LUMMI -- It could have been one of the greatest comebacks in Lummi's storied football history.
But it also would have been one of the hardest to believe.
In a game that lasted more than three hours, Lummi's 36-28 non-league loss to La Conner on Friday, Sept 13, in its home opener proved two things to one of the largest crowds in the school's history.
One, the Blackhawks (1-1) have a lot to work on, both offensively and defensively
Two, they have courage, determination and a number of potentially explosive offensive weapons.
La Conner (2-0), last year's Class 1B state runner-up, received a stellar performance from senior quarterback Sean Hulbert, who threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores, giving the Braves a 36-22 advantage with 10 minutes and 44 seconds to play.
At that point, Lummi junior Devin Cooper, one of the school's fastest players, inspired and excited his teammates by suiting up and entering the game after returning from attending a family funeral.
And Lummi's players and coaches will long remember Cooper's desperate reach for the ball in the end zone on a pass from senior quarterback Logan Toby with three seconds remaining.
The pass fell incomplete, giving the Blackhawks one more play from the 9-yard line.
Toby passed to talented junior Kavarez Lane, who began Lummi's comeback with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Lane struggled with all his might to avoid a tackler, but he was knocked out of bounds on the 6-yard line. That ended one of the longest and most exciting second halves in the proud history of the Blackhawks, who have reached the state semifinals five times in the past seven seasons, including the 2010 Class 2A state title season.
Junior receiver Willie Jones gave Lummi hope when he eluded a defender with a marvelous move to complete a 67-yard catch-run touchdown on a pass from Toby with 9:43 remaining.
Lane, desperately trying to tackle as hard as he could on La Conner's ensuing drive, fell on a Braves fumble with 4:31 remaining, but Lummi turned the ball right back on a bobble. Lummi, however, held on three downs, giving the Blackhawks their final shot.
Lummi took over on its own 22-yard line and gained 40 yards on a 10-yard pass from Toby to Dino Williams plus a pair of 15-yard penalties against the Braves.
Toby took a hard shot, creating one of the penalties, and junior receiver Austin Brockie took over at quarterback just long enough to sprint 23 yards to the 2-yard line with 48 seconds remaining.
Williams, however, was thrown for a 7-yard loss on a trick play. Williams had contributed much to the comeback, scoring Lummi's first touchdown on a 50-yard pass from Toby after the Blackhawks were shut out in the opening quarter.
Lummi's third touchdown was a 7-yard run by Leo Scarburough in the third quarter, shortly after Lane's pick-six. Following Scarborough's score, Williams caught a 2-point conversion pass from Toby to create a 22-all tie.
At that point, late in the third quarter, Hudson Zavala caught his second 19-yard scoring pass from Hulbert. Early in the final period, Hulbert gave the Braves a 36-22 lead with a 14-yard scoring scamper.
The game was delayed more than 20 minutes when a Lummi team manager, Guy Owings, had to be treated on the sideline when he took ill.
La Conner's Jimmy Brooks scored the only touchdown of the opening quarter on a 60-yard pass from Hulbert.
Complete statistics for the game will appear in Sunday's Bellingham Herald. In order to meet copy deadlines, quotes were unavailable for this story.
La Conner 6 16 8 6- 36
Lummi 0 6 16 6- 28
LaC - Jimmy Brooks 60 pass from Sean Hulbert (pass failed)
Lum - Dino Williams 50 pass from Logan Toby (pass failed)
LaC - Hudson Zavala 19 pass from Hulbert (Hulbert run)
LaC - Hulbert 2 run (Brooks run)
Lum - Kavarez Lane 55 interception return (Deion Hoskins pass from Toby)
Lum - Leo Scarbourough 7 run (Williams pass from Toby)
LaC - Zavala 19 pass from Hulbert (Wil James run)
LaC - Hulbert 14 run (pass failed)
Lum - Willie Jones 67 pass from Toby (run failed)
First downs 22 14
Rushing Att-Yards 40-158 20-70
Comp-Att-Int 17-25-1 14-34-1
Passing yards 327 220
Penalties-yards 9-80 7-65
Fumbles-lost 4-3 4-1
RUSHING - La Conner: Wil James 13-82, Sean Hulbert 19-49, Jimmy Brooks 4-21, Hudson Zavala 3-8, Matt Finley 1-(-2). Lummi: Deion Hoskins 6-26, Leo Scarbourough 5-19, Logan Toby 5-6, Austin Brockie 3-26, Dino Williams 1-(-7).
PASSING - La Conner: Sean Hulbert 17-25-1-327. Lummi: Logan Toby 14-33-1-220; Austin Brockie 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING - La Conner: Jimmy Brooks 3-111, Taylor Swanson 5-64, Hudson Zavala 4-89, Cameron Hansen 1-7, Wil James 1-17, Matt Finley 3-39. Lummi: Dino Williams 6-125, Austin Brockie 5-23, Willie Jones 1-67, Kavarez Lane 1-3, Tony Decoteau 1-2.