It was arguably the highlight of the year in Wesco football.
Mariner senior wide receiver Roman Savchuk sprinted down the sideline on a go route during an Oct. 18 game against Glacier Peak at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish, and Marauders quarterback Jackson Cole let it fly.
WESCO has some ballers…. Check out this catch during last night's awesome game between Mariner and Glacier Peak. Blowouts are boring! @RylandSpencer @NWBallers1 @NW_Spotlight @scottohsman pic.twitter.com/muBS0YYeo3
— STSPN.com (@SnohomishSports) October 19, 2019
“The corner wasn’t playing very tough and he was kind of bailing, and I already knew it was going to be a jump ball,” Savchuk said. “I feel like I can attack the ball better than most people. Jackson didn’t put it outside the numbers, so I had to put it in my own hands and make a play.”
While the Grizzlies’ defensive back was looking up at the ball, Savchuk, running alongside him, jumped above him and plucked it out of the air, evoking a catch made famous by NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
Savchuk stayed on his feet and coasted into the end zone for a touchdown.
“When I got back to the sideline, everyone was pretty hyped and came up to me and said it was the craziest play they’d seen this season,” he said.
“Roman is pretty darn special,” Mariner coach Mark Stewart said. “We weren’t too surprised (by the catch). He just has an uncanny ability to make plays.”
Stewart referenced a play Savchuk made on defense in an Oct. 25 win over Cascade, when he abandoned his pass-rush responsibilities and baited the Bruins’ quarterback into an interception.
“We moved him up into the box more often this year, and he was supposed to rush on that play but he read the bootleg, dropped back and took the interception to the house,” Stewart said.
The Herald caught up with Savchuk last week to talk about large families, engineering and a week of team-building in Wenatchee.
Two Mariner football players have been voted Athlete of the Month so far this year. Are you guys doing a lot of campaigning?
Our teachers have been helping a lot and putting it out in front of students. Our family members have been helping a lot, too, and are having everyone in the community vote for us. It feels good that people think about us that way.
Have you made any other catches like that one against Glacier Peak, in games or in practice?
I made two or three last year, but this was the first one that was actually caught on tape.
How would you evaluate your last season of high school football?
I think the season went pretty well. Last year we only had two wins, and this year we had three, so it felt great to win more games. It was a bummer losing to Glacier Peak by one point (21-20), though. It kind of determined whether we were going to make the playoffs or not.
You’re a wide receiver on offense and a safety on defense. Which do you like better?
I enjoy playing both ways, but I would choose defense because I like being physical and hitting people. It feels better to score a touchdown on defense because it’s harder. It’s fun to make plays like the one against Glacier Peak, but not enough action comes on offense. On defense, you can make a play on every play.
We heard you come from a big family. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
I have three brothers (Pavel, Peter and Max) and four sisters (Nadia, Olga, Sofia and Kristina). I’m fifth, in the middle. Three are younger and four are older. There’s always someone to talk to if you need, and we have 2-on-2 basketball games a lot. We all play sports, and Max was our backup quarterback this season.
What are your plans for after high school?
Hopefully I’ll be able to somehow sneak in an offer to play football somewhere. I’d like to do engineering, designing buildings and stuff.
Outside of football, what else are you passionate about?
All I do is play sports. If I’m not at practice, I’m somewhere playing sports with friends, either on someone’s sport court or at the (Mukilteo) YMCA.
When you look back on your time playing sports at Mariner 5-10 years from now, what do you think you’ll remember most?
I’ll just remember making memories with my teammates. We went to a football camp in Wenatchee last summer and did so much fun stuff together. I’m never going to forget about that.