Steven Warren Jr. threw two long touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors came from behind to defeat the Shorewood Stormrays 25-14 in a Wesco South league game at Edmonds Stadium.
The Warriors started off the game by forcing and recovering a Shorewood fumble on the Stormrays’ 34-yard line on first play from scrimmage. They then threatened to score; however, the Shorewood defense became stingy and forced an E-W turnover on downs at the Shorewood 2-yard line.
Shorewood then put together an 18-play (zero pass attempts), 98-yard scoring drive that took up more than nine minutes of clock time, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Rory Swanson on third and goal. The extra point attempt was good and Shorewood had a 7-0 lead with 11:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Both defenses did their parts for the majority of the first half. Edmonds-Woodway turned the ball over on downs in each of its first three possessions of the game while the Warriors’ defense forced two turnovers and a turnover on downs in three of the Stormrays’ first four possessions. The Warriors finally got on the board with 2:59 remaining in the first half, when Liam Fitting scored a 14-yard rushing touchdown. E-W missed a chance to tie the game when the extra point attempt failed, and Shorewood held a 7-6 edge.
The Warriors had an opportunity to take the lead right before halftime when they got down to the Shorewood 1-yard line with three seconds remaining. The Stormrays’ defense rose to the occasion and tackled Jesse Hart for a 3-yard loss on the final play of the half, preserving Shorewood’s 7-6 advantage
E-W started the second half with the football but turned it over to Shorewood with a botched handoff on the second play and the Stormrays recovered at the E-W 34-yard line. The Stormrays extended their lead seven plays later when Swanson scored his second touchdown of the game with a 3-yard run. Alberto Solano connected on his second extra point and Shorewood’s lead was 14-6 with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter.
Edmonds-Woodway responded quickly with a five-play, 65-yard drive of its own. Fitting scored his second touchdown of the game on a 15- yard run to pull E-W to within two, 14-12 with 5:24 to play in the third period. The Warriors attempted to tie the game by electing to try for the two-point conversion but their pass attempt sailed over the intended receiver’s head and Shorewood took their two-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Warriors got their first lead of the game with 9:05 remaining in the fourth, as Warren Jr. floated a pass down the left sideline over the top of the defenders and into the hands of receiver Diego Escandon for a 46-yard TD, putting E-W out in front 18-14. The Warriors’ two point attempt was intercepted by Swanson.
Edmonds-Woodway got an insurance touchdown less than three minutes later. Shorewood punter Isaac Van Horn pinned the Warriors down at their own 3-yard line with a 43-yard punt. Warren Jr. dropped back to pass on the very next play and much to the surprise of everyone in attendance, receiver Jesse Hart was running down the left sideline all by himself on what appeared to be miscommunication in the Shorewood backfield. Warren Jr. hit Hart about 25 yards down the field, completely uncontested, and the junior receiver ran straight down the sideline a 97-yard touchdown reception. Daniel Kasapovic came on to kick the extra point and E-W led 25-14 with 6:36 remaining in the game.
The Warriors’ defense then forced Shorewood into a three-and-out punting situation and the E-W offense was able to move the chains and hold onto the ball for the final 5:57 of the game and close out the victory.
Warren Jr. ended the night completing 19 of his 27 pass attempts for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Hart had six receptions for 191 yards, Escandon has nine receptions for 130 yards while Fitting had 17 rushing attempts for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Warriors’ receiver Cannon Kennard also added three receptions for 50 yards. The Warriors improved their record to 2-1 in league play and 2-3 overall while Shorewood fell to 1-3 in league and 2-3 overall. The Warriors’ next game is against Shorecrest on Friday Oct. 7, 7 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium. Shorewood will next play at Monroe on Friday, Oct. 7, with a 7 p.m. start.
— By Steve Willits