Theo Lebesis caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Davis Giles to lift Edmonds-Woodway to a thrilling 20-14 double-overtime victory over Meadowdale in a non-conference football game Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
Lebesis, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior tight end, was mobbed by his teammates in the end zone after catching the pass over the middle and powering his way for the game-winning score.
“It feels terrific, just coming out with the win in general,” Lebesis said. “The Stadium Jam, the atmosphere, double overtime, the touchdown pass was a blessing.
“This feels amazing because the past two years we lost to them.”
Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl knew he was taking a little bit of gamble throwing over the middle. Meadowdale’s offensive series in the second overtime ended when Edmonds-Woodway’s Chantz Justice picked off a pass.
“I figured he (Lebesis) is a big kid,” Gradwohl said. “He’s got strong hands. He’ll pull it in if he’s open.”
For first-year Meadowdale coach Mike Don, Friday night’s game was an eye-opening experience, and not a pleasant in one specific respect — penalties.
The Mavericks were flagged for 10 penalties in the first half and continued to struggle in the second half with ill-times miscues.
With the score tied at 7 early in the fourth quarter, Meadowdale had the ball down at the Edmonds-Woodway 2 but then was flagged for delay of game. Two plays later, the Mavericks missed a 29-yard field goal.
Then at the end of regulation, Meadowdale had a field goal attempt pushed back five yards due to an illegal procedure call and the kick from 47 yards was just short.
“I’ve never had a game where we had that many penalties,” Don said. “We were over 100 yards in penalties in the first half. We probably ended the game with over 150. It’s hard to win games where you set yourself back so much.”
Meadowdale took a 7-0 lead on 26-yard run by quarterback Jeremiah Evans at the 11:12 mark of the second quarter.
hat lead stood until Edmonds-Woodway running back Junior Opoku-Mensah scored on a 3-yard run to tie score with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Neither team scored the rest of the way, sending the game into overtime.
“We played a decent second half. The first half we struggled,” Gradwohl said. “Their whole defense, especially up front, did a nice job against us and caused us some issues or problems that we had to work around. I thought we adapted pretty well in the second half, good enough.”
Evans caused the Warriors (3-0 overall) plenty of problems with his running ability.
“He really challenged us with his scrambles and runs,” Gradwohl said.
Don came into the game with the idea that he might play more than one quarterback but liked what he saw from Evans.
“He was doing a really good job of running the game and running the ball,” Don said. “He gives us a real dynamic threat back there. I thought he did a great job tonight so we decided to keep rolling with him.”
Though Meadowdale (2-1) spent much of the game in Edmonds-Woodway territory, the Mavericks only scored one touchdown in regulation.
“It was kind of a bend but don’t break defense, which is not what we wanted to run,” Gradwohl said.
In the first overtime, Edmonds-Woodway’s Opoku-Mensah scored on a 7-yard run and Meadowdale responded with an 8-yard TD run by Evans.
Don was pleased with the play of the Meadowdale defense. The offense still has work to do, though.
“We spent a lot of time on their side of the field,” Don said. “We’ve got to get better about finishing things. The first couple of games we moved the ball. We don’t finish drives. We’ve just got to get better at doing that.”
— By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor