Friday nights are turning colder and more challenging for the Auburn Mountainview football team.
Coach Jared Gervais knows as much.
His Lions, off to a 2-2 start in September, have struggled to find any successful continuity to their game in October.
Auburn Mountainview started well but struggled against powerful Kentwood on Friday night, falling 49-10 in a North Puget Sound League Mountain Division game at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
Good at times, the Lions misfired when they had big-play opportunities.
“There are times when we are playing well, playing hard,” Gervais said of his team’s frustrating outcome, which leaves the Lions 0-2 in division play with more heavyweights looming on the schedule. “It’s that consistency. It’s doing it right all the time.
“Guys would make good plays then we made bad plays. We tackled well then we didn’t tackle well,” he said. “We have to be more consistent and do it every play and not make some of those big mistakes that cost us in the second quarter when the game got away from us, and then we were never able to reel it back in.”
The Lions drove to the Conquerors’ 35-yard line on their game-opening drive, but Alphonse Oywak stepped in front of the receiver and picked off a Kayde Bodine pass before returning it to the Auburn Mountainview 19. Six plays later, Gabriel Johnson crashed in from the 2 to give Kentwood a 7-0 lead.
Julian Huizar’s 30-yard field goal cut the margin to 7-3 early in the second quarter, but Kentwood immediately answered when Johnson broke free for a 49-yard TD run, stretching the Conquerors’ lead to 14-3 with 6:57 left in the half.
On its ensuing series, Auburn Mountainview’s fake punt went awry near midfield. Kentwood capitalized five plays later with quarterback Jackson Proctor finding Dyllon Daniels on a 6-yard score with 4:34 left in the half.
Following a Lions’ three-and-out, the Conquerors added their fourth TD of the night – Proctor’s 18-yard keeper with 2:35 to go in the half.
Johnson’s 8-yard run extended the lead to 35-3 midway through the third quarter.
The Lions came back with Teagin Child’s 4-yard TD run with 2:19 left in the period.
Auburn Mountainview finished with 244 yards of offense. Bodine passed for 105 yards. Child and Berkley Alfrey ran for 47 and 46 yards, respectively. Child had three receptions for 42 yards. On defense, Alfrey had a team-high 11 tackles, nine of which were solo.
Kentwood added two more TDs – Proctor’s 47-yard pass to Oywak with 58 seconds to play in the third quarter and Isaac Aselin’s 2-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter.
Proctor completed 18 of 28 passes for 166 yards.
Of Kentwood’s 393 yards of offense, 227 of it came from the run.
Johnson, a senior who ran for more than 1,000 yards last season, did his part.
“It was a great game. Our energy was high,” he said. “Definitely, we stepped on the gas and kept the pedal down the entire game.”
Like Auburn Mountainview, Kentwood’s season becomes more difficult, beginning with a meeting with Enumclaw (1-1, 4-1) this Friday at French Field. The Conks (2-0, 4-1) host Tahoma on Oct. 18 before facing heralded Kennedy Catholic on Oct. 26.
“Of course, we have tough teams coming up,” Johnson said. “All we have to do is get prepared each week. Monday, that determines if we win on Friday.”
The Lions (0-2, 2-3) visit Tahoma (1-1, 4-1) this Friday, play at Kennedy Catholic on Oct. 17 and travel to Todd Beamer on Oct. 26.
“We just have to get better, and that was the message to the kids,” Gervais said. “They took it really well and hopefully they’ll respond well in practice and get ready for Tahoma.”