Vikings take down Mariner | Football

By David Pan | Oct 31, 2018

Mariner closed out the 2018 season with a tough loss to league champion Lake Stevens.

After the Marauders scored their second touchdown to cut the Vikings’ lead to 21-14 in the second quarter, Lake Stevens responded with six unanswered touchdowns and coasted to a 62-14 victory in a Wesco 4A football game Friday, Oct. 26, at Goddard Stadium.

Mariner (2-5 in the league, 2-7 overall) struggled all night to slow down the Vikings (7-0, 9-0).

“I don’t think they punted all night,” Mariner coach Mark Stewart said.

The Marauders moved the ball effectively in the first half, but again turned the ball over too many times – three interceptions and one fumble. In a 34-21 loss to Cascade a week earlier, Mariner also threw three interceptions.

“We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball and putting it where it needs to be,” Stewart said. “We’ve made some big plays in our passing game. Our quarterbacks are young. We’ll come back and be better next year.”

The Marauders’ inexperience played a role in the turnovers. Stewart noted that coaches can talk about what they want to see from their players.

“But ultimately, the players have to go out there and understand what they need to do to take care of the ball,” Stewart said. “It’s better to throw the ball out of bounds than try to make the play. It’s OK to punt. Once we learn that we’ll be in better shape.”

Lake Stevens took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter before junior quarterback Denis Biryuk threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Roman Savchuk. The Vikings then extended their lead to 21-7 with another TD before Biryuk and Savchuk connected again on a 24-yard score.

Biryuk completed 14 of 27 passes for 211 yards and Savchuk caught eight passes for 161 yards.

Savchuk emerged as the favorite target of the Mariner quarterbacks.

“He’s just a player. Our quarterbacks look for him,” Stewart said. “He’s probably the best at going up and getting the ball. He’s had a great year. He had a great year at safety his junior season. He had a great year at receiver. He’s all around our best player. He’s really consistent in terms of going out and making plays. He’s a winner.”

Mariner returns plenty of experience at its skill positions with both quarterbacks – Biryuk and Jackson Cole – Savchuk and junior running back Josiah Pesterkoff.

“It’s something definitely to work with, ” Stewart said.

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