At the end of September, the Meadowdale football team had to take a hard look at itself. The Mavericks were 1-2 in league and in danger of missing the playoffs.
Four weeks later with four victories, including three critical league contests, Meadowdale was celebrating after securing the Wesco 3A South’s No. 2 playoff berth with a 30-6 victory over Shorecrest Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
First-year coach Matt Leonard praised his team’s ability to overcome adversity, which included the loss of starting quarterback Drew Tingstad and numerous injuries to other starters.
“Every game is a playoff game. The last four games we’ve considered playoff games – must win,” Leonard said. “To fight and scratch and claw and get ourselves back and get the No. 2 spot, I’m extremely proud of our kids.”
Meadowdale (4-2 in the league, 5-3 overall) will host Oak Harbor (4-1, 5-2) at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30 at Edmonds Stadium. Edmonds-Woodway, also 4-2, 5-3, lost to Glacier Peak (6-0, 7-1) 41-22. The Mavericks, however, beat the Warriors 28-21 earlier in the season. Edmonds-Woodway hosts Marysville-Pilchuck at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29.
The best part of Friday’s game was the Meadowdale defense, according to Leonard. “Our defensive line played extremely well,” he said. “Our DBs, I thought, played really well. … Defensively, we put together a very solid game.”
Otherwise, Leonard said, “We did not play very well.”
Leonard didn’t necessarily consider a 23-6 lead as comfortable as he would have preferred. Meadowdale eventually extended the advantage to 30-6 when quarterback Maxwell Johnson threw a 34-yard pass to Jesse Navlet.
“We just don’t make it easy ourselves,” Leonard said. “We find new and interesting ways to keep the game close and tight.”
As the Mavericks move forward into the postseason, Leonard said it’s clear what the team needs to work on – the running game.
“We need to get more physical at the point of attack offensively,” he said. “We can throw the ball all over the field, but we need to be able to run the ball to keep people off our quarterback. We’ve got to come off the ball better than we have.”
— By David Pan