If nothing else, senior linebacker-turned-quarterback Jace Rinker will have memories of competing for Sehome against nothing but the best.
In his second varsity game at quarterback, Rinker threw a legitimate scare into defending Class 2A state champion Sedro-Woolley before the Cubs came back with a ferocious third quarter to claim a 34-6 Northwest Conference win on Friday, Oct. 9.
One week after his signal-calling debut against 2013 state champ Lynden, Rinker threw a pretty 18-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Michael Evans. A bad snap spoiled the conversion attempt, but the Mariners (2-4 overall, 1-3 NWC) trailed only 7-6 with a little more than a minute left in the first half.
The first-half touchdown for the Cubs (3-3, 2-2) was a 45-yard interception return by Bryce Hornbeck. In fact, the Rinker-led Mariners out gained Sedro-Woolley 131-119 in the first half, with 100 yards passing by Rinker, the fifth quarterback Sehome has used this season.
It was, however, too good to be true. Carter Crosby scored on runs of 26 and 24 yard in the third quarter and Quinn Carpenter added a 4-yard score to finish with 104 yards on 11 carries. Sedro-Woolley, looking very much like a potential state contender in the third quarter, finished with 360 yards, with 336 on the ground.
“Jace has shown a lot of (quick) improvement,” Sehome coach Bob Norvell said. “I knew he could throw, but now he’s learning to read the field. He said what about this, this and this to me, and I said, ‘Hey, it’s only your second varsity game.’ He wants to learn it all.”
Rinker finished 14 for 26 for 141 yards, finding seven different receivers, but suffered two interceptions, just as he did against Lynden. In all, he has completed 28 of his first 47 varsity passes.
His situation won’t get any easier unless there is a 10th game, since the Mariners finish against Squalicum, Ferndale and Burlington-Edison.
Sehome provided moments of excitement in the first half, including a 36-yard leaping catch by Warren Zinns and a 57-yard interception return by Taylor Rapp, though neither did anything more than land the Mariners on the Cubs’ side of the field.
Sehome’s touchdown came on a 50-yard, 8-play drive, including Rinker’s passes of 11 yards to Evans and 14 yards to Kevin Sun.
The Cubs sacked Rinker three times in the second half and finished with five sacks in all while holding the Mariners to a net of only 22 yards rushing on 31 carries.
Sedro-Woolley gained 211 yards in the third quarter alone, including a 73-yard run by Hornbeck, who was knocked out of bounds on the 4-yard line by Rapp. Carpenter, though, scored from the 4, giving the Cubs a 28-6 advantage.
“They came out and stuck it us in the third quarter,” said Norvell. “But I thought we did a heck of a job in the first half.”
Sedro -- Bryce Hornbeck 45 interception return (Adrian Vasquez kick)
Sehome -- Michael Evans 18 pass from Jace Rinker (run failed)
Sedro -- Carter Crosby 26 run (Vasquez kick)
Sedro -- Crosby 24 run (Vasquez kick)
Sedro -- Quinn Carpenter 4 run (Vasquez kick)
Sedro -- James Barney 5 run (kick failed)
RUSHING — Sehome: Kevin Sun 11-16, Tanner Patrick 5-8, Jace Rinker 9-(minus 28), Taylor Rapp 1-0, Marcus Montag 2-8, Anton Arena 3-18. Sedro-Woolley: Quinn Carpenter 11-104, Carter Crosby 8-70, Bryce Hornbeck 3-79, Devin Willard 5-21, Thor Wagoner 4-18, Will Enniss 3-27, James Barney 2-10, Colton Austin 1-1, Ryan Buchanan 1-1, Bryson Bartlett 1-5.
PASSING — Sehome: Jace Rinker 14-26-2-141. Sedro-Woolley: Devin Willard 4-9-1-24.
RECEIVING — Sehome: Taylor Rapp 2-15, Warren Zinns 3-48, Kevin Sun 2-11, Michael Evans 3-33, Max Diehl 2-23, Anton Arena 1-2, Tanner Patrick 1-9. Sedro-Woolley: Gavin Holdt 2-13, Carter Crosby 2-11.