LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - The list of things Lake Stevens senior Jayden Limar can’t do on a football field is short. On Saturday night, that list got even shorter.
Limar’s first pass of his high-school career resulted in a 22-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Redford in the fourth quarter of the Vikings’ 42-28 victory over Graham-Kapowsin in the Class 4A semifinals, and all but secured their return trip to the state championship game.
The Vikings fell to the Eagles a year ago in the WIAA championship game.
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The Vikings struggled to get a rhythm in the first half, and trailed 18-14 at halftime, but they immediately took control in the third quarter. Limar capped off the opening drive of the second half with a 10-yard touchdown run, helping the Vikings retake the lead at 21-18. They quickly added more, recovering an onside kick and driving the short field for another touchdown drive capped off by Limar, who scored on a 7-yard run to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a 10-point lead.
Momentum stayed on the side of the Vikings for the remainder of the contest.
Limar finished the game with 169 yards on 21 carries and five rushing touchdowns, in addition to his 22-yard touchdown pass.
"He threw his first touchdown pass tonight," Tri said when asked what hasn’t been said about Limar before. "In fact, it was in the game plan all week. I remember having a conversation with Cameron Van Til of The (Everett) Herald. We were talking about all of the tools and talents that Jayden has, and I said, 'What he can’t really do is throw the ball.'
"The whole time I was saying that, I was thinking in the back of my mind that we were actually going to try to have him throw the ball this week, and sure as heck it worked. He’s been a special talent for us."
Though the end result of Limar’s pass was exactly what the Vikings had hoped for, it wasn’t the prettiest pass ever thrown. Tri also admitted that as the Vikings had practiced the play over the past two weeks, there were times where the result was less than desirable.
"It was a 4½ or 5 (on a '10' grading scale)," Tri said when asked to assess Limar’s pass. "It was not very good. It was effective. You know what, I’ll rate it a 10 because it got us six points, so it’s a 10 in my book. You just got to read the newspapers. It’s not what it looked like, it’s what it says in the papers. Touchdown pass, Jayden Limar."
Limar took his coach’s playing ribbing in stride.
"He’s always going to be a little hard on me," Limar said with a laugh. "I know he was just joking. It was a great play and I’m happy it worked."
The Vikings will face Kennedy Catholic on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, seeking their first football state championship in school history.
Graham-Kapowsin 0 18 3 7 - 28
Lake Stevens 7 7 21 7 - 42
LS – Jayden Limar 1 run (Macray Flanders kick)
GK – Khalil Yarbo 24 run (Kolby White-Gibson kick)
LS – Limar 55 run (Flanders kick)
GK – Khris Norris 22 pass from Daveon Superales (Jabez Woods pass from Superales)
GK – White-Gibson 31 FG
LS – Limar 10 run (Flanders kick)
LS – Limar 4 run (Flanders kick)
GK – White-Gibson 36 FG
LS – Limar 7 run (Flanders kick)
GK – Jalen Davenport 5 run (White-Gibson kick)
LS – Isaac Redford 22 pass from Limar (Flanders kick)
Rushing: Graham-Kapowsin: Jabez Woods 1-(-3); Daveon Superales 9-53; Jalen Davenport 4-21-1; Demetrius Taape 2-9; Michael Toa 3-8; Khalil Yarbo 2-31-1. Lake Stevens: Jayden Limar 21-145-5; Kolton Matson 6-30; Cassidy Bolong-Banks 4-16; Cole Becker 1-8; Esteban Sedano 5-21.
Receiving: Graham-Kapowsin: Jalen Davenport 1-16; Khris Norris 6-70-1; Spencer Bonter 1-13; Jabez Woods 9-102; Mika Roberson 4-24; Noah Flores 2-6. Lake Stevens: Isaac Redford 4-41-1; Cole Becker 5-76; Cassidy Bolong-Banks 4-50; Jayden Limar 1-4; Paul Varela 1-9.
Passing: Graham-Kapowsin: Daveon Superales 24-40-231-1-1. Lake Stevens: Kolton Matson 17-22-196-0-1; Jayden Limar 1-1-22-1-0.