You can always count on some drama during the annual cross-town rivalry Stadium Jam football game between Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale, and Friday night was no exception. The Warriors and Mavericks went into overtime and Brett Schafer’s field goal provided the winning margin in a back-and-forth 20-17 victory for the Mavericks.
The Warriors had the chance to tie or take the lead at the end, but a couple of miscues pushed E-W into a 4th and 23 from the 26 and quarterback Nick Morales was unable to get off a pass as he was tackled by Garrett Walsh on the final play of the game. “It was a crazy game,” said Mav coach Mike Don. “It reminded me of last year, only a flip-flop result.”
The Mavericks looked to have won the game regulation when, following a Warrior fumble at their own 22, Schafer kicked a 45-yard field goal with 1:25 left. Starting from their own 20, E-W managed to move down the field and get in range for a chance to send it into overtime. Morales found Brandon Hohengarten on first down for 24 yards, only to be called for intentional grounding on the next play. As they had throughout the evening, Garrett Walsh and Payton Smyer pressured the Warrior quarterback. “ Our line was on them all night, “said Don. “Great game plan by our defensive coaches.
Facing a 2nd and 25 with the clock ticking, Morales found Nick Venema for eight yards. Then on 4th and 7, he rolled out and hit Josh Gradwohl for 19 yards and then on the next play for 17 more, setting up a field goal try by the Warriors’ Brandon Davis. Davis missed the kick, but the Mavs were called for a personal foul and on the re-try, Davis was successful, tying the game and sending it into overtime.
The Mavericks got the ball first in overtime and after gaining only five yards on their first three plays, elected to turn to Schafer. The senior drilled it through the uprights, giving the Mavs the lead by 3 with what proved to be the final margin. “I knew it was a close game so I had been staying loose,” said Schafer. “It was just like last year, but this time I made it. A little redemption.”
The first score of the game came late in the first quarter on a quarterback keeper by Caleb Tingstad. Tingstad, making his first start for the injured JP Routen, faked to Rory Spillum and ran around the end for a touchdown. “ It was a great battle (for the starting spot) all spring. I had no worries with Caleb in there,” said Don.
The Warriors marched steadily down the field on their next possession. On 3rd and 2 from the Mav 24, the Warriors were called for a personal foul and following a incomplete pass from Morales had to punt. The Mavs were unable to advance the ball themselves and punted the ball back E-W with 3:49 left in the first half. The Warriors used a pair of passes to Gradwohl to get in striking position as the half wound down, but following a sack on Morales were unable to finish the drive as the clock ticked away to end the half with the Mavericks leading 7-0.
Edmonds-Woodway came out attacking on defense after halftime and on the first Mav possession, tacked Spillum for a four-yard loss, forced an incomplete and then completed the series with a delayed blitz by Tyler Rheinford and a sack on Tingstad.
E-W took over at the 50 and the offense went to work. Leading rusher Chantz Justice had three carries in a row for 5, 23 and 4 yards. Following an incomplete pass, Rheinford took a swing pass 27 yards to the Maverick 10 yard line. Rheinford then had back-to-back five-yard carries, the second one good for a touchdown and the equalizing score.
Now it was Meadowdale’s turn. Starting at the Mavs’ own 10, Spillum ran twice for 9 and 6 yards before Spencer Schultz got in the backfield to throw him for a loss. After an incomplete, Tingstad found Charlie White for 12 yards, setting up a 4th and 3. Mav coach Don elected to punt.
It looked like the Mavs had held the Warriors on their next possession, but on 4th and 1 from their own 39, Warrior coach John Gradwohl elected to go for it. The gamble appeared to not pay off, but Rheinford bounced off the initial tackler and rumbled for 22 yards into Maverick territory. Two plays later, the Mavericks blitzed, but Morales had just enough time to get off a 26-yard TD pass to Hohengarten over the middle, giving the Warriors their first lead, 14-7.
The lead would prove to be short-lived as Malik Braxton took the ensuing kickoff back to the Warrior 28. Spillum would then take the ball on the next four plays for 2, 16 and finally a 7-yard touchdown run, which tied the score just after the fourth quarter began. Spillum would end the night with 30 carries for 95 yards. “He’s a touch kid. Not the biggest kid, but he allows Malik (Braxton) to play both ways,” said Don.
The Warriors went 3 and out on their next possession, narrowly missing on a pass to Justice that would have likely gone for a score. Credit Nick Neely with breaking up the pass. The Mavericks got several first downs, moving the ball into Warrior territory, but the drive would stall at the 34 as a 4th and 8 pass fell incomplete.
The teams would exchange punts with the Warriors taking over at their own 25 with just over 3:45 left in the game. Both teams would kick successful field goals and the game would go on to extra time where the Mavericks would prevail.
Morales ended up 18-29 for 240 yards passing for E-W. “I know John (Gradwohl) likes to run the ball,” said Don. Our plan was to make Morales beat us in the air. He almost did.”
The Mavericks, now 2-0 in conference, will head on the road to face Glacier Peak next week. The Warriors, 0-1 in league, will return to Edmonds Stadium to face Mountlake Terrace. You can see an archive of Friday night’s game on the Sound Live Sports Network.
Warriors 0 0 14 3 0 -17
Mavericks 7 0 0 10 3 -20
M- 1:50 Tingstad 4 yard run (Schafer kick)
W-7:40 Rheinford 5 yard run (Fatty kick)
W- 1:36 Hohengarten 26 yard td pass from Morales (Fatty kick)
M-11:56 Spillum 4 yard run (Schafer kick
M-1:25 Schafer 45 yard FG
W-:06 Davis 23 yard FG
M-37 Schafer 37 yard FG
— By Jeff Smarr