During a preseason interview in late August, Juanita High football players said they were already fired up about their battle against Lake Washington High in the 3A KingCo crosstown rivalry game. The time is now. Kick off is at 7 p.m. Friday night at LW.
Juanita head coach Lele Te’o said it’s always a fun game for the community, plus the Rebel and Kang players know each other well and have faced off on the field for many years.
He added that there’s “lots of mutual respect between our coaching staffs.” Te’o and LW head coach Andy Arena are good friends and coached together from 2005-2007 at Evergreen High in White Center and from 2008-2013 at Juanita.
“Great coach and person,” Te’o said about Arena.
In order to succeed against LW (0-1 in league 4-1 overall) and the remaining teams on its schedule, Juanita (0-1 in league 0-4 overall) will need to focus on its effort and physicality, Te’o said.
“There will be lots of emotion. The trick for us will have to be to focus on the important things and play fast,” he said.
LW enters the game coming off its first loss of the season. Last Friday, Redmond bolted out to a commanding lead after three quarters and held on for a 24-16 victory over the Kangs in the league opener for both teams at Redmond High.
“It was a good game. Our kids never quit,” Arena said. “You can’t take any opponent for granted in our league. Anybody can beat anybody.”
After trailing 24-0 after three quarters against Redmond, LW came roaring back in the fourth with a pair of Michael Buchanan touchdown passes, one to Domonic Roussell for 60 yards and the other to Ryan Clifford for 78 yards. Roussell and Jensen Leewens added 2-point runs to make the score, 24-16.
Buchanan was 11-for-28 passing for 254 yards, Clifford had 17 carries for 51 yards, Roussell had three catches for 120 yards and Clifford had four receptions for 89 yards. Defensively, LW’s Brayden Boyes had six tackles and one assist and Christopher Chaplin recovered two fumbles.
Arena said the Kangs need to “get back to playing good football” this week with solid practices to prepare for the Rebels.
“It’s always good to play against Lele. His kids are high character, they compete and go hard,” Arena added. “It should be fun.”
Last month against Kennedy Catholic, Rebel Dre Trahan had 26 carries for 186 yards and five TDs; Jake Languein had seven carries for 63 yards; D’rajae Small had four carries for 37 yards; quarterback Jake Hohu was 5-for-14 for 86 yards; Drew Totten had three catches for 71 yards; and JD Worcester had two catches for 15 yards.