Two football powerhouses slugged it out in windy conditions in the 4A state football quarterfinals on Nov. 17.
Top-ranked Union kept its undefeated record intact with a 49-35 victory during a see-saw battle with Bothell at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver. Union (12-0) moves on to the semifinals and Bothell (9-3) is finished for the season.
“It’s just amazing to see what you can accomplish when 11 guys are doing something all at once,” said Bothell head coach Tom Bainter. “That’s a good football team we played across the other side of the field, and our kids didn’t back down from the get-go.”
Bothell led 14-6 in the first quarter and then 21-14 in the second, but then Union reeled off three consecutive scores to go up 35-21 in the third quarter. Union broke the 21-21 tie on a 70-yard fumble return following a Bothell mixed-up exchange on a reverse at the end of the second quarter.
“Our kids were resilient and we got the ball and marched right back down and scored,” coach Bainter said.
After going down by 14, Bothell stormed back with a Branden Bird 32-yard touchdown reception from Erik Bainter and, following a Cougar recovery on the ensuing kickoff (it hung in the wind and bounced back untouched toward the Cougars), Ryan Metz scored from 1 yard out to tie the game at 35-35 with 4:25 left in the third. Both scores were on fourth-down plays.
Union scored pair of touchdowns in the fourth to notch the victory.
“If you were a fan watching the game, you got treated to a great show by both teams and it was a fun game to be a part of,” coach Bainter said.
Also scoring for Bothell were Bainter on a 1-yard run, Christian Galvan on a 16-yard run and Riley Morrison on a 13-yard reception. Mason Locknane converted all five PATs.
Bainter was 26-for-44 for 278 yards and Union’s Lincoln Victor was 15-for-18 for 217 yards and had 12 carries for 126 yards. Morrison had nine catches for 95 yards and Leon Johnson had five catches for 82 yards; Bird ran the ball 13 times for 51 yards.
“I was really proud of our kids, they played really well. We came out and we gave it our all,” said coach Bainter. “It’s sad that it’s over, but we’ll get over it here shortly and we’ll look back with great memories on a wonderful season for us.”