Eastlake uses huge night from Lewis, shutdown defense to head to state | Prep football news

The Wolves took care of Kentwood in emphatic fashion at French Field, winning 52-7 behind monster efforts from Troy Lewis and Blue Thomas.

It didn’t take long for the Eastlake offense to get rolling Friday.

Senior running back Troy Lewis took a handoff 70 yards to the house on his team’s first play from scrimmage at French Field in Kent, helping the Wolves to a 52-7 win over Kentwood in the 4A district playoffs and spot in next week’s state tournament.

“At first, I saw a huge defensive lineman coming right for me,” Lewis said. “I was thinking it was going to be a long night. But our line executed every play and made it easy for me.”

The scheme and personnel the Wolves put on the field was far too much for the Conks to overcome in any of the three phases of the game.

Eastlake used a controlling effort from its defense and three second quarter touchdowns to put things away, bolstered by a special teams unit that stopped an early fake punt and dictated field position with touchbacks on kickoffs.

Junior quarterback Blue Thomas, facing the same team he played for as a freshman, connected with Gage Casal for a 35-yard touchdown pass after Kentwood handed the ball over in its own territory with a fumbled shotgun snap.

The Conks drove all the way to the Eastlake eight yard line and after a touchdown saving tackle from Drew Lewis the play prior, again took the ball back with another fumble.

“I was excited about the fact it showed they are progressing,” Wolves’ head coach Don Bartel said of his defense, which also came up with an interception from Michael Nelson and another from Garret McCorkle that went back for a score in the second half.

A penalty negated a would-be 82 yard touchdown on a scramble and throw from Thomas to Jeffrey Feinglas, but it mattered little as Troy Lewis got back into the end zone on the next play from scrimmage, taking a Thomas pass most of the 87 yards on his own to make it 21-0 and break the will of the Conks.

“They were critical, especially with momentum,” Lewis said of the big plays his offense put together. “We responded with execution and some of those were some key changing points in the game.”

Thomas agreed and said after overcoming some early nerves that left him feeling nauseous before the game and even leaving for a play after becoming sick on the field, it was business as usual, even against many friends and childhood teammates.

“I was real nervous at first,” Thomas admitted. “Troy definitely carried the team and our defense is playing really well, they are rolling right now.”

Thomas, whom Kentwood coach Rex Norris and several of his players and assistants stayed to chat with postgame, finished with three scores through the air and another on the ground. Lewis added the receiving score and two of his own on the ground, ending the night with nearly 300 all purpose yards.

The Wolves may need a similar effort offensively next week, as Union will try to end the season of a second straight KingCo foe after finishing Issaquah 55-21. The Titans from Camas will be in Sammamish Friday at 7 p.m. with a spot in the state quarterfinals on the line and with the top seed it took by beating the Conks, Eastlake is set to host as many as two more games.

Bartel said while his team knows it faces another sizable challenge; the mantra of “One way, all day, every day” will remain steadfast this week as the stakes again grow.

“No matter what, we know our season ends at home,” he said, before quickly redirecting course. “Unless we get to the promised land.”