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Steckler scores four times in Redmond's 28-20 win over Mercer Island | SLIDESHOW
Bryce Steckler trampled on new ground last Friday night. It was a satisfying place to be and he brought everyone along for the ride.
“Playing Junior Mustang football, I scored a few touchdowns here and there, but I don’t think I’ve ever scored four in one game,” said the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder at Monday’s practice.
Once the Redmond High senior tailback got a taste of the end zone, he couldn’t stop during the Mustangs’ 28-20 season-opening home victory over Mercer Island High.
“It definitely feels good getting a few touchdowns, but I can’t really take credit for that without giving my line credit. I’ve never had such good holes running and that was one of their best performances I’ve ever seen,” Steckler added about his offensive linemen Nathan Moon, Josh Mason, Cristobal Pulido, Ian Seabrooks and Logan Little.
Steckler said he was nervous throughout the day and prior to game time last Friday, but once Redmond received the opening kickoff and rolled up the field, everything changed.
“I knew that everyone had just become fired up because that just lifted everyone and everyone became so relieved,” he said. “It was just great, it was fun.”
Steckler rumbled into the end zone from 20 yards and 4 yards out in the first quarter, and from 14 yards and 1 yard out in the second quarter and staked Redmond to a 28-7 lead at halftime. Mercer Island scored on a 54-yard pass in the first quarter.
Mercer Island then scored on a pair of 3-yard and 5-yard runs in the third and fourth quarters, but Redmond held on for the nonleague victory.
Redmond’s core of “Superfans,” who wear hats, wigs and capes and carry flags, were out in full force, as was the rest of the Mustang faithful.
“It’s always nice to win at home, especially with our fans because they bring a lot of energy to the game and they’re just as fired up as we are,” Steckler said. “I just love looking back at the crowd, after we won, just having them be there and cheering.”
Redmond senior kicker Nick Kopak converted all four of his PATs on the night. Steckler ran the ball 20 times for 118 yards, junior Nick Konkle amassed 57 yards on 14 carries and Redmond had 223 total yards rushing. On the passing front, senior quarterback Zach Wheat went 12-for-21 for 158 yards, including three passes to senior Jordan Hall for 78 yards.
On defense, senior Spencer Niederhausern had four solo tackles and two assists and senior Chris Carpenter had three solo tackles and three assists.
New Redmond head coach Jason Rimkus will take his crew to Interlake (where he formerly coached) for a 7 p.m. game tonight.
“This is a new environment, it’s a new era. Our coaches just bring so much more to the table with their and energy and their excitement at practice and their knowledgeability,” Steckler said. “I’m really excited.”