D.J. Reed's return to the football field on Sunday couldn't have gone much better.
Making his Seattle debut against the team that waved him over the summer, the Independence High School alum had a career-best performance, recording six tackles and his first NFL interception, helping Seattle coast to a 37-27 win over division rival San Francisco.
Forced to defend All Pro George Kittle, Reed beat the star tight end to the ball as he attempted to cut inside, recording a key red zone takeaway late in the first quarter of a scoreless game.
The pick set up a 46-yard Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf touchdown pass on the ensuing Seahawk possession.
"I'd seen they were in a bunch (formation) ... and I just jumped it and caught the interception," Reed told reporters after the game.
Reed and his teammates commemorated the play by tossing the ball to each other in a sort of "hot potato" celebration at midfield, a celebration concocted by Reed himself.
"I visualized that celebration," he said. "I wanted everyone to touch the ball so they could feel hot. They could touch the ball and get that confidence. I wanted all my guys to get that confidence."
Reed, a fifth-round pick in 2018, was waved by San Francisco following a pectoral muscle injury. While the 49ers were hoping to re-sign him after he cleared waivers, the Seahawks saw that didn't happen, claiming him in August.
Reed, who played with the 49ers in the Super Bowl last season, now figures to be a key figure on a Seattle team that has championship aspirations of its own following a 6-1 start to the season.
"I've been real excited about him," coach Pete Carroll said after the game. "I really liked the film ... when we first acquired him. (I've) been hoping for him to be able to do some stuff because he's a really active football player. He's got great quickness, really good instincts and all that. I'm really not surprised that he played well."
Several local players set to begin Pac-12 play
The last of the power-five leagues to take the field in 2020, the Pac-12 will finally return to play on Saturday, allowing several Kern County natives the chance to make their season debuts.
After seeing extensive time as true freshmen, Bakersfield High graduates Cameron Williams and Carl Jones hope to get off to fast starts in year two. Williams and Washington travel to face California at 7:30 p.m. while Jones and UCLA have a 4 p.m. road matchup against Colorado.
In 12 games (seven starts) as a defensive back with the Huskies, Williams had 32 tackles and three interceptions in his freshman campaign. Jones recorded 24 tackles and a sack in 12 games after moving from safety to linebacker for the Bruins.
Taking the field bright and early at 9 a.m., Quincy Jountti (Liberty) hopes to get his senior season off to a good start as No. 20 USC hosts Arizona State. A reserve running back who primarily plays on special teams, Jountti had 38 yards on 13 carries a season ago.
Though it's unknown how much of a role he'll play, true freshman tight end Ben Yurosek (BCHS) could also make his collegiate debut as Stanford takes on 12th-ranked Oregon at 4:30 p.m.
One person who won't be taking the field is former BHS and Bakersfield College punter Carson Olivas, who announced on social media Saturday that he was leaving UCLA and entering the transfer portal. Olivas has two years of eligibility remaining.
• Derek Carr (BCHS) threw a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow on the second play of the fourth quarter as the Las Vegas Raiders topped the Cleveland Browns 16-6 on Sunday.
• Krys Barnes (Liberty) had four tackles for the Green Bay Packers in a 28-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
• Lawrence White IV (Ridgeview) made four tackles for No. 17 Iowa State in a 52-22 win over Kansas on Saturday.
• Kurtis Brown (Liberty) had two tackles and a sack in Fresno State's 38-17 win over Colorado State on Thursday.
• Keonte Glinton (BCHS) had the first two tackles of his collegiate career in Wyoming's 31-7 win over Hawaii on Friday.