Meadowdale defense shuts out Seagulls in big win

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Kyler Larsen runs for a touchdown against Everett Friday. (Photos by Char Blankenship)
Meadowdale's Giavani Shepard (20) with Coach Mark Stewart.

By Quint Turner

Meadowdale continued its perfect season, improving to 6-0 overall on the year, thanks to the amazing defensive display the Mavs had on Friday versus the Everett Seagulls. The Mavericks not only gave up just one first down in the first half, they also forced seven three and outs in the half as well. The running game continued to dominate as it has all season, as Giavani Shepard, Kyler Larsen, and Kyle Newsom all combined for four rushing touchdowns and Larsen also caught a pass for a touchdown as the Mavericks won big, 35-0.

The first drive of the game for both teams set the tone. Everett started with the ball, and on third down, quarterback Riley Ayers threw a pass that sailed over Connor Boyce’s head, and Meadowdale forced a three and out. Meadowdale returned the punt to the Everett 32, and on the first play from scrimmage, Kyler Larsen took a pitch after some misdirection by quarterback Brian Marty and ran 32 yards for the touchdown to put MHS up 7-0 1:24 into the game.

After another 3 and out, Meadowdale started driving again. However, on third and 11, a pass to Tyler Morehouse did not connect for a sure touchdown. But MHS got the ball back soon after an Everett punt. On Everett’s 37, Shepard fumbled and the Seagulls recovered the ball. With two minutes left in the quarter, MHS got the ball back at the Everett 39, and Larsen had an 18-yard rush to get to the 21. On the next play, however, Shepard fumbled the ball again and Everett recovered. But on another three and out later, MHS got the ball again.

Meadowdale continued to drive, and on 2nd nd 7 at the Everett 12-yard line, Shepard ran the ball in for a touchdown to put Meadowdale up 14-0. On Everett’s next drive, instead of getting a three and out, Jacob Hughes picked off a pass that went over Boyce’s head and he returned the ball to the Everett 12-yard line. On fourth and inches at the 3, Kyle Newsom looked like he had scored a touchdown, but the referees flagged MHS for holding. The 30-yard field goal try was missed wide, and Everett got the ball back on their 20 yard line.

After another 3 and out, Newsom returned the ball to the 13, and three plays later, Shepard ran the ball in from six yards out to put MHS up 21-0. With two minutes left in the quarter, Meadowdale got the ball back after yet another three and out. On 2nd and 1, a great handoff fake was sold by Marty, and the whole Everett defense bit, which left Newsom wide open on the side and Marty hit him for the 50-yard touchdown to make it 28-0. With a minute left in the quarter, Everett finally got a first down on a 12-yard pass but they would not be able to do anything with the ball as the half ended with Meadowdale up 28-0.

In the second half, Meadowdale started with the ball and they looked like they were about to score again when Kendall Dunbar of EHS picked off Marty’s pass at the 48 yard line and returned the ball to the 23 of MHS. Everett had their best opportunity for points on third and goal at the 15 yard line, but Larsen picked off Ayers’ pass in the endzone. Meadowdale then drove and that ate up about 5 minutes of the clock that stalled at midfield. Everett got the ball back down 28-0 with 3 minutes in the quarter on their own 20. Blake Williams finally started getting big chunks of yards, as he ran 26 yards for a first down to the 48. However, on third and ten, Ayers could not convert the first down and the drive stalled, and Meadowdale got the ball back with no time left in the quarter.

On 3rd and 3, Shepard was stopped short of a first down and after a punt, Everett got the ball back at its own 42 yard line. Williams scampered for 11 yards to move downfield. Then on 4th and inches, quarterback Ayers sneaked it for a 5-yard gain for the first down. But once again, Meadowdale’s defense bent, but didn’t break, ascthey broke up a deep pass from Ayers around their own 5 yard line to stop the Seagulls on third and 10, and with 6:36 left, they had to go for it on fourth down. Ayers’ pass fell incomplete, and Meadowdale started with the ball on their own 36. And from there, it was all Kyle Newsom. He almost single-handedly scored on the drive, getting runs of 11 yards and 17 yards until he finally scored on 1st and goal on the 5-yard line, muscling through the Everett defenders to put the last touchdown on the board and make it 35-0.

Meadowdale improves to 7-0 (6-0 in conference play) and next face Lynnwood Friday at Edmonds Stadium, at 8 p.m.

Sports correspondent Quint Turner is a sophomore at Meadowdale High School.

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