First-year Sehome football coach Kevin Beason knows he’s not going to turn around the program in one game, but the Mariners took a pretty big step in the right direction Friday night.
Sehome, which twice rallied from double-digit deficits, had first-and-goal at the Mountlake Terrace 5-yard line, when quarterback Michael Mindnich was pressured. Mindnich appeared to get off a shovel pass to avoid the sack before he went down, but officials ruled it a fumble, which the Hawks recovered with 27.1 seconds remaining to preserve a 41-40 Week 1 victory and stretch Sehome’s winless streak to 18.
“I think that game was an important step in the right direction,” Beason said. “The program doesn’t change overnight. We’re seeing tangible improvements right now. It means so much to our kids, our staff and our fans to see competitive football, and that’s what we had tonight.”
It didn’t look like it would be competitive early, as the Hawks scored the game’s first 20 points.
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“I had a lot of thoughts going through me mind about how we’d respond,” Beason said. “That’s one of things we’ve really been focusing on, and I couldn’t be happier with how the boys responded to adversity.”
By halftime, the Mariners had erased the deficit and built a 27-20 lead on Mindnich’s 1-yard run.
Mountlake scored the first 21 points of the second half to retake a 14-point lead, but once again Sehome battled back. Mindich found Jay Travier from 16 yards out early in the fourth quarter and added another scoring toss midway through the period. But a failed 2-point conversion left Sehome down one.
Beason said he went for 2 because of an injury to his regular long snapper.
The Mariners got a defensive stop and got the ball back with about a little more than four minutes remaining and methodically worked the ball down the field before the fumble.
“We all want the Ws, but there were a lot of things to feel good about tonight and a lot of things to work on in practice,” Beason said. “I was very proud of what we saw tonight.”