If there’s one thing Lynnwood learned in its Wesco 4A South Division football game against Mariner, it’s that there is no quit in the Royals.
Trailing 40-7 early in the third quarter, Lynnwood outscored the Marauders 29-6 the rest of the way to make what seemed to be a blowout into a far more interesting contest that Mariner eventually won 46-36 Friday night at Goddard Stadium.
Co-head coach Danny Hawkins saw a game that could serve as a building block for the rest of the season
“We haven’t put up 36 points in two years,” he said. “We came back. We didn’t quit. These guys don’t quit. That’s all I ask from them.”
Hawkins especially liked the fight he saw from his players in the second half.
“That’s all I wanted to see,” Hawkins said. “Don’t quit. Keep going. Keep fighting. Figure out our mistakes. Fix them. We’re going to stay with it. We’ve going to learn to do better. It’s a process.”
Mariner (1-1 in the league, 1-4 overall) jumped to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Lynnwood offense finally got on track. Junior running back Andrew Katzenberger scored on a 6-yard run at the 4:07 mark of the second quarter.
“Defensively, we came out slow today,” Hawkins said. “We had a feeling that would happen.”
The Marauders responded with a TD after Katzenberger’s score and then a Lynnwood fumble led to another Mariner touchdown and a 33-7 halftime lead.
The Royals’ woes continued in the third quarter when Mariner’s Greg Whitaker picked off a pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown and a commanding 40-7 advantage with 9:45 left in the third quarter.
But Lynnwood’s defense stiffened the rest of the game as the Royals stacked the box against Mariner.
“We were not letting their linemen get to our backers so fast,” Hawkins said. “We did a bad job in the first half.”
A 1-yard touchdown run by Lynnwood’s Mikao Kirkman with just under five minutes left in the third quarter was followed by 4-yard TD run by teammate David Nguyen with 3:34 left in the game.
Lynnwood (0-2, 0-5) then successfully recovered an on-side kick and six plays later, Katzenberger scored on a 6-yard run to cut the deficit to 40-28 with 1:19 remaining.
A second on-side kick backfired on the Royals when Mariner’s Pavel Savchuck grabbed the ball and ran it back for a 45-yard touchdown. Lynnwood quarterback Justin Cachopo threw a 21-yard touchdown to Vika Young with 31 seconds remaining in the game to close out the scoring.
Lynnwood’s offensive success in the second half was due to better communication among the offensive linemen, Hawkins said.
“We went back to running the ball,” he added. “We had a good rotation with our backs with Katz, Quinn (Evans) and Alton (Hammond). All three of them had a great game. We were just figuring out the rotation, the line getting to the next level and holding onto their blocks.”
Mariner running back Joshua Williamson finished with touchdown runs of 13, 3, 45, 2 and 2 yards.
Lynnwood hosts Cascade at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at Edmonds Stadium. The Bruins (1-1, 4-1) lost 28-14 to Edmonds-Woodway.