EVERETT — The Cascade football team has taken its lumps in recent years, including a shutout loss to crosstown rival Everett last season.
The Bruins flipped the script with a resounding statement in this year’s Battle of Broadway.
Cascade compiled an all-around dominant performance, rolling to a 46-0 running-clock win over the Seagulls in the annual rivalry game Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“For our kids, this is three years coming,” third-year Bruins coach Shane Keck said. “They’ve taken their lumps, and to have this for our community — I think it’s a pretty special night.”
With the victory, Cascade improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2013 and avenged last year’s 28-0 loss to the Seagulls. Cascade has outscored its first two opponents by a combined 76-7 margin heading into next week’s Wesco 4A opener against Glacier Peak.
“I think our kids are finally really starting to buy into the way we want to play football,” Keck said. “When we took over, it was like, ‘OK, how do we want to do this thing? Do we want it to be good right now, or do we want to be good for the long run?’
“And it’s really taken that three-year process to get our kids buying in and believing. It’s been a long road for our kids to get there.”
Cascade scored on all six of its offensive possessions, excluding a quarterback kneel-down at the end of the first half.
The Bruins piled up 281 yards rushing in their Wing-T attack, averaging 9.7 yards per carry and rattling off eight runs of 15-plus yards.
Cascade junior running back Junior Due led the way, rushing for 110 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. Due also hauled in two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
The Bruins sprinkled in an effective play-action passing game, led by senior quarterback Brett Gillis. Playing in his first Battle of Broadway after missing last year’s contest due to injury, Gillis completed 5 of 7 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
“What’s tough about the Wing-T now for (opposing defenses) is that we can throw the ball a little bit,” Keck said. “It really forces the saftey or (another defender) to be outside the box and (put) the numbers in the passing game. And I think we’ve been able to take advantage of that.”
Cascade scored on its opening possession, keyed by a fourth-and-2 completion from Gillis to senior tight end Gatlin Griffith that kept the drive alive. Three plays later, Gillis found senior Caymyn Coleman wide open in the end zone for a 24-yard play-action touchdown pass that gave the Bruins an early 7-0 lead.
Everett (1-1) drove to the Cascade 13-yard line on the ensuing possession, but Coleman blocked David Eisenkraft’s 30-yard field goal attempt. Cascade senior Sean Sibley scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown to make it 14-0.
“That blocked field goal was a big momentum swing,” Keck said.” I’ve been coaching that same block for 12 or 13 years, and we designed it for the scoop-and-score guy. We repped it in pregame today, and he was right there, picked it up and (took it) to the house. Pretty special deal.”
Cascade recovered an Everett fumble on the next possession, taking over on the Seagulls’ 21-yard line following a 15-yard personal-foul penalty after the play.
The Bruins capitalized soon after with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Gillis to Due, stretching the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter.
Everett responded by driving inside the Cascade 25-yard line, but the Seagulls turned the ball over on another fumble. Everett fumbled eight times, including five times in the first half.
Due then hauled in a 34-yard pass over the middle before bursting through a seam two plays later for a 15-yard touchdown run. Cascade turned the ensuing botched extra-point snap into a successful two-point conversion, extending the lead to 29-0 with less than three minutes left in the half.
Due broke a 65-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, and then rushed for a 22-yard score two plays later to make it 36-0 early in the third quarter.
Cascade senior running back Massai Moore added a 38-yard touchdown run in the fourth that began the running clock.
“It’s just the first step in the direction we want to go,” Keck said of the Bruins’ first Battle of Broadway win since 2014. “But the last couple years, (Everett) has handed it to us. And so it was pretty cool for our kids to turn it around.”
This year’s rivalry game had a throwback feel with both teams featuring run-heavy offenses. Cascade is in its second season since implementing a Wing-T attack, while Everett transitioned from a spread offense to a flexbone system this offseason. The Seagulls attempted just five passes Friday, completing only one.
There was a moment of silence prior to the contest for former Everett coach Paul Lawrence, who passed away last week.