By Bob Kirkpatrick
The buzz of anticipation was in the air at Pop Keeney Stadium when Bothell and Inglemoor took the field Friday night, Oct. 8. The Vikings were searching for their second win of the season and the Cougars were looking to extend their win streak to six games.
This one was all Bothell as the Cougars scored early and often and cruised to a 42-0 win.
Their first score came less than two minutes into the contest on a 24-yard pitch and catch from quarterback Logan Lacio to Sam Stewart. The PAT by Charlie Shulkin was good and Bothell led 7-0.
“We got off to a fast start—scored early off the first four plays of our 10-game script,” coach Tom Bainter said. “It was that perfect start you hope for in a homecoming game—in any game, really.”
Inglemoor’s first drive started on its 28. The Vikings advanced the pigskin to the 39 on an 11-yard run by Colin Ugokwoli. But the drive stalled at the 42 and Inglemoor had to punt.
Bothell took over on its 31 and one play later, Lacio connected up with Kyree Percival for a 69-yard score (PAT) and the Cougars were up 14-0 with 7:57 left in the first quarter.
“We were able to hold them on fourth down—got good field position and then scored on the fifth play from our 10-play script,” Bainter said. “It’s fun to execute like that.”
Bothell made it 21-0 when Ahmani Hopoi hit paydirt on a 12-yard run (PAT) with 3:11 on the clock.
Inglemoor’s next possession began at its 20-yard line. Facing a fourth and two yards to gain from their 25, Vikings Head Coach Steve Hannan opted to go for it instead of punting the ball away.
That decision turned out to be costly as a blocking in the back penalty was whistled against Inglemoor. Bothell declined it and took over deep in Vikings’ territory. Moments later, Bryce Kooy busted off a 10-yard TD run (PAT) and the Cougars increased their lead to 28-0.
Inglemoor had the first possession of the second quarter but couldn’t do much with it and had to punt the ball back to Bothell.
Up by four scores, Bainter took his foot off the accelerator and unloaded his bench and gave his starters a breather.
“We put our entire second team offense in that game at that point,” Bainter said. “We had a penalty to start—dropped the ball on the snap, had an incompletion and then another incompletion and ended up punting the ball. But it was good to get some two’s in the game early instead of the third and fourth quarter. That experience pays off, I think down the road—it was good for them to play on senior night in front of their fans.”
Inglemoor held Bothell off the board in the second quarter and the teams went to their locker rooms at the half with the Cougars out front 28-0.
Bothell’s first-string offensive unit took the field in the third quarter and added another score on a 26-yard pass from Lacio to Steward (PAT) and the route was on, 35-0
With five minutes left on the game clock, Simon Freed’s 3-yard TD run (PAT) made it 42-0.
The 6-0 Cougars are ranked as the fifth-best 4A team in the state by MaxPreps and the Seattle Times. The team is averaging 37 points per game while giving up just 14 per contest.
“We have a lot of returners on offense—our line is back from the four-game season last year and we have a lot of returners in our secondary too,” Bainter said. “The experience these guys have has certainly benefited us this season so far.”
Bainter said he’s proud of the effort his kids put in daily.
“Everybody comes to practice to work and be better and try and improve each day,” he said. “I was telling the team we had a great week of practice concentrating on eliminating mistakes we made last game—strengthening our weaknesses—that’s the name of the game.”
Bainter recently hit a milestone very few high school football coaches ever reach, calking up more than 200 wins for his career. He’s been at the Bothell helm for 27 years and coached three years at Shorewood High School, win- ning 14 of 27 games.
“It’s a funny record—milestone, I guess is what you call it,” Bainter said. “I tell our players and coaches that I didn’t make a block, a tackle, throw or catch a pass. It’s (the milestone) the result of a lot of good football players and coaching in a wonderful community and with some great men on our staff. I’m just one little piece of the big puzzle.”
Up next for Bothell is a showdown with the Woodinville Falcons on Oct. 15.
“Woodinville is always a physically athletic, talented football team that’s very well coached,” Bainter said. “Coach Maxwell will have his kids ready to go—he always does. They’ll play hard and it will be a wonderful challenge for us. It’s a meaningful game for both teams and they’re going to bring their best and I hope we have another great week and bring our best too. It’s why you come to Pop Keeney on a Friday night.”
The game gets underway at 7 p.m.