Ryan Clifford racked up three touchdowns and 166 yards rushing in Lake Washington’s 41-0 crosstown rivalry football victory over Juanita on Oct. 6.
On its home field on Homecoming night, LW amassed 391 total yards to Juanita’s 140 in the 3A KingCo matchup.
“It was a packed house and it was loud,” said LW head coach Andy Arena. “Our kids were focused. Obviously, it was an important game for them because of the history and (talk) that they hadn’t beat Juanita for 11 years. That was motivating.”
Clifford scored on runs of 21 and 13 yards and hauled in a 45-yard TD pass from Michael Buchanan, who was 18-for-21 passing for 214 yards. Clifford rushed the ball 26 times on the night.
Buchanan had two more TD passes to Zeke Pelluer for 2 yards and to Domonic Roussell for 4 yards. Roussell had four catches for 71 yards.
The Kang signal caller praised his offensive line for giving him time to maneuver against Juanita.
“I felt we did a good job of executing the game plan that was set by the coaches,” said Buchanan, a senior who played two years at O’Dea and is in his first year at starting varsity quarterback. He noted that Clifford got the “ground-and-pound” running game going and was glad to have his receivers and their sturdy hands at the top of their games.
Arena was pleased with Buchanan’s performance.
“He’s a competitor. Even when he does things right, he’s pretty critical of himself,” said Arena, adding that one of Buchanan’s keys to success was stepping to the side of Juanita’s rushers and hitting his receivers. The Kang quarterback also powered his passes through windy conditions.
Cody Wilson capped off the scoring with a 60-yard interception return. Brayden Boyes and Franco Oliveri also snagged interceptions for LW, who got five PATs from Lance D’Alessio.
For Juanita, Jake Languein ran the ball four times for 59 yards, Andrez Trahan had two catches for 38 yards, JD Worcester had 12 tackles and Tyr Andrews recovered a fumble.
Arena said that while he and Juanita head coach Lele Te’o are buddies and talk all the time, their interaction was at a minimum leading up to the game since they wanted to focus on the task at hand.
“Stop the banter and get the game going,” Arena said.
LW evened its league record to 1-1 and is 5-1 overall. Juanita is 0-2 in league and 0-5 overall.
On Friday, LW will play at Interlake and Juanita will play at Redmond. Both games are at 7 p.m.
Buchanan said that LW will have to keep putting in solid practices to succeed the rest of the way.
“We control our own destiny. In high school football, you definitely have to work hard and bring it each week or your season can be shortened,” said Buchanan, who’s enjoying his time as a Kang. “I like how the program really tries to make everyone part of the team.”