On the wings of an indomitable run game and destructive defense, the Woodinville Falcons are soaring higher than ever.
The offense rushed for 401 yards; the defense forced 4 turnovers. And the result was a 49-17 win over Graham-Kapowsin last Saturday night at Art Crate Field in Spanaway, Washington.
Woodinville (12-0) is now one step from playing in the Tacoma Dome for all the marbles.
“Tonight you saw our identity, right?” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “We’re physical up front on both sides of the ball. We can run the ball... And the heart of our defense is in being competitive. It was a great night of football.”
The Falcons started off the night in tribute. Running onto the field and toward their sideline, each player held up four fingers from each hand. This marked the three-year anniversary of the murder of Parker Moore. The former Falcon wore the number 44.
“I didn’t know they were going to do that,” Maxwell said. “As coaches, everything you do with your guys is to model behavior, teach them to do the right things and be leaders. Some of them knew Parker, some of them didn’t. But you saw that they recognized what he meant to the program. That they did that on their own was pretty special.”
Just one minute into the game, Woodinville’s Brett Accimus broke lose for a 52-yard touchdown run. Blake Glessner booted the extra point through the uprights, and Woodinville led 7-0.
Graham-Kapowsin then came out with their high-powered offense, led by quarterback Dylan Morris, a UW commit. G-K entered the game averaging 42 points a game, but would manage only 10 in the first half.
Meanwhile, Woodinville pushed across two more touchdowns. Jaden Sheffey hit Nash Fouch for a 19-yard scoring strike. Then Sheffey scored on a 5-yard QB draw play. The Falcons led 21-10 at intermission.
Lightning struck twice to start the second half. The Falcons would score two touchdowns in the first 75 seconds of play. First, they forced a fumble on the kick return. Accimus then scored on a 43-yard jaunt through a truck-sized hole over the left side of the line. Then on the ensuing kickoff, Woodinvillle recovered an onside kick. Moments later, Sheffey connected with Tyler Owens for a 35-yard touchdown. Suddenly, the Falcons led 35-10.
“That was exciting football for the Falcon sideline for sure,” Maxwell said. “We come out and get a strip on it. Adam Turner recovered it, a senior kid who works hard. So that was exciting to see. And then we got another one.”
It was at this point that the wheels starting coming off the G-K wagon. The Eagle defense lost composure and began ramping up the cheap shots and smack talk. Graham-Kapowsin would finish the night with five personal foul penalties and two player ejections.
In the fourth quarter, Woodinville’s Wyatt Lane and Matthew Jones added touchdowns to seal the deal. The celebration was on.
In the Falcon locker room, music blared as players shouted and laughed. Nash Fouch looked incredulous upon hearing the yardage totals.
“Over 400 yards rushing?” Fouch said. “Out there playing receiver, sometimes it can get boring. But when you look out there and see Brett and Matthew running down those big lanes man, all you want to do to is give the big guys up front a hug. Because wow, they opened up holes tonight like crazy. And our running backs ran hard all night.”
Up next is a rematch against Sumner, the team that knocked Woodinville out of the playoffs a year ago. On the line is a trip to the Tacoma Dome.
“Tonight we’re celebrating and it’s awesome.” Woodinville’s Cade Beresford said. “Tomorrow we’ll rest. And then we will work hard and watch a lot of film to get ready.”
“It’s unreal, it’s really special,” Jaden Sheffey said. “We’ve all talked about this since the 7th or 8th grade. We’re now seeing this come to real life. It’s awesome and it’s like a dream. We just want to keep building on this and go all the way.”