By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
EVERETT — It takes a lot for someone playing in just his second game of the season to steal the spotlight on Senior Night, but that’s exactly what Kamiak’s Joseph Binda Jr. did.
With the Knights taking on their district rival, Mariner, at Frank Goddard Memorial Stadium, Binda and Kamiak ran the Marauders off the field the teams two teams share on the Mariner campus with a 48-13 victory Friday night.
“It’s pretty awesome,” senior captain Nick Taglialavore said. “It’s nice to get a new kid that comes in and just carries the team like that.”
Binda carried the ball 20 times for 217 yards and four touchdowns without even recording a carry in the first quarter. He took the first play from scrimmage in the second half 88 yards for a score, using a burst of speed to nearly fly down the Mariner sideline.
“He’s ready and willing to go the distance and fight hard and get the job done,” Taglialavore said. “It’s nice to see him pick up those first downs and those long touchdowns are even better.”
The sophomore running back transferred to Kamiak from out of state and played in his third game of the season. He made his first start last week against Edmonds-Woodway and ran a punt back for a touchdown the week before in the Knights’ game against Jackson.
“He’s a football player, and he’s coming into his own,” Kamiak coach Dan Mack said. “He’s a young kid that’s trying hard. He’s got good speed and vision and a big heart.”
Binda was pushed into heavy action after starting tailback Austin Hall came out of the game for the second quarter.
After suffering a concussion two weeks ago, the senior captain and the Knights’ leading rusher sat out last week’s game. Hall opened Friday night by carrying the ball on eight of his team’s first nine plays from scrimmage. Hall slashed the Marauders for 63 yards on the opening drive but Tyler Webley took it the final 22 yards into the end zone to give Kamiak an early 7-0 edge.
Mack declined to provide details on Hall’s condition after the game. Hall stood on the sideline without a helmet beginning in the second quarter.
“We’re just holding him out right now,” the coach said. “He’s such an awesome human being and great football player. We’re just holding him out right now.”
Mariner made it a game early when Junius Fidow returned the kick after Webley’s score to the Kamiak 25-yard line. It took nine plays but Mariner quarterback Nick Smith executed a sneak from the 1 on the first play of the second quarter to make the score 7-6. But the Knight defense came up big with a fumble recovery and two interceptions and the offense reeled of 41 straight points. It was Kamiak’s first game without a turnover this year and quarterback Tyler Becker was 5-for-5 for 56 yards and two touchdowns, both to Henderson Belk. Prior to Friday the rivalry had been one sided in favor of Mariner in recent years.
“It’s the first time we’ve beat them since we’ve been here,” Taglialavore said. “And it feels good to bring that back.”
With the win and Cascade’s 37-0 victory over Jackson, the Marauders and Timberwolves were eliminated from playoff consideration and Kamiak (3-1 league) travels to Cascade (3-1) to potentially decide the Wesco 4A South’s No. 2 seed. Unless undefeated Edmonds-Woodway slips up in its final game of the season, the losing team between the Knights and Bruins would need to win a district play-in game to make the playoffs.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Taglialavore said. “It comes down to practice: How seriously we take it, how hard we go. I firmly believe that when we practice hard, we practice to the best of our abilities and we play to that same standard, we can’t be beat.”
The Knights hope to have Hall back on both sides of the football against the Bruins, and if not, Binda will be waiting in the wings.
“It’s good to have a solid replacement for (Hall), certainly,” Taglialavore said.
At Goddard Stadium
Mariner 0 6 0 7 — 13
Kamiak 7 27 14 0 — 48
K—Tyler Webley 22 run (Nicholas Menghini kick)
M—Nick Smith 1 run (kick failed)
K—Joseph Binda Jr. 6 run (kick failed)
K—Binda Jr. 3 run (Menghini kick)
K—Henderson Belk 21 pass from Tyler Becker (Menghini kick)
K—Belk 5 pass from Becker (Menghini kick)
K—Binda Jr. 88 run (Menghini kick)
K—Binda Jr. 20 run (Menghini kick)
M—Joshua Williamson 1 run (unknown kick)
Records—Mariner 1-3 league, 1-6 overall. Kamiak 3-1, 5-2.