The past two seasons, when Everett won just four games combined, the Vikings may not have had the leadership to finish off Holt when leading by four heading into the fourth quarter, as they were Friday night.
This year is different.
The Vikings scored two touchdowns in a span of less than three minutes in the final quarter to earn a decisive 21-3 road win in a CAAC Blue showdown.
“Now they’re able to play in the close games. They know what to expect. They have to keep playing until the whistle and they did that,” Everett coach Marcelle Carruthers said. “They decided at halftime that we’re up, but we’ve got to keep playing hard all the way through. The senior leadership is outstanding for us, and that’s what’s making the difference right now.”
Everett (4-0, 2-0) took a 14-3 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Alec Cambric and, after a very short punt by the Rams, scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Lucas Barner to senior receiver Jaleel Canty.
Canty helped Everett take the lead in the first half with a long punt return that brought the ball from inside the Everett 40 yard-line to the Holt 20. Canty then finished the drive, grabbing an 11-yard touchdown pass from Barner on a fourth-down play to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
Holt junior Collin Klisch nailed a 32-yard field goal in the first half for the Rams (2-2, 1-1).
The second half was dominated by defense and Everett’s proved to be too much for Holt. James Mills helped lead the way for Everett with 17 tackles in the game.
The Rams got a big defensive stop in the third quarter to keep the game at 7-3. But Everett displayed quickness along its defensive line throughout the night.
“We did real good. Our momentum kept us going and we did our best,” said Anthony White, who had three sacks for Everett. “We’re trying to go for the state (title) and I think we’ve got the best defense in the state.”
“Everett did a good job both offensively and defensively up front, and again, everybody talks about the skilled athletes that they have, but I’ve mentioned all week long that I think their offensive line and their defensive line really present some problems. I think that’s maybe the difference of the game up front on both sides of the ball,” Holt coach Al Slamer said.