The WIAA Emerald City Kickoff Classic this past weekend at Husky Stadium was a terrific football event. There is just no other way to put it. The WIAA put together 4 great games back to back and with the new University of Washington football complex and Husky Stadium hosting the event the stage was set. There can not be a finer football venue in the Pac 12. It would be hard to imagine anything that can equal or exceed this spectacular facility. And what a great place for these top NW teams to be able to battle it out.
Here is a recap of the games as they progressed throughout the day-
Seattle Prep VS Roosevelt- game 1
In a rough first game the Roughriders got it done beating Seattle Prep 7-0. 14 Penalties and lots of turnovers set a sloppy tone for the opener. The bright spot was Roosevelt’s Bereket Anshebo who toted the rock 22 times and had 150 yards and the games only TD. The defensive struggle ended with the Roosevelt squad landing their 6th win in their last 7 tries sating back to the 2012 season. This is beginning to revitalize the football program as a result.
We were not able to make it out in time for Game 1.
Lynden VS Kings -game 2
The second game of 4 on the day was a little prettier to watch and featured some nice offense on both sides of the field. Both Kings and Lynden ended up with nearly 300 yards of offense. For Lynden QB Lucas Petersen had a pretty good night and connected with his long time friend – 6’7″ Scooter Hastings 3 times for 85 yards. Blake Browning led Lynden with 2.5 sacks and 10 tackles on the night. Kings scored late in the game but missed the extra point and the game ended at 14-6. There were some good moments and both teams looked like they are ready to compete this year and make a run for the post season again. Here are some pictures we captured from Game #2
Bothell and Coeur d’Alene Game 3
Not billed as the biggest game of the night this one was it. One of the best High School football games we have seen in a long time. The Coeur d’Alene Vikings were the #1 team in the State of Idaho coming into the event. The Bothell Cougars AKA “The Blue Train” were a team a lot of people were fairly high on but not enough to put them into the Top 10 in the Washington 4A polls. There can be no doubt after they beat the Vikings as the game ended 44-43 that they belong right there.
The play by play was hard to keep up with because the action was fast and furious on both sides. But it went something like this.
The opening kick off was taken 88 yards to the house for 6 by Junior Sam McPherson of Bothell and they made the extra point. Then the Vikings went 3 and out but the tide turned when #7 Jackson Carlson picked off Bothell QB Ross Bowers. That led to a nice series of plays up the field and the Vikings scored on a 2 yard run by star QB Gunnar Amos who has several offers to attend college next season including Westpoint. He hooked up with UW Husky commit 6’5″- 240 lb Tight End Chase Blakely for the 2 point conversion and it was 8-7 in favor of the Idaho Squad.
On the ensuing series #77 Michael Hagler knocked the ball from Bowers hands as Bothell was mounting a drive and Amos hooked up with Chase Blakley again; this time a 37 yard strike for a TD. Juniro Full Back Drew “The Beast” Berger pounded in the 2 pointer and it was 16-7. The Vikings defense again held firm and on the next drive Coeur d’Alene scored again on another Gunnar Amos run for 6 and the Blakley catch for 2 more to make it 24-7.
Was the rout on? No. Bowers and company were not allowing that.
Up the field steamed the Blue Train and with them came Peter Fisherkiller blocking and leading the way for Bowers who hit Junior Dayzell Wilson on a 17 yard pass for 6. The extra point was good and it was 24-14. Wilson let everyone in the place know he is a serious talent after that play.
Back came the Vikings not wanting to let Bothell close the gap. They turned to Berger again and this time he cracked a power run dragging tacklers into the end zone for 6 taking the total to 30-14. Then the 2 point magic ended and the score went into the locker room at 30-14. The missed extra point right there would come back to haunt the Vikings; its not that they can not kick the extra point but they really don’t have to as they score the 2 point try more often then not.
Half time ended and the mood seemed intense as the Bothell defense stiffened right out of the gate and Bowers set his jaw. He hit Colton Sather, a Senior WR, on a 22 yard strike over the middle and he took it to the house. Then he caught a nifty pass for the 2 pointer and it was all of the sudden 30-22.
Fisherkiller (6’5″-275 Linemen), Jackson Keimig 6’3″ 201 lbs (Safety), and Sam McPherson (5’11”-190 lb Junior DB) led an intense defensive effort and stopped the Vikings again. This set up Bowers for his gutsiets and maybe his best pass of the night. Deep into the far back right corner of the end zone he launched a ball that appeared to be on it’s way to being picked. But up rose Dayzell Wilson and he clutched the ball out from in front of the defender and fell backwards into the end-zone barely getting one foot in. Touch down and the 2 pointer and we had a 30-30 tie.
But wait- the best part is yet to come. Because Amos hit Blakley on a nice 7 yard strike and the 1 point kick was good and it was 37-30; Vikings back up. This TD was set up by “The Beast” as Mr Berger hurdled defenders and drug more with him on the next play to set up the score. His night was spectacular on both sides of the ball.
Seeing that his offensive line led by UW Husky Commit Matt James was forcing the issue head Coach Shawn Amos went back to Berger in the next set of downs and Drew delivered with a nice 6 yard scamper and it was suddenly 43-30 with 10 minutes left.
Then Sam Mcpherson decided it was time to kick in the after burners for Bothell. He stepped up the defense and the Vikings turned it over on downs. The gang tackling that Bothell brought to that 4th Quarter was notable.
On the next drive Sam and laid down some memorable runs setting up Bothell’s Sophomore Damani St. John with a 1 yard run to make it 43-37. There was only 2:39 left at that point.
“We could have kicked and onside kick; maybe we should have but my defensive coordinator convinced me we could hold them,” said the Cougars Head Coach Tom Bainter.
Hold them they did. Bothell go the ball back and out came Bowers who had been picked once, fumbled four times, but stayed in the game. The play maker seemed to know this was his time. He rolled right and fired a perfect pass up the right side of the field to Colton Sather to tie the game and the extra point was tacked on making it 44-43.
The Vikings got to shots at the comeback with 1;50 left but McPherson picked off Amos and before the game ended he recovered a fumble and nearly scored.]
The game turned into a battle and ended an instant classic. It really was that good. One of the best high school games we have seen in a long time and the atmosphere and the fans simply can not be beat.
“I am just so happy for our guys,” said Bainter. “We have a lot of new faces and young guys playing but the way they responded was remarkable. The wins and losses happen and that’s all great but to be a part of a game like this against a team that good was just awesome. I am very very happy for all of our guys.”
For Coeur d’Alene- Chase Blakley was awesome. He had 2 TD’s, 2 2 pt conversions, 3.5 Sacks, and many pressures. He had 98 yards receiving. Gunnar Amos was 25-41 for 267 yards and 2 TD’s; 1 interception and he was sacked 3 times. He also rushed for 55 yards and 2 TD’s carrying on his Junior year onslaught that led to 3500 yards of total offense. Addison John – 5 Catches for 58 yards and some great defense; Jackson Carlson 5 catches for 48 yards; Drew Berger had 60 yards rushing for 2 TD’s and averaged 6.5 a carry not to mention his ownership of the middle of the field on defense
For Bothell – Samuel McPherson- 196 yards on 8 kick returns and 1 TD; 76 yards rushing, and 30 yards on punt return. 303 yards of Total offense; 2 forced fumbles; seven tackles- he punts, kicks, plays both ways- he is one of the most complete High School players we have seen in quite a while and he is a Junior. Jackson Keimig – the lanky Junior is a star. He broke up several plays and made some acrobatic catches. He is a Junior too. Dayzell Wilson- 4 catches for 58 yards and 2 TD’s- Also a Junior – Ross Bowers – 20-41 for 274 yards and 4 td’s- He threw 1 pick and was sacked 6 times. Ross is a Junior and we are starting to see him rise into the role he is meant to play. Colton Sather – 84 yards on 4 catches – 2 Td’s- senior.
People better look out for this Bothell Squad. They are young, talented, well coached, and in a year where Skyline is struggling the Blue Train could roll!
Speaking of Skyline- They travel to Idaho next week to play the talented Vikings who will be looking to get back on the winning side of things.
Look for Game 4 Coverage Tuesday- Bellevue and Skyline
Here are 400 pics from the Bothell VS Coeur d’Alene Game