There’s only so much a 4A team can learn about itself when going against a much smaller squad. But for the Woodinville Falcons, effort wasn’t an issue. The defending State runner-ups never let up as they beat the Foster Bulldogs 34-8.
“We all knew this was a 2A school,” Woodinville linebacker Miles Mustarde said. “We still wanted to put in all the effort we had. We weren’t going to let this go easy because they were the smaller team than us. We were still going to show that we were the the strongest team on the field, the hardest-hitting team on the field and the most athletic team on the field.”
“This game will give us a lot of confidence going forward,” added defensive end Dylan Lewis.
The first half was methodical and drama-free. By halftime, Woodinville had built up a 20-0 lead. Cage Schenck, the diminutive cornerback and playmaker, showed his chops on both sides of the ball. He hauled in a long touchdown pass and later secured an interception.
“Cage is a ferocious competitor,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “Wherever he is on the filed he is going to make plays.”
Overall, Maxwell was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I feel good about our guys coming out, with a lot of new faces playing tonight,” Maxwell said. “A lot of good things happening where guys can feel good. We got the first one under the belt and out of the way.”
With Jaden Sheffey now playing at George Fox University, big shoes were needed to be filled at the quarterback position. But Noah Stifle acquitted himself well in his starting debut. The junior passed his first test with aplomb, both on-and-off the field. He showed it when scrambling effectively in the pocket, keeping his eyes down field for receivers. And he showed it in the post-game celebration, posing for pictures with an electric smile amid a gaggle of giggling girls.
Style-wise, Stifle reminded one of Mark Brunell.
“He’s an athletic competitor, and Brunell was a great competitor,” Maxwell said. “Noah is good on his feet for sure. He’s a good athlete. Things are going to start slowing down for him as he gets the reps. He’s got a bright future ahead of him for sure.”
Maxwell was asked to single out other players who stood out on this night.
“It was fun to get the formerly-known-as-a-kicker Blake Glessner with a pick tonight to get things going,” Maxwell said. “That was great to see, He’s a great athlete doing a nice job at the other corner spot opposite Cage. I thought Nolan Downs had a big night [at running back]. He stepped up and did some big things. The O-Line together, that’s a solid group of guys. And the defense did a nice job being put into some tough situations [following turnovers], and so it was good to see them respond well.”
“And I especially liked seeing the [second third stringers] going out there and getting some stops,” Miles Mustarde said. “I liked how prepared we all were. At practice this week, the coaches made us go through the reps of all the things [Foster] was showing [on film from last year]. And so I loved seeing everyone play smart.”
Woodinville hosts Monroe this Thursday at Pop Keeney Stadium. Mustarde was asked what needs to be improved.
“There were a few times tonight when the guard pulled and we’d read it as a run,” Mustarde said. “And they’d throw a quick pass over us. They got us a few times and they got me a few times. That’s definitely something we need to keep an eye out for in the coming games.”