By Ray Hamill — The frightening part for the rest of the Little 4 is that Luke Lemke is only a sophomore.
On Friday night, Lemke led the Arcata Tigers to a thrilling come-from-behind win over the Ferndale Wildcats at the Redwood Bowl and he’s only going to get better with more experience.
The sensational sophomore ran for three touchdowns in the comeback, including two in the final five minutes of the game, as the Tigers rallied from a three-score deficit to win 32-27.
“Lemke is a stud. That was one of the best plays I’ve seen from the quarterback spot at Arcata since I’ve been here,” said Arcata head coach Matt Magers, who has been with the program for eight years.
Check out the big play and complete highlights from what could be the game of the season above …
Lemke, who also converted a key fourth down just moments before scoring the go-ahead TD, made several big plays to give his team a chance to pull out the win.
And the best is still to come.
“Give him the ball and he’ll make somebody miss and make something happen for us. There were a lot of great plays from him last night.”
He wasn’t the only standout as the Tigers improved to 2-0 in league and took sole possession of the Little 4 lead.
Cal Tucker recovered a Ferndale fumble on a pooch kick that set up one of the late TDs, while Dayquan Dunn had a big game on both sides of the ball.
Perhaps the most pivotal play of the game came at the end of the first half, when Oscar Carlson scored on a 90-yard kickoff return just moments after the Tigers had fallen behind by three scores.
“That flipped the momentum for us,” Magers said.
Neiko Bryson also made some big plays on defense, while the defensive line settled into the game and began to take control in the third and fourth quarters.
“That line picked it up in the second half,” Magers said of the unit. “I was pretty happy with that.”
Offensively, Ronnie Franklin and Alex Greenway both ran the ball hard and created scrambling opportunities for their “electric” quarterback, including a four-yard TD run by Franklin that kickstarted the late rally.
“That running game is coming along,” Magers said.
It certainly wasn’t all good for the Tigers, who struggled to contain the Wildcats ground attack in the first half and made things more difficult than it should have been.
“I think we made a lot of mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot pretty much the whole first half,” the head coach admitted.
“It was pretty spectacular,” Magers said of the win.
And that leaves them in control of the Little 4 with four games remaining, including a rematch against the Wildcats in Ferndale in three weeks.
For more on Friday’s game, see Lemke leads the Tigers to epic homecoming victory …