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Interlake reflects on Crossroads Cup victory, looks towards Lake Washington Friday
For the first time this season, Interlake coach Jason Rimkus saw what his team is capable of during a game when hitting on all cylinders.
With a healthy Matt Malos at quarterback and a healthy Jordan Todd at tailback, the Saints scored 34 unanswered points to beat Sammamish 41-14 and win the Crossroads Cup rivalry game for the fourth-straight season.
It was the first game both Malos and Todd had played since each was injured in Interlake's week two loss to Roosevelt. Malos rushed for 66 yards and passed for 204 yards and four touchdowns while Todd led all rushers with 119 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
"Having Matt and Jordan back together for the first time this year was huge," Rimkus said. "They are good players and leaders in that huddle. That was the biggest addition for us."
Rimkus said he thought the rivalry and atmosphere got to his team early, as Interlake scored first on a Malos to Ryan Turman touchdown pass, but allowed the Totems to score quickly after.
The turning point of the game, once both teams settled down, came in the second quarter. Interlake had just taken a 14-7 lead on a Malos 19-yard touchdown pass to Scotty Gehlhausen when J.T. Capers intercepted a Sammamish pass and returned it 23 yards for a score just before the half.
"All year we've been on the other end of those kind of breaks," Rimkus said. "J.T., being an athlete and a competitor, brings it to the house right before the half."
Interlake (1-5, 1-3) rolled from there. Todd ran in a 16-yard touchdown and Malos hit Kamana Adriano twice for touchdown passes. Sammamish wrapped up the game with a final rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Saints finally struck a balance that Rimkus had been seeking all season. The team passed for 204 yards and rushed for 235. Six different Interlake players ran the ball.
"That's my style of offense," Rimkus said. "I think, being a defensive guy, when a team can run and pass, that really gives you a headache. The biggest difference for us is that our offensive line has really gelled."
Sammamish fell to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
With the win, Interlake still has an outside shot at a 2A playoff spot. Each win on the season for the Saints against a 3A or 4A opponent is "worth" 1.5 wins for Interlake when it comes to determining their playoff spot. They must finish in the top-3, record-wise, of the Seamount's 2A teams to make the playoffs. That makes Friday's 7 p.m. game at Lake Washington (2-4, 1-3) all the more important.
"We have to stop No.3," Rimkus said, referring to Lake Washington running back Alex Donnelly. "They're a well-coached team, but we have to stop No.3 because he's what makes the Kangs."
Rimkus said the win over Sammamish has helped Interlake move forward from a rough start, saying "everyone's smiling, everyone's happy."
"We're getting it going at the right time of the year," Rimkus said. "Yeah, we only have one win, but that doesn't mean the season is over. We know what we are capable of. When you combine motivation and attitude, you see results like we did last week."