After Edmonds-Woodway lost its league opener to arch rival Meadowdale in mid-September, coach John Gradwohl still thought the Warriors had an opportunity to make some waves in the Wesco 3A South.
He was right. Edmonds-Woodway won its fourth straight football game, the latest being a 41-0 shellacking of Shorewood Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
The victory means that next week’s game against Glacier Peak will determine the league championship.
“I thought it was possible but you never know until you do it,” Gradwohl said. “I thought we might have opportunity to face Glacier Peak and make it be worth something. They obviously are a great football team. They’re in first place for a reason.”
The Warriors improved to 4-1 in the league and 5-2 overall for a reason too. A well-balanced offense and opportunistic defense was too much for the overmatched Thunderbirds (0-5, 0-7).
“I thought we played a really great and clean first half,” Gradwohl said. “We had one fumble. Besides that I thought we were great. We ran the ball. We threw the ball. I thought Issac (Jackson) made a lot of good decisions, good throws to different guys.”
Edmonds-Woodway took advantage of a splendid 69-yard kickoff return by Abdouilie Jatta to start the game that gave the Warriors the ball on the Shorewood 27. Seven plays later, Graydon Heron scored on a 7-yard.
After recovering a Shorewood fumble at the Scots 23, the Warriors quickly padded their lead to 14-0 on a 3-yard run by Tyler Rheinford. Disaster then struck the Thunderbirds as they fumbled the ball deep in their own territory and Jatta picked up the ball and ran eight yards for the Warriors’ third touchdown in the first quarter.
Rheinford scored his second TD on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter. Quarterback Issac Jackson closed out the scoring in the second quarter with a 15yard touchdown pass to Heron and Edmonds-Woodway headed into halftime leading 34-0.
A goal line stand with the team ahead 34-0 was the highlight of a strong defensive performance, Gradwohl said.
“I just love that our kids kept fighting,” Gradwohl said. “I’m proud of us.”
Gradwohl also liked the two fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
“Defense was tackling the ball hard,” he said. “(Ronnie Gary) is one of the best receivers we’ve seen all year. Trying to defend him was tough. That was a challenge.”
Greyson Fisher’s 2-yard touchdown run closed out the scoring for the Warriors.
Glacier Peak (5-0, 6-1) will host Edmonds-Woodway at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish.
“We’re in control of our own destiny,” Gradwohl said.
– By David Pan