Marauders fall in blowout loss to Bearcats | Football
Last updated 10/6/2021 at 4:48pm
Mariner coach Mark Stewart is hoping his players learn from their surprisingly one-sided loss to Monroe.
Little went right for the Marauders in a 48-7 loss to the Bearcats in a nonconference football Friday, Sept. 24, at Goddard Stadium.
Quarterbacks Evan Leggett and Blake Spring each threw for two touchdowns and combined for 256 yards in a game neither team knew it would be playing less than 24 hours prior to kickoff.
Stewart was settling in for the night on Thursday when he received word at 8 p.m. of a change in his team's opponent. Meadowdale, the Marauders' scheduled opponent, informed Mariner officials that the school did not feel comfortable playing a game Friday night. Monroe's opponent, Mountlake Terrace, also pulled out of its game. So, on Friday evening, the Bearcats' bus exited I-5 early, turning off at the 128th Street exit to head to Goddard Stadium.
Stewart said sometimes it's good for a team to go up against a strong team and have one's weaknesses revealed.
"Obviously that was a pretty good football team," Stewart said. "We had some issues stopping them. It's a good test. It's a nonleague game. Obviously, you'd rather play and have the score be better. You'd rather play somebody that's going to expose you a little bit."
The question posed by an assistant coach to the players in a short meeting after the game was simple and to the point: "How are we going to respond? Are we going to work and continue to work to get better?"
The Mariner defense did not have any answers for the Monroe spread offense. Nine different Bearcats caught passes.
"I knew this was going to be a test," Stewart said. "I knew they were really going to test us up front. It was a little different for our defense to guess what they were going to do. We knew how to play them. It's Monroe. We know them. So, we talked about it.
"I was hoping we would be able to be a little more physical upfront. We can work on that. We've got people who need to get better, and we will."
Even though the Marauders were preparing for a different style of offense, they knew how to defend against the spread offense, Stewart said. Monroe, previously a Wesco 4A rival, dropped down to 3A this season and came in with a victory over Lynnwood (46-0) and losses to Glacier Peak (50-21) and Ferndale (55-35).
"We saw it as an opportunity," Stewart said. "An opportunity, here we go. We're going to go figure some things out."
The Marauders weren't able to get any consistent drives against the aggressive Monroe defense. The Bearcats picked off three passes and limited Mariner to 69 yards on the ground. Stewart again pointed to the play of the line.
"We weren't physical enough. We weren't staying on blocks enough," Stewart said. "We weren't hitting the holes enough. It's a team that we knew we were going to get challenged physically. We just need to do a better job of stepping up."
Mariner was without starting running Cartez Williams, whose status is week to week, Stewart said.
The Marauders (1-0, 3-1) face another tough opponent in Glacier Peak (0-0, 3-1), who also suffered its first loss of the season, a shocking 49-14 rout by Marysville-Pilchuck. The game is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at Goddard Stadium.