By Quint Turner/For Lynnwood Today
Meadowdale lost its third straight game, falling 27-8 to Oak Harbor in a Wesco 3A crossover seeding football game Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
The Mavericks struggled to get their running game going throughout the game, due to the Wildcats putting eight men in the box and playing one-on-one coverage.
“Two weeks in a row teams have stacked the box, put everyone in the box and dared us to throw the ball and we haven’t been able to throw the ball,” Meadowdale coach Mike Don said.
Another problem was that running back Malik Braxton did not play an offensive snap the first half, leaving Rory Spillum as the only every-down running back in the first half. Braxton did score Meadowdale’s only touchdown in the second half.
The Wildcat defense forced four turnovers in the game, with three of them interceptions. Quarterback Jeremiah Evans was rushed on many of his throws.
“We really didn’t do a good job protecting the quarterback,” Don said.
Up 13-8 in the third quarter, the Wildcats forced Caleb Tingstad to fumble on the goal line and then recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. That was the closest the Mavericks got to rallying, as Julian Faralan scored his second touchdown of the day and then Princeton Lollar added another touchdown.
The first quarter was a scoreless, defensive battle. The first play of the second quarter was a Wildcat disaster. The snap flew over the punter’s head and out of the end zone. That meant the Mavericks earned a safety and two points.
On the ensuing kickoff, Braxton fielded the kick and took it all the way to the Wildcat 44. On 3rd and 8, Jeremiah Evans tried to connect with his brother Josiah, but the ball bounced out of his hands. With the ball on the 42-yard line, Don decided to go for it. On 4th and 8, Evans went back to pass and tried to find Josiah again, but this time the pass was picked off by Savion Hollins-Passmore. He returned the ball to the Oak Harbor 43.
Faralan scored on a 6-yard run to give Oak Harbor a 6-2 lead after the extra point was missed. Later in the second quarter, quarterback Clay Doughty flung a 48-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field to Dyllan Harris to give the Wildcats a 13-2 halftime lead.
In the third quarter after Oak Harbor failed to convert on 4th and 1 at the Wildcats 29, Meadowdale took over and Evans found Braxton on a screen pass down the sidelines. Braxton took the ball 41 yards before stepping out at the 1. On the next play, Braxton got the handoff and scored on a 1-yard run to cut the deficit to 13-8 Oak Harbor with 9:20 left in the quarter.
On Oak Harbor’s next drive, Meadowdale’s Marzel Simmons stripped the ball from Dejon Devroe and Jo Joe Alkhedairy fell on the ball. The Mavericks took over on the Oak Harbor 39. On the first play from scrimmage, Evans hit his brother Josiah for a big 23-yard gain, and the Mavericks were back in the red zone. On 3rd and 1 at the 7 , Braxton got the handoff and picked up 3 yards for a first and goal at the 4. Evans then threw a screen to Tingstad and as he was about to cross the goal line he was stripped of the ball. The Wildcats recovered the ball in the end zone to stop the drive.
After an interception ended another Meadowdale drive, Faralan ran 17 yards up the middle for his second rushing touchdown of the night and Oak Harbor led 20-8 with just 3:06 to play. Another interception led to a 24-yard touchdown run by Lollaras as the Wildcats took a 27-8 lead.
The Mavericks (3-2 in the league, 5-4 overall) stumble into the district playoffs with a three-game losing streak. Meadowdale earned the No. 5 seed and will play the No. 1 seed out of the Narrows League.
Meadowdale has a lot to do to prepare for next week’s playoff game.
“We’ve got to win one-on-one battles,” Don said. “We’ve got to go out and make plays. We haven’t made plays since the Terrace game. We’ve been really poor. We’ve looked awful and we’ve got to do a better job and get better.”
Oak Harbor (4-1, 7-2) earned the No. 3 seed. The Wildcats host Mount Si on Nov. 9.