By Quint Turner
Giavani Shepard and the rest of the Meadowdale Mavericks’ running corp continued their strategy of playing simple, taking hand-offs and overwhelming the defense by defeating Edmonds-Woodway 27-7 Friday night.
One of the biggest local rivalries generated an overflow crowd at the annual Stadium Jam game, resulting in scores of people without seats, and a loud crowd throughout the night.
Edmonds-Woodway started with the ball on the 33-yard line, and for a while, it looked like they could just drive on the MHS defense. David Hanson caught a pass from quarterback Matt Cuzzeto and took it for a first down at the MHS 40, but on 3rd and 10, the handoff to RB Desmond Young went nowhere to force 4th down.
Meadowdale had to start on the 9, but they were able to get a few first downs with wide receivers doing double shift before setting to get blockers for Shepard. On third down and 5, a pass from QB Brian Marty fell incomplete, but there was a roughing the passer call that got MHS a first down. The Mavs were stopped soon after, thanks to great effort by the E-W defensive line that forced a few tackles for a loss. Meadowdale shanked a punt that put the ball on the MHS 45 for EW to take over. The Warriors then turned the ball over on downs after a pass to Young went over his head. Meadowdale took the ball into the second quarter on the 48.
On the first play of the second quarter, Shepard took the handoff, broke two tackles, and turned on the jets for a Maverick touchdown. Nils Odeegaard added the point to make it 7-0 MHS.
E-W took the ball and went absolutely nowhere as Meadowdale forced a three and out to get the ball back on the Warrior 45-yard line. On a third and 2, Shepard took the handoff and an important first down to keep the drive going. A few plays later, E-W’s David Hanson was injured after a short run for Shepard and left the game. Next play, Marty connected with Kyler Larsen on the 5-yard line and took it to the goal line for a 36-yard pass, which set up Shephard’s one-yard run into the endzone to make it 14-0.
But Meadowdale wasn’t done yet. Josiah Evans picked off a pass on the 23-yard line right after E-W got the ball back to set up Meadowdale again. Nate Nosek caught a pass and brought it 15 yards for a first down and got it to the 8-yard line, but he was injured on the play and had to leave the game. Two plays later, and it was Shepard again, taking it in from the one to put MHS up 21-0. Meadowdale scored three touchdowns in six minutes, and held onto the 21-0 lead into the half.
Meadowdale got the ball to start the second half, and Shepard was running well again, thanks to the offensive line of MHS. Led by Tanner Davenport, Eric Hubbard and Sean Huntzberger, Meadowdale’s offensive line created opportunities all night for the rushing game.
However, E-W’s Hansen came back in and intercepted Marty’s pass, taking the ball to the MHS 38, which cut off a solid drive by Meadowdale.
In the second half, Cuzzeto was replaced by David Giles, and on his first drive for E-W the Warriors took the ball down the field, and eventually it would be Young who would punch it in on an 8-yard run, and the Warriors had a little bit of life as the score was 21-7 with 9 minutes left in the quarter.
Meadowdale started at their own 35, and it looked like they might be heading for 3 and out, but on 4th and 1, the Mavs decided to go for it and Kyle Newson ran it for a first down. Soon after, a pass from Marty to Larsen connected for a 15-yard gain and a first down at the EW 40-yard line. A roughing the passer penalty on the same play brought the ball to the 25.
After that, it was all Newson as he got a 13-yard run that got MHS to the 2, and then he ran it in himself to put Meadowdale up 27-7 with 4 minutes to go. The Warriors started from the 48 after a great return. On third and 1, a pass to Mark Coutee brought the ball to the 27, and then he got another catch to bring the ball to the 9. However, on fourth and goal at the 6, Shepard knocked down a pass to Coutee and E-W turned the ball over with little time left in the quarter. MHS was up at the quarter break, 27-7.
On an important third and 7 for the Mavs at their own yard line, an amazing pass from Marty was caught by Ryan White and he took it for 53 yards to the E-W 36 yard line. That would be most of the offense for either side in this quarter, as soon after, on a fourth and 8, a pass from Marty to White went over White’s head and E-W took over on the 33-yard line. The Warriors got into Meadowdale territory, but then a pass to Hansen was tipped and MHS started on its 47-yard line with 7 minutes to go. The Mavs would be able to put together a drive down to the E-W 3 with only hand-offs, and they ran the clock out to win the game, 27-7.
The 6th-ranked Mavericks, which improved to 3-0 on the year, will face Mountlake Terrace, at 8 p.m. next Friday, while the Warriors will look for their first win while taking on Mariner at 5 p.m. Both games are at Edmonds Stadium.
Sports contributor Quint Turner is a sophomore at Meadowdale High School.