1. This was anyone’s game. It really was. And not only because Ferris was about 2 feet short of the tying score. Everyone was waiting for one team to make one big play to break through. Bothell made it, with a 28-yard Johnny Hekker pass to Cory Burk that set up the final touchdown.
Both teams had one long, impressive drive (Ferris had two if you count the final one, too). Bothell led off the first half with an 75-drive that ended with a touchdown. Ferris had a long drive to start the second half that went almost 8 minutes — but ended with a missed field goal. Think about that: Ferris could have been 2 feet short of the winning score.
Both defenses were incredible. I’m sure Edmonds-Woodway and Lewis and Clark would take exception to any declaration that this was the actual title game, but if it had been the title game, it surely wouldn’t have disappointed.
2. Hekker looked very good. A pack of Greater Spokane League coaches huddled in the press box to get away from the 25-degree wind chill, and all of them had the same question: “Where’s that kid playing next year?”
His numbers — 140 yards, an interception and no touchdowns — won’t wow anyone, but his arm clearly did. Bothell didn’t ask him to do a whole lot, opting to be more methodical, but Hekker did deliver on three passes of 23 yards or more. And as a punter, he was even better. No punt was more important than his last one, from the Ferris 41. He pinned it at the 4. Ferris went three-and-out, and then Bothell got the ball back at the Ferris 45. Bothell scored about two minutes later.
3. Watch out for Burk next week. I’m sure next week’s opponent doesn’t need to know this, but Cory Burk has become the wild card in Bothell’s offense. He’s kind of like the Cougars’ Devin Hester, someone who can break one at any time. Ask the teams that watched him return four kicks for touchdowns this year. Or better yet, ask Ferris, which watched him take that critical screen pass 28 yards.
On defense, he was the KingCo 4A player of the year, and on Saturday, he had a big fumble recovery. But Burk’s becoming more of a factor on offense.
That’s all from me for now. The airport, it turns out, is not an easy place to escape the Missouri-Kansas game (which I’ve recorded and will watch in its entirety once I get home). Fortunately, I found a place only showing the Apple Cup. I’ll stick with this.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some overall impressions of the weekend, including the top stars and an early week at next week’s championship games.
FINAL: 14-7 Bothell. I just got back from the Bothell locker room. I have to hack away to get in my story for the print edition and then hurry to my flight. If I have time to add some more comments, I will.
:17 left, 4th Q: Ferris fumbles the snap! Bothell recovers! Bothell will win it, 14-7.
Pass interference on Bothell. Ferris will have first-and-goal at the 1.
Ferris gets the first down at the 2.
:35 left, 4th Q: Ferris has fourth-and-inches at the 3. Ferris takes its final timeout.
A note on updates: I also have to keep track of stats and watch the game. So I update as often as I can. Please remember this if it goes to overtime.
By the way, a snowstorm has come in.
:59 left, 4th Q: Ferris converts on fourth down, has first down at the Bothell 13.
1:09 left, 4th Q: Ferris timeout with third-and-six at the Bothell 28. Saxons have one timeout left.
1:29 left, 4th Q: Ferris has first down at the Bothell 32.
2:11 left, 4th Q: Ferris gets a first down on 4th-and-10 with an 11-yard pass.
2:37 left, 4th Q: Ferris gets the first down on a 3-yard run.
2:42 left, 4th Q: Ferris timeout with fourth-and-one at its own 32. Saxons have two left.
3:35 left, 4th Q: Ferris will have to go 77 yards to tie it. The Saxons start at their own 23.
3:36 left, 4th Q: Bothell takes back the lead. Jonathan Kirchner runs for a 5-yard touchdown to the right. Johnny Hekker had a 28-yard pass to Cory Burk on this drive, and Ferris was called for pass interference on a crucial third down, giving Bothell first and goal at the 5. Bothell leads 14-7.
5:28 left, 4th Q: Bothell forces a three-and-out, and it will start this drive at the Ferris 45 after after scare on a fumbled punt return.
6:38 left, 4th Q: Bothell’s Johnny Hekker punts and backs up Ferris to its own 4-yard line.
9:22 left, 4th Q: Bothell linebacker Cory Burk recovers a fumble by Ferris’ Jeff Minnerly at the Ferris 45.
11:22 left, 4th Q: Bothell’s Kirchner fumbles, Ferris recovers at the Bothell 48.
END 3rd Quarter: Bothell 7, Ferrris 7. Ferris dominated that quarter, but the score stays the same. Let’s see what Bothell does here with only its second possession of the half.
:21 left, 3rd Q: Theo Hunt intercepts Ferris’ Minnerly, and Bothell takes over at the Ferris 30.
1:42 left, 3rd Q: Bothell goes three-and-out, punts.
3:54 left, 3rd Q: Ferris goes on an eight minute, 16-play drive, but the 34-yard field goal went wide left.
HALFTIME: Bothell 7, Ferris 7.
Bothell has outgained Ferris 147-67 so far, but turnovers and penalties have stopped Bothell from breaking free. Bothell has an interception and fumble; the interception led to Ferris’ only TD, and the fumble ended a promising drive.
The penalties have hurt just as badly. Bothell has eight of them for 74 yards. Two of them have been delay of game. The Cougars have to be sharper.
1:00 left, 2nd Q: Ferris will have the ball at its own 11 with three timeouts left.
2:11 left, 2nd Q: Bothell’s going to start with the ball at its 45 with two timeouts left after it recovered its own fumble on the Ferris punt.
11:55 left, 2nd Q: Ferris gets on the board on the first play of the second quarter. Jeff Minnerly throws a 9-yard TD to Jared Karstetter. Bothell has to be kicking itself for those two turnovers. It’s tied up, 7-7.
END 1st Q: Bothell leads 7-0, and Ferris has 3rd and 4 at the Bothell 9.
:12 left, 1st Q: Bothell’s Johnny Hekker gets intercepted at the Bothell 15 by Beau Brett. Hekker was hit while throwing.
2:41 left, 1st Q: Bothell’s Patrick Ottorbech fumbles, and Ferris recovers at the Bothell 41.
4:37 left, 1st Q: Bothell gets the ball back after Ferris fails to convert on fourth down at the Bothell 28.
7:34 left, 1st Q: Bothell begins with a 11-play drive that goes 75 yards and ends with a Jonathan Kirchner 6-yard touchdown run off left tackle. Bothell leads, 7-0.
SPOKANE–When my plane landed, the captain warned us to be careful on the Tarmac because “we’ve just put down some de-icing fluid.” Which, I first thought, means there is ice to de-ice in the first place.
Moral of that nugget: it’s cold here. My rental car said the outdoor temperature is 29 degrees. A lot of layers going on here. How does that effect the game between No. 1 Bothell and No. 2 Ferris? I’m not exactly sure. It’s not like Bothell has been playing in the tropics recently, so I’m not sure how much of an advantage here. And give credit to the Cougar fans. They’ve shown up in pretty large numbers to do their best to neutralize Ferris’ home-field advantage.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I don’t have a lot of background on Ferris. I know with QB Jeff Minnerly and WRs Shawn Stockton and Jared Karstetter (WSU commit), the Saxons have a passing game that doesn’t allow you to count them out of any game. Ask Moses Lake, which had a two-score lead on Ferris but lost 28-27 in the preliminary round.
I’ll keep you updated on every score, and I’ll try to get in a critical turnover or stop whenever I get the time. So keep checking back.