BELLINGHAM - Is the glass half empty or half full?
In the case of the Sehome football team in its annual rivalry game against Bellingham on Friday, Oct. 26, at Civic Stadium, it was a little bit of both - it's all a matter of perspective.
On one hand, the Mariners gained 477 yards of total offense. On the other, they gave back 154 on penalties.
Do you choose to focus on the three interceptions Sehome's defense logged, or the 10 fumbles its offense committed, three of which were lost?
All of it added up to an ugly 18-6 victory over a crosstown rival, as the Mariners matched their win totals from the past two seasons with three. But on the same night, the ghosts of last week's loss at Sedro-Woolley came back to haunt them, when they were eliminated from postseason contention with Burlington-Edison's 14-7 win over the Cubs.
"I've got a big rock in my stomach right now," Sehome coach Bob Norvell said. "Obviously, our goal this whole season was to get into the playoffs and we didn't do that, and it hurts right now."
Norvell and his team know the reason that it hurts so much is because they simply made too many mistakes throughout the season, and it ended up costing Sehome (3-6, 3-4 NWC 2A) wins and ultimately the playoffs.
Though it didn't cost them the win on Friday, the game was simply a microcosm of the problems.
How else can you explain a team being flagged for 15 penalties, a large portion of which came deep in the red zone?
"We've put ourselves in some pretty tough spots all year," Norvell said. "We've made some catastrophic mistakes, and you can't have those against good football teams. You can't do it any time. Those mistakes made this game closer than it had to be."
But Sehome still found a way to get the job done on a rainy Friday night against Bellingham (1-8, 1-6).
"We've been playing with these guys since we were in South Side football in fourth grade, so it's good to get the last one," Malik Williams said. "It's always great to get a win."
Sehome controlled the line of scrimmage, as it rushed for 350 yards on 58 carries (6.0 per attempt).
Titi Lamositele led the way, as he rushed for 163 yards on 19 carries. Daniel Ziegler added 68 on six attempts, including a fourth-quarter touchdown, and also caught a team-high three passes for 64 yards.
Despite all the yardage, Sehome did not break the scoreless tie until Taylor Rapp bulled his way in from 1 yard out with 5:26 left before halftime. Ziegler's 2-point conversion run made it 8-0 at the half. That came on the Mariners' third trip inside the Bellingham 10.
Sam Diehl tagged on a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter, before Ziegler's 7-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 18-0.
While Sehome's offense seemed to have no problems moving the ball, except when it fumbled or got flagged, Bellingham seemed stuck in neutral for much of the game.
The Red Raiders logged only two first-half first downs, and had only two more in the second half until Justin Pruett led them on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that was aided by one defensive holding penalty and two personal foul calls against Sehome. Pruett, who finished with 100 yards passing, capped the drive off with a one-yard keeper to put Bellingham on the board.
Marques Reynolds was Bellingham's top rusher with 67 yards on eight carries.
Despite all the yards that the Red Raiders allowed, coach Steve Wilson was pleased with his team's defensive effort, which resulted in a season-low for points allowed.
"For the first time this year, I felt we stuck to our game plan and did pretty well with it," Wilson said. "I was very proud of my team overall. I thought the boys played hard."
Sehome and Bellingham will each host non-playoff crossover games against Cascade Conference opponents next week, as they wrap up their seasons.
"Hopefully we can come back and get our fourth win (of the season) next week," Williams said. "That would be one more than we got last year, and that would be a good way to go out."
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
Bellingham 0 0 0 0- 6
Sehome 0 8 3 7- 18
Seh - Taylor Rapp 1 run (Daniel Ziegler run)
Seh - Sam Diehl 27 FG
Seh - Ziegler 7 run (Diehl kick)
Bel - Justin Pruett 1 run (run failed)
First downs 10 21
Rushing Att-Yards 14-98 58-350
Comp-Att-Int 10-27-3 7-10-0
Passing yards 100 127
Penalties-yards 7-71 15-154
Fumbles-lost 1-0 10-3
RUSHING - Bellingham: Kyle Redmond 1-3, Marques Reynolds 8-67, Justin Pruett 4-19, Darice Haywood 1-9. Sehome: Forrest Longanecker 5-39, Titi Lamositele 19-163, Austin Rapp 11-(-30), Daniel Ziegler 6-68, Taylor Rapp 8-48, Willy Lallas 4-30, Daniel Goebel 1-(-4), Malik Williams 1-8, Bo Banner 3-28.
PASSING - Bellingham: Justin Pruett 10-27-3-100. Sehome: Austin Rapp 6-9-0-121, Daniel Ziegler 1-1-0-6.
RECEIVING - Bellingham: Marques Reynolds 3-26, Darice Haywood 2-19, Nicholas Estrada 1-12, Cyrus Davies 1-4, Kyle Redmonds 3-39. Sehome: Forrest Longanecker 1-23, Malik Williams 1-23, Daniel Ziegler 3-64, Willy Lalls 1-11, Austin Rapp 1-6.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.