EVERETT — Big defensive plays and momentum swings are starting to become the norm for the Everett football team.
In last week’s win over Snohomish, it was Elijah Ross-Rutter punching the ball out from behind at the 1-yard line, saving a touchdown. This week, Dakota Brodel returned his second interception of the game 98 yards for a touchdown, giving the Seagulls a 19-14 lead that they would never relinquish in a 33-17 win over Shorecrest in a Wesco 3A South game Friday.
“I saw that they were trying to run a wheel (route) earlier in the game,” Brodel said. “They tried it a second time, and I just kind of bit on it and read it perfectly, made a cut inside and then got block from (Bogdan Fesiienko) and from then it was just touchdown.”
Christian Balmer led the way for the Seagulls on offense with 160 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s an animal,” Brodel said of Balmer “He never gives up, he never stops running and he never stops his legs from moving. He’s just a beast.”
Gabe Maggio had two rushing touchdowns and another score through the air as Everett pulled away in the second half on its way to the win.
“I’m really proud of our kids they’re becoming a second-half team,” Everett coach Doug Trainor said. “We’ve got some signature victories in the second half.”
The Seagulls took little time to extend their first-half lead, driving the ball 59 yards down the field for a score. Maggio capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Everett continued to add to its lead when Maggio connected with Ross-Rutter on a 35-yard pass in the end zone, making it 33-14.
Shorecrest threatened to make a comeback when Ricardo Ruiz burst straight up the middle for 61 yards on the opening play of the ensuing drive, but the Scots couldn’t capitalize on a red-zone opportunity, which all but sealed the deal for Everett.
Before Brodel’s interception, the game was shaping up to be a back-and-forth battle of big plays on offense.
Both team’s traded scoring drives early.
Shorecrest’s offense exploded for a 72-yard drive on four plays in the second quarter, highlighted by Ruiz’s 45-yard run off left tackle, to take a 14-13 lead on a 53-second scoring drive.
But soon after, Brodel came up with his huge interception, giving Everett the spark they needed to take control.
“It was a giant momentum swing,” Trainor said. “It’s one of the cool things that we talk about all the time, our ability to adapt to those momentum swings.”
The Scots had one last shot to take the lead back before the half when sophomore quarterback Eladio Fountain hit a wide-open Rico Dellaguardia down the sideline, but Ross-Rutter, as he did the week before, made a great hustle play to run down Dellaguardia at the 5-yard line.
“He’s just showing you the heart and desire he has” Trainor said of Ross-Rutter’s effort. “It’s reflective of our whole program.”
A big third-down sack by Tanner Hollenbeck made it 4th-and-goal from the 18 and the Scots couldn’t convert.
“We made quite a few stops down in the red zone,” Trainor said. “I’m proud of our kids to step up in those situations.”