Lakes High coach Dave Miller scheduled a gauntlet of tough non-league opponents this season for a reason.
He wanted his team to be battle-tested and mentally strong when Class 3A league play rolls around.
But the program used to blowing opponents out early in the year took one on the chin in its season opener Friday night against Class 4A power Woodinville at Harry Lang Stadium, falling to the Falcons, 31-24, in overtime.
“We’ll get more out of this game than any game we won by 50 points,” Miller said.
Despite turning the ball over seven times and being held to just 113 yards rushing on the ground, the fourth-ranked Lancers still had a chance to pull out a win.
After taking a 24-21 lead on Kevin Thompson’s 4-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal and a successful two-point conversion with just under nine minutes left, Lakes held the Falcons (1-0) at bay until the final two minutes.
But Woodinville’s Connor Zaback booted a 39-yard field goal with 1:02 left to tie the game at 24.
“I thought our kids in the first half kind of showed their inexperience, and in the second half I though they grew up a little bit and started playing a little tougher,” Miller said. “In overtime they just kind of ran out of gas a little bit. But we were one play away from winning. They don’t make that field goal; we take a knee and win the game. I think this game will make us a lot better.”
Woodinville’s Wyatt Smith — who rushed for 159 yards on 18 carries — scored on a 10-yard run on the Falcons’ opening drive of overtime, and Alek Kacmarcik picked off Rhys Gervais’ pass on second down of Lakes’ ensuing possession to cap the victory.