Danny Wilson and Darrin Laufasa combined for 249 rushing yards and sophomore Ross Bowers passed for three TDs in a rout of the state's fifth-ranked 3A team.
BOTHELL — Not long ago, the once-ranked Bothell Cougars found themselves sitting at 0-3, outside of the polls and facing a gut-check that even coach Tom Bainter wasn’t sure his team would answer.
“What happened after three weeks is, our self-esteem got dinged,” Bainter said. “And that’s one of the things we were worried about: Were we going to be mentally tough enough to know that we could be 0-3?”
Yet in their three games since, the Cougars have put almost all doubts to rest. And never more so than on Thursday night, when Bothell buried Glacier Peak, the state’s fifth-ranked team in Class 3A, 41-14.
Bothell (3-3) attacked Glacier Peak (5-1) on the ground with running backs Danny Wilson and Darrin Laufasa, with a defense that pounced on mistakes and with a 15-year-old quarterback finally settling in at the varsity level.
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Bainter admitted this is the formula the he envisioned before the season, when most polls had the Cougars in or near the top five. But Bothell lost three games to ranked teams to start the season, including against top-ranked Bellevue and Skyline.
“This is to prove that we can win a big game against a good team,” quarterback Ross Bowers said. “And they’re a good football team.”
Bowers continued his development by completing 12 of 15 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns, mixing short passes with perfect deep balls. Bowers, a sophomore, has seven touchdowns in his last three games — all wins.
“I’m young, and I wasn’t ready for hitting earlier this year,” Bowers admitted. “I got hit a couple times and got a little scared, to be honest with you. But I stopped being afraid and just started staying in there.”
It helped that Bowers had the backing of a run game that gashed Glacier Peak. Wilson, who is often thought of as the lightning to Laufasa’s thunder, bolted down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown early in the first quarter.
Then, after Bothell recovered a squib kickoff attempt, Wilson caught a 33-yard pass from Bowers on a double reverse. And finally, in the second quarter, Wilson broke two tackles, including a head-on collision with a defender, for a 46-yard touchdown.
He finished with 166 yards, the third straight game he’s crossed the 100-yard mark.
“A lot of people have been saying that I shy away from contact,” Wilson said, “so I just had to prove them different.”
Glacier Peak quarterback Chris Becerra completed 12 of 21 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. But the Grizzlies had three straight turnovers in the second quarter, including on back-to-back kickoff returns.
“We needed a win like this,” Bainter said. “We needed a convincing win like this. We had to prove to ourselves, not to anybody else, that we could beat a really well-coached football team and beat them pretty good.”‘
Josh Pinca scored Glacier Peak’s first touchdown on a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter. Laufasa had 83 yards on seven carries and a touchdown for Bothell.