But the undefeated and second-ranked Bothell Cougars shrugged off the elements — and six fumbles — and defense commanded the stage at the Pop on Friday in the Cougars’ 26-0 win over Inglemoor — its fourth shutout in seven games.
Photo by Don Mann. Cougar Luke Proulx cuts loose for a 43-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Junior tailback Luke Proulx was handed the football 24 times during the steady downpour and rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns, busting tackles all night and tacking on big yards with second effort, as the Blue Train scored once in each quarter while Bothell’s defense dominated the water-logged affair.
"You know ... we’ve got a good football team," Tom Bainter said as his kids woofed, post-game, over the well-deserved shutout in the traditional rivalry game.
"Our offense put us in some trouble in certain situations but our defense responded every time."
It’s hard to measure defense by the recorded numbers: No Cougar had more than three solo tackles, because Bothell swarmed to the ball-carrier for 48 minutes with bad intentions.
But Jake Arzola had 11 assists, and in the driving rain it was difficult to determine which Cougar dealt the most punishment.
Case in point: The Vikings’ all-purpose standout, Jerry Molina, went looking for his helmet on three different occasions, and Bothell made the plastic pop all night long.
Inglemoor quarterback Derek Wagner was 1-of-12 through the air for a tell-tale nine yards, as the Vikings punted on each and every possession.
"Yeah, they’re pretty good," Wagner said. "Very good," he said with second effort.
Bothell’s Mitchell Muller’s numbers were a little more impressive: 8-for-15 for 129, yet the senior quarterback fumbled the snap exchange three times.
"It was wet out there, as you know," he said. "That’s not an excuse, but it made it a little more difficult to hang on to the ball. On those fumbles I never really had the ball. But a win’s a win. Our defense played really well and gave us the ball in good position all night."
Photo by Don Mann. Johnny Sullivan (No. 24) and Jeremy Owen take down Jerry Molina in the first quarter of Bothell’s 26-0 shutout.
Up 20-0 with 8:24 remaining, Bothell finally broke Inglemoor’s back.
The Vikes threw an inside screen to nowhere, and it was picked off by junior lineman Dallas Gosselin — it hit him right in the numbers — and was returned to the Inglemoor 15.
Three plays later, Muller found tight end Mike Hartvigson in the end zone for a 26-0 lead as rain-drenched fans from both sides headed to their cars.
"That’s the best Bothell team I’ve ever seen," Inglemoor coach Frank Naish said.
And Naish has been a KingCo coach for over 30 years.
The Vikings, now 3-1 in league (4-3 overall) take on Lake Washington (1-3, 1-6) in their KingCo finale at Pop Keeney on Thursday, with playoff possibilities looming.
Bothell (4-0, 7-0) hosts Roosevelt (1-3, 2-5) at the Pop on Friday.