Originally published November 26, 2011 at 10:49 PM | Page modified November 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Lake Stevens falls to No. 9 Skyview in semifinals | 4A Football

In the semifinals Saturday against No. 9 Skyview of Vancouver, Lake Stevens ran out of ways to win, falling to the Storm 38-14 at the Tacoma Dome.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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TACOMA — Lake Stevens always seems to find a way.

The Vikings rallied from a 17-point, third-quarter deficit in the WesCo title game. They drove for a game-winning score in the waning moments of their first-round matchup with Olympia. They jumped out to a big early lead in the quarterfinals against Eastlake.

But in the semifinals Saturday against No. 9 Skyview of Vancouver, Lake Stevens ran out of ways to win, falling to the Storm 38-14 at the Tacoma Dome.

"We made some uncharacteristic mistakes to start the game off," Vikings coach Tom Tri said. "It was kind of an uphill battle from there. We just never could find a way to get the momentum on our side."

Skyview (11-2), which only punted once in the game, will play Skyline (10-3) in the Class 4A title game at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

"I think we can play with anybody," Storm quarterback Kieran McDonagh said.

Things didn't start well for the eighth-ranked Vikings (12-1), who were making their first trip to the semifinals since 1994. They fumbled on their first play from scrimmage. That led to the Storm's first touchdown, a 1-yard run from Parker Henry.

A second fumble in the first quarter resulted in Skyview taking a two-touchdown lead after a 7-yard pass from McDonagh to Reiley Henderson. It was 21-0 with 8 minutes, 29 seconds to play in the half. Lake Stevens was in trouble.

It wasn't until the Storm fumbled deep in Vikings territory that something fell Lake Stevens' way. Andrew Elgaen returned the fumble 48 yards to set up quarterback Jake Nelson's 14-yard pass to Brady Pahukoa with 10 seconds left in the second quarter.

The momentum didn't last long. Skyview got the ball to start the second half and marched 73 yards. McDonagh punched it in from a yard out.

"We just could never find a way to get the momentum, and that's because we played a good football team," Tri said. "Give them all the credit."

McDonagh was 22 of 31 for 339 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also had nine carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown pass put the Storm up 35-7 with 4:11 to play in the third quarter.

Lake Stevens tried everything it could to get back in the game. Nelson found Christian Gasca for a 9-yard touchdown with 7:29 to play, but the Storm's combination of size and speed proved to be too much.

For the first time this season, the Vikings just couldn't find the formula.

"When these guys look back in a week or two, I think they're going to be dang proud of the season that they had," Tri said. "I know I am."

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