 unanswered points to stun the Kentwood Conquerors 24-20 at Maple View Middle School. Friday evening’s loss brings the Conquerors back to .500 at 2-2 (1-1 NPSL), and leaves their quest for a six-consecutive league title in someone else’s hands.
How it happened: Throughout much of the first half, the game between the Conks and Bears was a defensive battle. Senior Trey Thomas recovered a Tahoma fumble in the first quarter, and on the ensuing series the Conquerors offense fumbled the ball at the Tahoma 1-yard line. Following the Conks’ fumble, Tahoma had a 15-play drive before they were forced to punt. Back to return was senior Juwann Gault who fielded the punt and raced 55-yards to set the Conks up at the Tahoma 6-yard line. Unable to punch it in after three plays, the Conquerors settled for an 18-yard field goal by Manav Gill to put the Conks up 3-0 with just under 7 minutes left in the half.
The Bears responded with a 12-play 64-yard drive evening up the score at 3-3 after a 31-yard field goal. With just under 1:30 remaining in the half, the Conquerors quickly mounted a 11-play drive, reaching the end after senior quarterback Justin Seiber scrambled and found senior wide receiver Jake Moore in the corner of the end zone with :07 seconds left to put the Conks back on top at 10-3 following a Gill extra point.
After deferring in the first half the Conquerors got the ball to begin the second half. It took only 4 plays to continue the scoring for KW as Seiber found a wide-open Stephen Watson, with the senior receiver making a defender miss en route to 59-yard touchdown, extending the Kentwood lead to 17-3 following a Gill extra point.
Kentwood’s defense wasn’t on the field long as they forced a quick Tahoma 3 and out. A Juwann Gault 25-yard punt return gave the Conks the ball at the Tahoma 40-yard line. Eight plays later the drive stalled out and Kentwood settled for a 25-yard Manav Gill field goal to extend the lead to 20-3 with just under 7 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Bears used a 9-play 76-yard drive to cut the lead to 20-10 after a 2-yard rushing touchdown, taking just under four minutes off the clock. A quick three and out forced the Conquerors to punt, of which the Tahoma special-teams unit blocked it, giving the Bears’ offense the ball on the Kentwood 38-yard line. An 11-play drive featuring a conversion on 4th down and 11 resulted in a 20-17 score after Tahoma scored from 5-yards out and converted the extra point.
The Conqueror offense reeled off two first downs in three plays before giving the ball back to the Tahoma offense by way of a fumble. On the first play of the drive Tahoma broke off a 53-yard run, scoring 4 plays later, on an 8-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown gave the Bears their first lead of the game, 24-20, after a converted extra point.
Kentwood’s offense drove the field to the Tahoma 31-yard line before mishandled snap resulted in a 25-yard sack for Tahoma, forcing a punt. The Bears’ offense ran 8 plays, killing a couple minutes of clock, before being forced to punt by the KW defense.
With one final chance to score, the Kentwood offense began their final drive on their own 38-yard line. After an offsides penalty against the Bears, an 8-yard run by senior running back Dyson Johnson gave the Conks a first down at the Tahoma 49-yard line. A completion and scramble by Seiber put the Conks into a 3rd down and 1, before a Dyson Johnson 7-yard run moved the chains.
After three straight incompletions set up a 4th and 10 from the Tahoma 33-yard line, Seiber dropped back to pass. Flushed from the pocket and scrambling to his right, Seiber finally found a crossing Jake Moore, who raced up the sideline just extending the ball cross the pylon for a touchdown before being blasted out of bounds. The celebration was short-lived however, as the play was negated due to a holding penalty. This time on fourth down, with the Conks needing 20-yards to keep the drive alive, Seiber’s pass fell incomplete and KW turned it over on downs.
With no Kentwood timeouts remaining, Tahoma was able to run out the clock and celebrate their first victory over the Conquerors since 2013.
Notable Statistics: Offense –
- WR Stephen Watson 12 rec 154 yds 1TD
- QB Justin Seiber 22-34 248 yds 2TD
- LB Kincade McFarlane 8.5 Tackles, Sack, 0.5 TFL
- DL Luke Klein 8.5 Tackles, 0.5 TFL
- DL Wyatt Hansen 3 Tackles, 2 TFL
Special Teams –
- K Manav Gill 2-2 FG, 2-2 XP
- Returner Jauwaun Gault set up two scores 54yard long
Up Next: The Conquerors look to bounce back next Friday as they take on the Highlanders of Hazen High School (7 p.m. Renton Memorial Stadium)