High School Football

Mariners can’t hang on against defending 1A champs

Sehome running back Dalton Nestlebush tries to get around a Cascade Christian defender during a non-league game at the Emerald City Kickoff Classic on Saturday, Sept. 5, at Husky Stadium.
Sehome running back Dalton Nestlebush tries to get around a Cascade Christian defender during a non-league game at the Emerald City Kickoff Classic on Saturday, Sept. 5, at Husky Stadium. The Bellingham Herald

The Mariners were hoping Taylor Rapp would showcase his skills inside the venue where the future Husky will be playing his college football, but even Sehome didn’t want to see Rapp featured as much as he was during the Emerald City Kickoff Classic.

First-half injuries to Sehome starter Gavin Kaepernick and backup Nic Roger thrust Rapp into quarterback duty, and while Rapp made impressive plays, the Mariners’ offense wasn’t able to match No. 1-ranked Cascade Christian, the defending Class 1A state champs.

“We put in Nic Roger, and next thing we know he gets hit on the sideline and then he’s out,” Mariners coach Bob Norvell said. “So we went to Taylor because we had to, and Taylor hasn’t run any quarterback, so he was out there just being an athlete, and it really cut the playbook way down.”

The Mariners took a touchdown lead into halftime, but Sehome failed to score in the second half, taking a 28-13 loss to the Cougars during the Emerald City Kickoff Classic’s 10 a.m. game Saturday, Sept. 5, at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

Rapp displayed all the skills that’s made him one of UW’s most prized recruits. He caught a 12-yard touchdown pass, threw for an 18-yard TD and hauled in an interception during the first half alone.

“It was definitely exciting, a little glimpse of my future,” said Rapp of playing at Husky Stadium. “I can’t wait for next year, but I got to finish my senior year strong.”

Dalton Nestlebush led the Mariners’ rushing attack with 54 yards on 14 carries, and Rapp logged a team-high 27 receiving yards on three catches. Kaepernick finished 5 of 8 passing for 52 yards and a TD in limited action.

Sehome’s offense was moving the ball, looking fluid with Kaepernick in, but when he came out the Mariners’ attack completely changed.

“I think we came out tough in the first half,” Sehome receiver Anton Arena said, “but when Kaep got hurt, that hurt our offense a little bit, not really being able to score after that.”

Sehome trailed 7-6 late in the second quarter, but Rapp gave the Mariners a 13-6 halftime lead on the final play of the first half with a wild scramble.

Rapp dropped back, rolled to the right, then all the way back to his left, buying additional time before connecting with receiver Warren Zinns for an 18-yard touchdown strike.

But the Mariners’ defense, which had been so stout during the first half against Cascade Christian’s rushing attack, showed vulnerability defending the pass in the second half.

The Cougars put in quarterback Josh Seaton for the final two quarters, and he and receiver Austin Carder burned the Mariners for several big plays.

Cascade Christian took a 14-13 lead on a Madden Tobeck 2-yard TD run with 2:06 left in the third and extended its lead to 21-13 on a 30-yard TD pass from Seaton to Carder with 8:58 to go in the fourth.

Seaton finished 8 of 10 for 137 yards, and Carder caught six passes for a 123 yards.

“They started just lofting it up, trying to make a play, and we just didn’t make that play when we needed to,” Norvell said. “Gosh, we played OK. It was nice we were in it, but we really wanted to win it.”

Reach Andrew Lang at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com. Follow on Twitter at @andyde44

Cascade Christian 28, Sehome 13







Cascade Chr.






First quarter

Seh — Taylor Rapp 12 pass from Gavin Kaepernick (kick fail)

CC — Tanner Carle 15 pass from Jake Nielsen (Evan Patric kick)

Second quarter

Seh — Warren Zinns 18 pass from Rapp (Max Diehl kick)

Third quarter

CC— Madden Tobeck 2 run (Patric kick)

Fourth quarter

CC — Austin Carder 30 pass from Josh Seaton (Patric kick)

CC — Kyle Milton 1 run (Patric kick)



First downs



Rushing Att-yards






Passing yards









Individual leaders

RUSHING — Sehome: Dalton Nestlebush 15-54, Taylor Rapp 11-44, Tanner Patrick 6-13, Gavin Kaepernick 4-12, Anton Arena 2-(-4), Marcus Montag 1-3. Cascade Christian: Kyle Milton 9-29, Zach Bartolome 7-38, Peyton Berry 5-6, Jake Nielsen 3-7, Evan Patric 3-3, Madden Tobeck 2-7, Josh Seaton 2-(-10) .

PASSING — Sehome: Taylor Rapp 4-12-2-49, Gavin Kaepernick 5-8-0-52, Nic Roger 2-3-0-6. Cascade Christian: Josh Seaton 8-10-0-137, Jake Nielsen 3-8-2-34 .

RECEIVING — Sehome: Taylor Rapp 3-27, Dalton Nestlebush 3-3, Nathan Carrol 1-22, Warren Zinns 1-18, Max Diehl 1-15, Jace Rinker 1-14, Marcus Montag 1-8. Cascade Christian: Austin Carder 6-123, Tanner Carle 2-27, Zach Bartolome 1-21, Peyton Berry 2-0.