Meadowdale’s Braxton runs over Hawks in 37-9 win
The Meadowdale Maverick offensive explosion continued for the third straight game on Friday. In the last three games, the team has scored 113 points and running back Malik Braxton has scored nine touchdowns during the same span. In his latest performance, Braxton took the ball to the house four times to lead the Mavericks to a big 39-7 win on Senior Night over the Mountlake Terrace Hawks.
Based on his efforts, Braxton was also named the Jersey Mike’s of Lynnwood Player of the Game on the Sound Live Sports Network.
In the first quarter, the game looked like it was going to be a lot closer than it turned out to be. The Hawks started with the ball on their 22 yard line. On 3rd and 8, quarterback Justin Hopkins found brother Josh Hopkins on a 23-yard pass for a first down. Then on 3rd and 3 from the Meadowdale 46 yard line, Hopkins aired it out to his brother again for 9 yards and a first down. Next play, Chance Ragsdale ran 15 yards up the middle to the Mavs’ 22 yard line. However, the Maverick defense bent but didn’t break as it stopped Ragsdale on 3rd and 3. That set up a 32-yard field goal attempt by Michael Jenson that he knocked through the uprights to put the Hawks up 3-0 with 5:30 to play in the quarter.
The Mavs started their drive on their own 20-yard line. On 3rd and 1, Braxton got the carry and powered through tacklers for three yards and a first down. Then on 1st and 10 from the 32, Jeremiah Evans completed a pass to Charlie White for 21 yards, and got the Mavs into Mountlake Terrace territory. On 3rd and 4 with 2:30 to go, Evans faked the handoff to Braxton and instead ran 12 yards himself for a first down on the MTHS 29 yard line. Then on 2nd and 10, Braxton got the ball, bounced to the left sideline, and blew past the Hawk defense for a 29-yard touchdown run. Brett Schafer’s extra point was no good, though, and the Hawks took over again at their own 28 with 1:32 to play in the first. On 2nd and 6, Ragsdale got three yards on the carry and the quarter ended after the play, with the Mavs up 6-3.
Ragsdale picked up five yards on 3rd and 3 to start the 2nd quarter, and the drive continued. The next play, Jacob Wallgren got the delayed handoff and got some blocks. He ran down the sidelines for 48 yards before Isaiah Barhoum knocked him out of bounds at the 1 yard line. On 2nd and goal from the 1, the Hawks finished the drive when Malcolm Johnson ran the ball home. The extra point from Jenson was no good, and the Hawks led 9-6 with 10:29 to play in the half. The Mavs took over on their own 21 yard line and were looking to answer fast. On 2nd and 7, Evans faked the handoff and ran 7 yards up the middle for a Maverick first down. Then on 3rd and 12 at the MHS 31, Braxton got the handoff and ran 59 yards to the end zone, untouched. The extra point was good and the Mavs retook the lead with a score of 13-9.
The Hawks got the ball back on their own 28 yard line with 9:25 to play in the half. On 1st and 10, Ragsdale ran 12 yards for another first down, and it looked like the Hawks were going to march down the field again. However, the Mavs forced 3rd and 12, and so Hopkins dropped back to pass. This time, Garrett Hall picked off the throw and started booking it down the sidelines. Eventually, he was tackled at the Hawks 20 yard line, but a block in the back penalty on the return pushed the Mavericks back to the MTHS 47 yard line. Three straight pass plays from there all went incomplete, so Taylor Linton punted the ball to the Mountlake Terrace 22 yard line with 6:45 to play in the half. The Mavs forced a quick three and out on the Hawks drive, so Jensen set up to punt. Nicholas Neely rushed Jensen and then blocked the punt. The ball bounced back into the Hawks end zone, and Neely pounced right back on it to score another MHS touchdown. The Mavs took a 20-9 lead after Schafer added the extra point with 5:04 to play.
The Hawks started their next drive on their own 26 yard line and needed to get back some momentum. Ragsdale converted 2nd and 5 with a 6-yard run, but then the Haws got nothing for the next three plays and were forced to punt. The punt went to the MHS 40 yard line and Meadowdale had 1:51 to strike again. After a false start penalty made it 1st and 15, Evans found White for a 22 yard gain and a 1st and 10 on the Terrace 43 yard line. On 2nd and 6, Rory Spillum got the handoff and picked up 7 yards for another first down. Then Evans and Josiah Evans connected for a 19-yard gain that brought the ball to the MTHS 18 yard line with 40 seconds to play. The Mavs didn’t use that time well, and the Hawks forced a 4th and 16 situation. Schafer was sent out to try a 42-yard field goal, but the kick missed wide right with 7 seconds to play. The Hawks did one desperation Hail Mary that got picked off by Phillip Thomas as the half expired. The Mavs took a 20-9 lead going into the second half.
The Mavs received the kickoff to start the third quarter, and began with the ball on their own 25 yard line. On 3rd and 4, Evans found White for a 7-yard gain that moved the chains. Then on 2nd and 2 from the Meadowdale 46 yard line, Braxton got the carry and ran 13 yards for another first down. Three plays later, the Mavs faced 4th and 8 near midfield and decided to go for it. Evans slung one out to Jonathan Kim, and he managed to make the catch while diving for a nine-yard gain and a first down. On 1st and 10 from the 29 yard line, Braxton got the handoff and ran 29 yards up the middle for his third touchdown of the night, which gave the Mavs a 27-9 lead with 5:52 to play.
The Mavs then forced a three and out on the Hawks next possession, and got the ball back on their own 46 yard line after the punt. On first down, Braxton got the call and ran 17 yards for a first down. Then on 2nd and 16 from the MTHS 43 yard line, Evans hit White with a 19-yard rocket to convert for a first. Two plays later, Braxton picked up 11 yards on 2nd and 7 from the 22 yard line, and then got the handoff again the next play and ran another 11 yards for his fourth and final touchdown. That gave the Mavs a 34-9 lead with 1:02 to play, and the Hawks never even came close to challenging it. The quarter ended after the Hawks were called for holding on 2nd and 6 on a run play as the Mavericks led 34-9.
Neither side’s offense got anything going in the fourth quarter. Throughout the entire duration of it, the teams just ran the ball every play. The Mavs had one drive that resulted in a score though. After forcing a turnover on downs, Meadowdale took over with 6:30 to play on their own 42 yard line. The first play of the drive was a Spillum run that went for 36 yards and brought the ball to the MTHS 22 yard line. Then on 3rd and 11, Evans kept the ball himself and scrambled for 10 yards. That brought out the kicking unit, and Schafer hit the 30-yard field goal try to make it 37-9 with 4:08 to play. The Hawks ran out the rest of the clock on their next possession, and the Mavs won in a 37-9 blowout.
With the win, the Mavs improve to 5-1 (3-0 in conference) and play again next Friday in a non-conference game at Eastlake High School, at 7 p.m. The Hawks are now 2-4 (0-2 in conference), and they play again next Friday at 8 p.m. at home vs. Shorecrest High School.
– By Quint Turner, Meadowale High School senior and My Neighborhood News Network sports correspondent