Mavs pummel T-Birds 34-0 on homecoming night

Meadowdale's Malik Braxton gets a block from Joseph Alkhedairy. (Photos by Karl Swenson, Just A Whim Photography)

Meadowdale’s Malik Braxton gets a block from teammate Joseph Alkhedairy. (Photos by Karl Swenson, Just A Whim Photography)

Last year, Meadowdale’s homecoming night didn’t go well, as the football team got blown out 25-7 by a suffocating Glacier Peak defense. New head coach Mike Don found a different result for this year’s homecoming game as the Mavs completely overwhelmed the Shorewood Thunderbirds 34-0. Malik Braxton scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) while the Maverick defense forced the T-Birds to punt eight times and forced three turnovers.

The Mavs got the kickoff to start the game, and Braxton returned it 30 yards to the MHS 40-yard line. On 3rd and 1, Braxton got the hand-off and ran eight yards for a first down and put the ball in Shorewood territory at the 43-yard line. Then, on 2nd and 6, Jeremiah Evans threw a bomb down the sidelines to the single-covered Josiah Evans, and Evans made the catch as he ran into the end zone. The touchdown came with 9:12 to play in the first and Brett Schafer added the extra point to make it 7-0.

Josiah Evans reels in the pass and heads for a touchdown. In pursuit is Shorewood's Warren Cho. (Photos by Karl Swenson, Just A Whim Photography)

Josiah Evans reels in the pass and heads for a touchdown. In pursuit is Shorewood’s Warren Cho.

The kickoff went for a touchback, and the Mavs forced a three and out on the first drive by Shorewood, led by quarterback Aaron Okamura. That would be a sign of things to come. The punt bounced out of bounds to the Shorewood 49-yard line, and the Mavs took over with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The T-Birds forced a three and out of their own, as on 3rd and 13, Evans’ pass to his brother went through his hands. The punt bounced to the Shorewood 24- yard line. This time, the Mavs wouldn’t force a three and out. Instead, on 2nd and 2, Anxhelos Pere received a screen and ran about five yards before being stripped, and Garret Walsh fell on the loose ball at the Shorewood 27-yard line. On 2nd and 1, Evans was sacked for a nine-yard loss, but after he was ruled down by contact, he was thrown to the ground and that was called as a personal foul. As a result,15 yards were added to the end of the run, and the Mavs had 1st and 10 on the 12-yard line. On 2nd and 7, Braxton got the hand-off and ran nine yards up the middle to score the Mavs’ second touchdown of the night. Schafer’s extra point was good, and the Mavs took a 14-0 lead with 4:11 to play.

The T-Birds took over on their own 20, but the drive was cut short. On 3rd and 10, Okamura dropped back to pass and was sacked by Jimmie Bruders for an eight-yard loss. The T-Birds had to punt again, and the Mavs got the ball back on their own 47-yard line with 1:30 to play. On the last play of the quarter, it was 3rd and 1 and Rory Spillum picked up nine yards on a carry. Away from the play, Caleb Tingstad was called for unsportsmanlike conduct while blocking a rushing T-Bird, and so the play was called back to 1st and 8 on the MHS 49-yard line. The score was 14-0 going into the second quarter.

After a poor snap went over Evans’ head and was recovered 17 yards behind him, the Mavs faced 3rd and 27. Instead of going for a bomb, Coach Don called for a screen pass to Braxton. He picked up 26 yards after the catch but was one yard short, forcing 4th and 1. Braxton got the next hand-off and ran three yards for the first down on the Shorewood 41-yard line. The first play from there was another huge loss; this time Evans got sacked by Isaac Whitaker for a 13- yard loss. The very next play? Another screen to Braxton that he took to the house, thanks to great blocking, and Schafer’s extra point made it 21-0 with 10:18 to go in the half.

Meadowdale defenders converge on Shorewood's Andrew Garrison.

Meadowdale defenders converge on Shorewood’s Andrew Garrison.

The T-Birds finally got their first first down of the night on their next drive after Pere took the handoff and ran 20 yards on 1st and 10 on their own 20. Then on 3rd and 5, Pere caught a screen and got seven yards on the play. The ball was moved further into Meadowdale territory when the Mavs were flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit and it was 1st and 10 on the MHS 33-yard line. The drive ended there, though. On 2nd and 10, Marzel Simmons sacked Okamura for a 12-yard loss, and the T-Birds couldn’t convert 3rd and 22. They did go for it on 4th and 18, but the screen to Harrison Jacobs only got Shorewood six yards.

The Mavs took over on their own 26 with 5:17 to play. 1st and 10, Evans found his other brother Donavon Evans for a 12-yard catch and a first down. The T-Birds then forced 4th and 1 and the Mavs gave it to Braxton, but he was stopped two yards behind the line of scrimmage, and Shorewood got the ball back on the Meadowdale 46-yard line with 3:19 to play.

A bad snap over Okamura’s head that went 23 yards behind the line of scrimmage destroyed any hope of this drive going better for the T-Birds, and they had to punt on 4th and 30. The Mavs took over with 1:11 to play in the half on their own 35-yard line. On 1st and 10, Evans faked the hand-off and ran, but was stripped and Shorewood recovered on the Meadowdale 36. The Mavs forced another turnover on downs before the half ended because Simmons sacked Okamura on 4th and 14 for an eight-yard loss. That gave the Mavs the ball back again, and they managed to get down to the Shorewood 33-yard line with :06 to play in the half. The field goal unit was sent out, and Schafer’s 43-yard attempt went just wide as the half ended. The Mavs took a 21-0 lead into the second half.

Shorewood started with the ball in the second half, but their first drive ended as usual with a three and out. The Mavs took over on their own 35-yard line. On 3rd and 10, the Evans to J. Evans connection happened again, this time for 21 yards. That set up 1st and 10 on the Shorewood 46. On 3rd and 6, a screen to Jonathan Kim went through his hands. The next play, Evans went right back to Kim, and he held on for a 10-yard gain and a first down. It looked like the Mavs were stopped on 3rd and 3 when Warren Cho broke up a screen, but a defensive holding call moved the chains. On 2nd and 5 from the SHS 14-yard line, Evans tried to hit his brother again, but the ball bounced off his hands and into Zane Hopen’s hands and the T-Birds took over with 6:47 to play and on their seven-yard line. That drive ended in a three and out though.

The Mavs got the ball back after the punt on the Shorewood 37-yard line and on the first play, Evans to Evans went for 20 yards. Then on 1st and 10 from the 17 was a 12-yard catch and run by Kim. That set up first and goal on the 5-yard line, and Braxton ran it in to make it 28-0 with 4:45 to play. The T-Birds once again got the ball back on their 20, and once again could not do anything with their possession. The punt went 25 yards and to their own 49 yard line, with Meadowdale taking over with 2:12 to play. On 2nd and 10, Braxton got the hand-off and ran 17 yards for the first down. Then he did it again on 1st and 10, but a block in the back brought the play back to the Shorewood 30-yard line. The last play of the quarter was a screen pass to Spillum that went for no yards, and the Mavs took a 28-0 lead into the fourth quarter.

The T-Birds forced the Mavs into a 3rd and short situation to start the fourth. Instead of handing the ball off to Spillum or Braxton to pick up the first down, Evans ran with it himself and he got much more than the first down. He ran it 24 yards to the end zone for the final Maverick touchdown. The extra point was blocked. For the last 11 minutes of the game, the two teams went back and forth forcing three and outs and punting. There were no turnovers or gains of over 15 yards, just the Mavs running out the clock and Meadowdale won by a final score of 34-0.

With the win, the Mavs improve to 4-1 (2-0 in conference) and play again next Friday at home versus Mountlake Terrace at 8 p.m. The T-Birds’ loss brings them to 1-4 (0-1 in conference) and their next game is against Shorecrest at home at 7 p.m. Friday.

– By Quint Turner

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