After the hard-fought game at a raucous Pop Keeney Stadium, football players from Bothell and Legacy — with eye black running down their faces — lined up on the field and faced each other.
It was the second consecutive season the local squad squared off against the team from Broomfield, Colorado, and the Cougars notched their second victory, 39-20, on Sept. 6. Last year, Bothell won on the road, 40-13.
With the Bothell crowd near silent for once during the evening, two players from each squad received offensive and defensive awards and Cougar head coach Tom Bainter snagged the 425 Bowl trophy.
For Bothell, linebacker Blake Bickhaus earned the defensive award with an interception and a host of tackles, and running back Christian Galvan took home offensive honors with touchdown runs of 23 yards and 3 yards. Other solid defensive plays for Bothell came at the hands of Ryan Metz, Colin Fisherkeller and Malik Said.
On the Legacy side, quarterback Brayden Harris and defensive lineman Hunter O’Connor grabbed offensive and defensive honors, respectively. Harris completed copious passes, including a 5-yard scoring strike to Jaiden Peterson, and O’Connor made several key tackles.
Bothell led 25-13 at halftime courtesy of a Gabriel Johnson tackle for a safety, the two Galvan scores, a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Sirmon to Jordyn Turner and a 27-yard field goal from Charlie Shulkin.
In the second half for Bothell, Talataina Tevaga scored on a 10-yard run and Sirmon connected with Sam Stewart for a 32-yard scoring strike.
Completing the scoring for Legacy were John Hoyland with field goals of 20 yards and 37 yards and Braelon Tate with an 11-yard run.
After Bickhaus exited the locker room following the game, he noted that it was an awesome feeling to open the season with a big team effort at Pop Keeney in front of their passionate fans.
“We just take it one game at a time, we perfect our craft and we got better tonight. We’re looking forward to next week,” he said of the Cougars’ battle with Kennedy at 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at Highline Memorial Stadium in Burien. “We’re just gonna have to keep getting better, working hard in practice, and I think that’s what will help us out.”
As another season kicks off, the senior reflected on his time spent with the Cougar program.
“Tons of great people, awesome friends, amazing role-model coaches. Life lessons you can’t learn anywhere else,” Bickhaus said, adding that one of those lessons is, “You get knocked down every play and you gotta get back up. Sometimes that happens in life and you gotta get back up.”
Turner was ecstatic after the game, his first as part of the Bothell squad after moving to the area with his family from Concord, California.
On his touchdown, he said with a smile: “First catch as a Coug, man, I’m loving it.”
Although Turner is new to the program, he’s already got a solid grasp on what the Blue Train is all about.
“It’s amazing, I love this team. I love coach Bainter, I love how he coaches. We’ve got Christian, Andrew all on this team. It’s gonna be fun this year,” he said.
Legacy’s supporters enjoyed themselves during their trip to the Seattle area and were impressed with Pop Keeney Stadium and its electric atmosphere, just like Turner. Some of the Lightning crew took videos and snapped photos of the stadium while their players warmed up before the game. Two smiling fans exchanged a hand slap and a fist bump.
Robin Lynch, whose husband Kevin coaches for the Lightning while her son Adam plays linebacker and fullback, was one of about 150 people who traveled to Seattle from Colorado. They arrived in the area on Sept. 4 and visited the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and The Great Seattle Wheel and took an Argosy cruise during their stay. Robin was looking forward to a barbecue with the Bothell football contingent on Sept. 7 following the Cougar-Lightning junior-varsity game.
“It’s been awesome, everybody’s been great. Bothell has been so nice, their whole boosters have been so nice to us,” said Robin, the Legacy football booster president. “I’m just so excited to be here. It’s pretty cool.”
* Ingelmoor’s Trevor Thurman scored on runs of 5 and 2 yards in the Vikings’ 18-13 loss to Meadowdale on Sept. 6.
The Vikings will play Roosevelt at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Northeast Athletic Complex in Seattle.
* Cedar Park Christian rolled over Concrete, 62-22, on Sept. 6. The Eagles’ scoring included three runs by Brandon Parrish (94 and 12, plus a 75-yard kickoff return), two runs by Zach Wilkins (13 and 4), a 30-yard run by Johny Petrus and a 47-yard run by Kellan Cerillo.
Cedar Park will play at Rancho Christian of California at 4 p.m. Sept. 14.
* North Creek’s scheduled game against Mount Rainier on Sept. 7 at Pop Keeney Stadium was canceled due to severe weather. According to North Creek athletic director Timothy Bursey, “With the limited amount of allowable contact by the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) and NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) and the required amount of rest needed between games, rescheduling of this game is not possible. However, if neither team qualifies for the postseason, we could play in the final game of the season.”