Austin Brockie seemed to need less than a second to answer the obvious question when asked if he likes catching touchdown passes or throwing them.
The versatile Lummi senior’s instant reply: “Both!”
Fellow senior Jacob Roberts didn’t even need one word to reveal whether he had ever returned two punts for touchdowns in the same game.
His wide smile said it all as his teammates surrounded the quiet Roberts with laughs.
It was that kind of night for the Blackhawks as they overwhelmed an outmanned Rainier Christian 54-8 in a Class 1B state tournament play-in game before a large home crowd on Friday, Nov. 7.
The win sent Lummi, the second seed from District 1/3, into the new eight-man football state Round of 16 next weekend on the road against Lyle/Wishram, the top seed from District 4.
It’s the 11th consecutive state appearance for coach Jim Sandusky and his Blackhawks, who looked well worthy of the honor on a festive Senior Night.
In fact, Sandusky said if the Blackhawks win next week, they’ll earn a home game in the quarterfinals.
Brockie has caught numerous touchdown passes since he was a precocious eighth- and ninth-grader, but he was pressed into fulltime quarterback duty for the second consecutive game because the Blackhawks didn’t want to take any chances with junior quarterback Hank Hoskins’ sore leg.
Brockie scored Lummi’s first touchdown on a 2-yard sneak, then threw scoring passes of 62 and 43 yards to senior Dino Williams, whose seven receptions for 121 yards gave him 17 catches for 272 yards and five touchdown in two games.
Brockie added scoring passes of 51 yards to sophomore Trazil Lane on Lummi’s final play of the first half and 9 yards to Roberts in the third quarter. Roberts earlier scored on a 65-yard punt return and added a touchdown on a 45-yard punt return to cap a memorable night for Lummi’s explosive seniors.
That gave Brockie nine scoring passes in two games. At the start of the season, no one would have been shocked had the left-handed passer instead caught that many passes for scores in two games, but now the Blackhawks appear to have developed exceptional depth at both quarterback and receiver.
“It was good that we could rest some of our starters,” said Sandusky, who noted this was only the ninth on-the-field decision for Lummi (8-3 overall), which has also gained two forfeits. “Our backups performed really well. It was good to see how we were able to throw deep so well.”
Indeed, Brockie launched the ball close to 50 yards in the air on Williams’ 62-yard score.
Rainer Christian (3-5) had only 13 players available at the start of the game. The Mustangs gained consolation when talented sophomore quarterback Logan Hanbey threw a short pass to Alec Fernandez -Morales and he turned it into a 68-yard third-quarter touchdown.
Lummi did not allow a first down until the final minute of the first half while building a 34-0 advantage. Junior Jason James, along with seniors Willie Jones, Williams, Roberts and Adam Lawrence, took turns sacking the gutty Hanbey 11 times for minus 54 yards as all had multiple sacks.
The Mustangs, however, provided an inspirational example of their love for football, which they have played for only five years. They endured several injuries and had only one reserve available at one point in the fourth quarter, but they refused to wilt and played hard throughout.
Lum —Austin Brockie 2 run (pass failed)
Lum — Dino Williams 62 pass from Brockie (pass failed)
Lum — Jacob Roberts 65 punt return (Williams pass from Brockie)
Lum —Williams 43 pass from Brockie (pass failed)
Lum —Trazil Lane 51 pass from Brockie (Williams pass from Brockie)
Lum —Roberts 9 pass from Brockie (run failed)
Lum —Roberts 45 interception return (Raven Borsey pass from Jonathan Casimir)
RC — Alec Fernandez-Morales 68 pass from Logan Hanbey (Hanbey run)
Lum — John Ballew 11 run (run failed)
RUSHING — Rainer Christian: Danny DeLorenzo 14-4, Logan Hanbey 14-(-46), Alec Fernandez-Morales 4-3. Lummi: Jacob Roberts 6-56, Willie Jones 3-11, Austin Brockie 5-(-16), John Ballew 3-27, Jeffrey Cultee 1-1, Jonathan Casimir 1-3, Elder Roberts 2-1.
PASSING — Rainier Christian: Logan Hanbey 6-17-1-94. Lummi: Austin Brockie 12-22-1-189.
RECEIVING — Rainier Christian: Alec Fernandez-Morales 2-70, Noah Bryant 2-30, Danny DeLorenzo 2-(-6). Lummi: Dino Williams 7-121, Jacob Roberts 2-11, Raven Borsey 1-2, Trazil Lane 1-51, Willie Jones 1-4.