By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
EVERETT — After Cascade’s 30-15 victory over arch rival Everett on Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium the Bruin players weren’t quite sure what to do.
They’d never experienced this before.
None of the players had ever beaten Everett and most hadn’t notched a varsity win prior to a season-opening triumph over Shorewood that ended a 25-game losing streak.
After the final seconds ticked off Friday, the Bruin student section, players and cheerleaders jumped up and down on the track and the team sang the school fight song. Cascade coach Joe Cronin — an Everett High graduate — was emotional while taking in the scene.
“It feels great,” Cronin said. “Look at that. Enough said.
“When is the last time Cascade did that? The school spirit is amazing. The atmosphere, the parent involvement, our assistant coaches are amazing. The players are amazing. All the credit to them. That makes me want to tear up.”
After Everett opened the game with a 33-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage, Cascade cruised on both sides of the ball, racking up a 30-0 edge through three quarters. The Seagulls added a last-minute score once the Bruins took their foot off the gas to make the end result look closer than it was.
Bruin quarterback Ryan Lukas completed 15 of 21 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown. Lukas would have thrown for two scores if not for a fumble at the 1-yard line in the third quarter. However, because this was a Bruin kind of night, backup running back Malik Rackliff recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a TD.
“The last three years have been the hardest year ever,” Lukas said. “Today was the day where it all came out. All the frustration was gone after this game. It was clear. It was overwhelming.”
Cascade’s first offensive play from scrimmage was a 43-yard pass from Lukas to junior wideout KJ Brady, which set up a 30-yard Joey Birnbaum field goal that made the score 3-0. Immediately this rivalry game felt different than the past three.
“Amazing,” Lukas said. “It’s been too long. I’ve waited my whole career for this. This is amazing.”
Going into the season Lukas knew that Brady and tight end Steven Gallardo would be his top two targets — and they were in the early going Friday. But no one saw Kaleb Dobson coming.
The junior wideout had one JV game under his belt before this season and no career touchdowns.
In the second quarter Lukas hadn’t so much as targeted Dobson until a third-and-11 play from Cascade’s 34-yard-line. Dobson ran a fade route and blew by his defender, catching the Lukas pass in stride and streaking down the left sideline for a 66-yard score, making it 10-0 Bruins.
Dobson finished with three catches for 106 yards and the score.
“I’ve known he’s had that in him,” Lukas said. “He’s a hard worker. He’s one of the fastest people I’ve ever met. Once we got him in space, he put on a show.”
Dobson and some of the other Bruins were upset that the night before, after a Cascade home volleyball match, the campus and Bruin statue were vandalized with blue and yellow paint.
“We just got tagged,” Dobson said. “Our school got tagged by Everett. That doesn’t make us very happy.”
KeJuan Coleman lead the Cascade ground attack with 110 yards on 23 carries. Steven Rios had 89 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Everett struggled most of the night. Quarterback Nolan Rogge suffered six sacks in the first half and served up an interception.
The Seagulls (0-3) remained winless entering Wesco 3A play. The Bruins are 2-1 heading into Wesco 4A South play next week. This year they feel like they can compete.
“If we continue to play like we did tonight, then we have every bit of a shot in 4A,” Cronin said.
At Everett Memorial
Cas— Joey Birnbaum 30 FG
Cas— Kaleb Dobson 66 pass from Ryan Lukas (Birnbaum kick)
Cas— Steven Rios 2 run (Birnbaum kick)
Cas—Rios 3 run (kick failed)
Cas— Malik Rackliff fumble recovery in end zone (Birnbaum kick)
Eve—Nolan Rogge 1 run (Bryce Jameson kick)
Eve—TJ Lewis 3 run (Jameson pass to Garret Wise)
Records: Cascade 2-1 overall, Everett 0-3