RAINIER — Mountaineer coach Andy Bartell was quick to point out that his quarterback, junior Mikey Green, has only been running the offense for five weeks.
With the lights off and the sun out here Saturday, though, Green looked anything but.
The junior quarterback threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns, sparking Rainier early in a 43-29 non-league win over Concrete.
The Mountaineers piled up over 500 yards of offense and locked down the Lions after the break, picking off three second-half passes to help seal the win.
Brody Klein added 102 rushing yards, 117 receiving yards, and a touchdown each way for Rainier, which improved to 2-1 with the win.
The Mountaineers were coming off a last-minute, 15-14 loss to fifth-ranked Toledo eight days prior, but didn’t have any trouble out of the gate against Concrete.
“We just had to not look behind us and keep looking forward,” first-year head coach Andy Bartell said. “The most important play is the next one, that’s what we’re always telling them. We let one slip away from us, we felt like, last week, and we just had to be positive this week.”
Green came out firing, hitting Klein for 43 yards on the second play of the game and finding sophomore receiver Sean Mahaffey three snaps later for a 21-yard touchdown.
“Mikey was more on point today,” Bartell said. “He’s kind of settling down, and getting to where it’s more of a routine for him instead of where he’s learning, so he’s starting to play a bit faster for us.”
After a Concrete three-and-out, Green immediately tossed a 44-yard yard scoring strike to Klein, and late in the first quarter freshman Jacob Uch found space on an end-around and went 46 yards for a score.
The 21-0 lead, though, didn’t hold up. Concrete quarterback Peyton Sanchez engineered an 82-yard drive and hit Killian McCormack for a 50-yard score. Rainier followed it up with a roller-coaster of momentum swings, throwing a pick on the Lions’ 5-yard line, forcing a safety on the next play, and fumbling away the ensuing kickoff to give the Lions the ball once again. Sanchez got free on a 31-yard reverse and ran in the extra points to cut the lead to 23-14, and after a lost Rainier fumble Sanchez hit Devin Blankenship for a 34-yard touchdown.
Green hit Mahaffey for another touchdown, this time for 27 yards, to close the first half with Rainier up 31-22.
“We came out on fire today, but we still did the little things, almost, to give it away again,” Bartell said. “We did a good job in the second half.”
Colton Howells, Ian Sprouffske and Colby Davis all intercepted Lion passes in the second half, and Concrete didn’t find the end zone again until the final minute on a 60-yard pass.
Klein scored on an 8-yard run and freshman Jake Jeske converted on a 5-yard run, providing the Mountaineers with a three-score lead in the third quarter.
Uch finished with 84 rushing yards on three carries, and Riffe Holmes caught four passes for 44 yards and ran five times for 21 yards.
Sanchez completed 9 of 29 passes for 213 yards and three scores, and ran 13 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. Blankenship hauled in four catches for 119 yards and McCormack caught five balls for 97 yards.
The win, Bartell said, could be a confidence boost for his young team with a tough SWW 2B League Mountain Division schedule on the horizon.
“It helps quite a bit, mostly the confidence for our guys, and knowing that we can go compete — even last week with the Toledo game,” Bartell said. “Knowing that we could compete against a team that was in the playoffs last year, I think, helps our guys, too.”
Rainier plays a nonleague game at Toutle Lake (1-2) on Friday, and open Mountain Division play at home against Onalaska on Oct. 11.
MOUNTAINEERS 43, HYAKS 29
Concrete 0 22 0 7 —29
Rainier 21 10 12 0 —43
RAI — Michael Green 21-yard pass to Sean Mahaffey; Riffe Holmes run
RAI — Green 44-yard pass to Brody Klein; run failed
RAI — Jacob Uch 46-yard run; Uch kick
CON — Peyton Sanchez 50-yard pass to Killian McCormack; run failed
RAI — Safety
CON — Sanchez 31-yard run; Sanchez run
CON — Sanchez 34-yard pass to Devin Blankenship; Sanchez pass to Blankenship
RAI — Green 27-yard pass to Mahaffey; Green run
RAI — Klein 8-yard run; pass failed
RAI — Jake Jeske 5-yard run; run failed
CON — Sanchez 60-yard pass to Blankenship; McCormack kick
Team Stats CON RAI
First Downs 16 8
Rushing Yards 106 277
Passing Yards 223 227
Total Yards 329 504
Comp-Att-Int 10-29-3 14-20-1
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 5/2
Penalties/Yards 5/40 7/75
Rushing: CON — Sanchez 13/63, Blankenship 9/26; RAI — Green 9/44, Klein 8/102, Uch 3/84
Passing: CON — Sanchez 9-26/213; RAI — Green 14-18/227
Receiving: CON —McCormack 5/97, Blankenship 4/119; RAI — Klein 5/117, Mahaffey 2/48, Holmes 4/44