While Sehome’s patchwork quarterback situation has forced the Mariners to adjust its offensive attack, it’s also allowed Sehome coach Bob Norvell to unleash his stable of running backs.
And Norvell showed them all against Anacortes. Six Mariners received five or more carries, and interestingly enough it was Sehome’s smallest back, 5-foot-5, 155-pound senior Kevin Sun, who made the largest impact.
Sun ran for 133 yards and a touchdown on 17 rushes, the Mariners rumbled for 325 yards on 57 attempts and Sehome churned out a 16-3 Northwest Conference-opening win over Anacortes on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Civic Stadium.
“He just wouldn’t go down,” said Norvell of Sun. “He ran hard and made it tough. He’s always been a little scat back. I’ve always wanted him to play for us, and he finally got his opportunity and showed why he is going to be good.”
Sun asserted himself as Sehome’s most effective back during the first half and earned the bulk of the carries after halftime, but he had plenty of help.
Jace Rinker ran for 77 yards on eight attempts, Anton Arena logged 37 yards on eight rushes and Tanner Patrick, Daton Nestlebush and Marcus Montag each eclipsed more than 20 rush yards.
Sehome (2-1, 1-0 NWC) was afforded the opportunity to play a more conservative style on a windy night thanks to its stingy defense. The Mariners kept Anacortes out of the endzone. Several players made big plays, but perhaps none was more important than Patrick’s diving interception off Anacortes quarter Camden McLaughlin in Sehome’s endzone.
Early in the second quarter on a first-and-goal from Sehome’s 7, McLaughlin threw a ball over the middle that got tipped high in the air, but before it could fall to the turf, Patrick made a spectacular grab.
Field goals from Sehome and Anacortes tied the game 3-3 at half.
Sun gave the Mariners a third quarter lead by capping an impressive drive with a 2-yard TD run, giving Sehome a 10-3 lead with 7:00 left in the third.
“It was just exhilarating,” said Sun of his big performance. “I don’t attribute my success to anyone but my blockers and my line. I mean, they did an exceptional job of opening up holes and making a lane for me to run through. I just kind of feel it. I’m just looking and reacting. It’s just kind of instinct I guess.”
Montag, who also intercepted a pass late, sealed the game scoring on an 8-yard sweep around the right side to put the Mariners in front 16-3 with 8:08 to go in the fourth quarter.