The Curtis Vikings’ offense came to life in the second half to outscore Puyallup 38-35 on Friday night in a key South Puget Sound League contest in University Place.
Puyallup quarterback Brendan Illies tossed three of his five touchdown passes in the first half, and Puyallup (3-1 overall) led 21-10 through the first two quarters.
But even though Illies finished 21-of-38 passing with 400 yards, he said his team was too satisfied with its halftime lead.
“We had a lead on them, and we got too complacent,” Illies said. “That doesn’t work against a team like Curtis. Every day, you’ve got to get better, and today I think we kind of took a step backward in my mind. We have a lot of things to work on and improve in. We will get things working both offensively and defensively.”
Curtis wide receiver Carter McKay gave his team its first lead, at 31-28, after he hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Scott Wismer with 5:39 left in the third quarter.
McKay and Wismer hooked up again on a 17-yard touchdown strike to extend Curtis’ lead to 38-28 with 6:50 left in regulation.
Puyallup cut the lead to 38-35 on Levi Jordan’s 24-yard touchdown catch with 44 seconds left in the game. But Curtis (3-1) recovered Puyallup’s onside kick to seal the victory.
Illies connected with Jordan twice on scoring passes in the first half, and he found Karl Fjellstad for a touchdown. Jordan finished with 11 catches for 211 yards and three TDs.
Curtis quarterback Scott Wismer said the key was to slow down Illies and Jordan in the second half.
“Coming into the game, we knew they were a great passing team,” Wismer said. “Our secondary didn’t really do very good in the first half. We let No. 5 (Jordan) run all over us. In the second half, we made some adjustments and changed our coverage, and it seemed to work.”
Puyallup tight end DJ Winter had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, but the Vikings’ offense scored just twice in the second half. Puyallup surrendered four second-half touchdowns.
Puyallup will face the defending SPSL South Division champion Federal Way Eagles this Friday night at Sparks Stadium. Vikings head coach Gary Jeffers knows the game could have playoff implications down the road.
“This one (loss to Curtis) hurts a little, but we’ve got to talk about being ready for Federal Way,” Jeffers said. “Federal Way is a very good football team. We’re going to come out and compete. That is what we do.”