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By David Pan 

Mariner keeps believing, pulls out win over Kamiak | Football


September 27, 2017

Mariner didn’t play a perfect game against district rival Kamiak.

But the Marauders overcame their mistakes, including a pair of costly fumbles, to edge the Knights 21-14 in a Wesco 4A football game Friday, Sept. 22, at Goddard Stadium in Everett.

Tied at 14 in the fourth quarter, running back Isaiah Harrison scored on a 9-yard run to lift the Marauders (1-1 in the league, 2-2 overall) to the victory.

Mariner fumbled the ball away twice inside the Kamiak 20 in the second quarter but still headed into halftime ahead 14-6.

“It gets a little frustrating,” Mariner coach Mark Stewart said of the Marauders’ offensive struggles. “We haven’t been scoring. So it’s a little bit of a confidence thing with our offense. We just need to kind of feel like we can go out and finish some stuff. I think that we kept competing and we’re making progress. It was great that we were able to come out and finish with a drive in the second half.”

Mariner senior quarterback Fama Toure said the offense was frustrated with the turnovers and penalties.

“We were moving the ball,” Toure said. “We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot with stupid penalties and stuff like that. We just had to eliminate that.”

Kamiak (0-2, 1-3) jumped out to a 6-0 lead, scoring on its first offensive possession of the contest. Senior running back Ben Barton ran for a 14-yard touchdown. The Knights missed the extra point.

Mariner quickly responded with back-to-back scoring drives to take a 14-6 advantage into the second quarter.

Harrison scored on a 1-yard touchdown and then Toure connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Amory Brown.

Mariner could have extended its lead, but the Marauders failed to score on three straight running attempts from the Kamiak 2 and turned the ball over on downs with seconds left in the second quarter.

Stewart said his team didn’t focus on the failed drive.

“You’ve got to keep believing in what we’re doing,” Stewart said.

Kamiak coach Dan Mack praised the play of the Knights’ defense, which forced two fumbles in the second quarter.

“It was amazing,” he said. “Our defensive kids did great. I think our whole team just buckled down. It was a complete team effort.”

The Knights tied the score at 14 on a 3-yard run by junior quarterback Matt Merk early in the third quarter. The big play in the drive was a 72-yard run by Barton, who ran the ball in for a 2-point conversion. Barton ran for 164 yards on 21 carries. Merk completed 15 of 26 passes for 135 yards.

“I thought that both teams played their hearts out,” Mack said. “It was a hard-fought battle. I thought our kids played arguably their best game of the year. We are improving as a team.”

The Knights then had an opportunity to take the lead but missed a field goal late in the third quarter.

“That was a tough one,” Mack said.

After Mariner retook the lead on Harrison’s run in the fourth quarter, the Knights were driving deep into Marauder territory for a potential game-tying score but fumbled the ball away. The Mariner offense was able to run out most of the clock before punting the ball. The Marauder defense then stifled the Knights, who weren’t able to move the ball out of their own territory.

Mariner was without starting running back Romelo Mangum, who was sidelined due to an injury.

Harrison and sophomore running back Josiah Pesterkoff both performed well in Mangum’s absence.

“Guys had to step up and carry the ball,” Stewart said. “You like to see those guys get that opportunity and step up and carry the ball. Isaiah found out on Wednesday that he was going to carry the ball a lot.”

Toure said the Marauders were confident with Harrison and Pesterkoff in the backfield.

“We know we have the depth,” he said. “The offensive line played great. … If we can play like that every single night, we have a chance against anyone.”

Stewart also liked Mariner’s offensive line’s performance.

“We consistently ran the ball. We blocked well,” he said.

The Mariner defense came up big against the Knights when the game was on the line.

“Our defense has been playing pretty well,” Stewart said.

Mariner faces Cascade (0-2, 2-2) at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29, at Everett Memorial Stadium. After opening the season with two victories, the Bruins have lost back-to-back games to Glacier Peak and Monroe. Kamiak hosts Mount Vernon (0-2, 1-3) at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29 at Goddard Stadium. The Bulldogs also have dropped their last two contests to Jackson and Lake Stevens.


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