By Bob Kirkpatrick
The Cougars were looking to extend their postseason win streak to three games and advance to the semifinal round of the State 4A Tournament. But the Eagles had another thing in mind and got past the boys from Bothell, 41–25 at Art Crate Stadium on Friday, Nov. 19.
“I was proud of our kids—I thought we fought to the very end,” coach Tom Bainter said. “Graham Kapowsin is big, physical and talented—that’s the reason they are ranked No.1—hats off to them.”
Bothell received the opening kick on its 28–yard line but went three-and-out and had to punt the ball to Graham-Kapowsin on the teams’ first possession.
The Eagles started their drive on their 36 and drove the length of the field to post seven points on the board four minutes into the first quarter when quarterback Joshua Wood hooked up with tight end Andrew Savaiinara.
The Jaguars evened the score, 7–7, on a Logan Lacio to Sam Stewart pass (PAT) 60 seconds later.
Graham-Kapowsin regained the lead, 14–7, at the start of the second quarter, when running back Jalen Davenport hit paydirt from 3-yards out (PAT).
Bothell closed the gap to 14–10 on a 21–yard field goal from Charlie Shulkin with five minutes to go in the first half.
The Eagles responded with a 7–yard TD pass (PAT) from Wood to Stephen Mars and Graham-Kapowsin took a 21–10 lead into the locker room at the break.
“That was a big play right before the half,” Bainter said. “It was a 14–10 game with two seconds to go and they had the ball around the 12. They were able to execute a play and get it into the end zone.
“If we were able to hold them there, we’re just down by four points and that would’ve given us momentum to start the second half.”
The Eagles got the ball on their 10-yard line to start the third quarter and drove it to the Cougars 22 but turned it over on downs. Bothell moved the ball to its 48 and turned it back over to Graham-Kapowsin. With three minutes left in the quarter, the Eagles posted another seven points on the board on a Khalil Yarbo 6–yard TD run to stretch their lead to 27–10.
Bothell answered back with a 52–yard TD pitch and catch from Lacio to Kyree Percival (PAT) to get back in it, 27–17 with a minute left in the third.
Graham-Kapowsin responded with a Michael Toa touchdown three minutes into the fourth quarter to make it 34-17.
The Cougars mounted a scoring threat with four minutes to go in the game, but the Eagles defense picked off a Lacio pass and turned the Bothell miscue into seven points to widen the gap to 41–17.
The Cougars answered with a Lacio to Cody Petrin touchdown pass and added a 2-point conversion to get within two scores, 41-25, with three minutes left in the game.
Bothell attempted an onside kick, but Graham-Kapowsin recovered it, and that was the ball game and the season for the Cougars.
“They were just too big and too physical for us to stop—they were the better team, unfortunately,” Bainter said. “But I’m very proud of our kids and the way they fought to the very end.
“I’m sure that in a couple of weeks, we’ll look back with great memories and feel very good about the season we had and how the players played.”
Bainter said the Cougars will lose some key players to graduation but expects the 2022 team to field another solid squad.
“Our corners Marcus (Heffernan) and Sam (Stewart) and safety Kyree (Percival) played tremendously this season and have for the last three years. They’ve been great leaders as well—it’s going to be tough to replace them,” Bainter said. “We had some offensive linemen who also worked very hard—we’ll miss them as well.
“It’s always sad to see kids graduate each year and move on, but it seems like there is always a new group of kids behind them who are willing to take what they’ve learned from the seniors and try and do the same things.”