Edmonds-Woodway football upends Lynnwood, 35-7
In a week with homecoming distractions and against a winless opponent, Edmonds-Woodway took care of business Friday night.
Running back Junior Opoku-Mensah ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Davis Giles threw a pair of TDs to lead the Warriors to a 35-7 victory over Lynnwood in a Wesco 4A South Division game at Edmonds Stadium. Opoku-Mensah was named the Jersey Mike’s of Lynnwood Player of the Game on the Sound Live Sports Network for his performance.
The victory clinched the Wesco 4A South Division title for the Warriors, who improved to 4-0 in the league and 7-0 overall. The Royals (0-4, 0-7) again showed that they are an up-and-coming team but one still prone to making costly mistakes.
“If you look at the scores of Lynnwood games, nobody blows them out,” Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said. “The scoreboard doesn’t indicate how close a game it was.”
The seven points was the fewest scored by Lynnwood this season.
“I thought our defense played incredible,” Gradwohl said.
Gradwohl praised the play of Lynnwood’s backfield of quarterback Justin Cachopo and running backs Andrew Katzenberger and David Nguyen.
“Our defense hung in against a different look than we expected,” Gradwohl added.
That Lynnwood blitzed a lot in an attempt to slow down Opoku-Mensah wasn’t a surprise.
“There wasn’t a lot of wide open stuff and he ran hard,” Gradwohl said. “He fought for the extra yards.”
Early mistakes put the Lynnwood defense in very difficult situations.
A mishandled punt attempt resulted in Edmonds-Woodway taking over the ball at the Royals 20 and on the first play from scrimmage, Opoku-Mensah scored on a 20-yard run to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead at the 9:24 mark of the first quarter.
Another botched punt attempt early in the second quarter gave Edmonds-Woodway the ball at the Lynnwood 22 and five plays later, Opoku-Mensah scored on a 9-yard run.
The momentum, however, suddenly shifted briefly to the Royals’ sideline when Lynnwood returned the kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. But a clipping penalty nullified the score and Lynnwood eventually had a field goal attempt blocked.
“They got the ball with a very short field,” Lynnwood co-head coach Keauntea Bankhead said of the Warriors. “Against a good team, you can’t have that. We almost have to play a perfect game.”
Edmonds-Woodway’s offense showed that when necessary, the Warriors can grind out the yardage. Taking the ball over at its own 10, Edmonds-Woodway marched 90 yards in nine plays with Opoku-Mensah scoring on a 1-yard run as the Warriors took a 21-0 lead into halftime. The big play in the drive was a 61-yard pass from Giles to wide receiver Jason Smarr.
In the third quarter, Giles found tight end Theo Lebesis on a 23-yard touchdown pass to give the Warriors a 28-0 advantage.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lynnwood’s Hunter Lord returned the ball 68 yards to the Edmonds-Woodway 28. Nine plays later, Lord ran in for a 2-yard touchdown as Lynnwood cut the deficit to 28-7 with 11:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Giles then connected with wide receiver Scott Myricks on a 28-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter.
“I think the defense did well,” Bankhead said. “We had a couple of plays here and there: the big pass (in the second quarter) and the one to the tight end. We had a little miscommunication on the backend with the DBs. I thought we fought hard. Offensively, we’ve just got to get it going. We’ve got to finish in the red zone.
“We were able to get the offense in great field position. We’ve got to use it. One we cross that 50, we’ve got to be able to punch it in.”
Gradwohl said he was relieved to come away with a victory; the Royals’ winless record doesn’t indicate what type of a football team they are.
“They’re a good football team,” he said. “I’m just glad to put this one behind me.”
Next week, Edmonds-Woodway faces Mariner at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 at Goddard Stadium. Lynnwood hosts Jackson at 5 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium.
– By David Pan/Lynnwood Today Editor