Noah Stifle passed for five touchdowns and Joey Johnson rushed for 102 yards as Woodinville crushed Federal Way 38-0, in a regional playoff game last Friday night at Pop Keeney Stadium.
The strangest part was losing three fumbles in the first half made no difference to the Falcons. Woodinville (9-1) took command as Stifle tossed four TD passes in the first half to four different receivers (Carter Smith, Camden Pilukas, Cage Schenck and Jackson Messmer). The Falcons led 28-0 going into halftime.
“It’s not ideal,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said of the early turnovers. “Obviously something we’ve got to clean up. We were able to move the ball on offense but we stopped ourselves. The good thing was our defense fitted up nicely and overcame those scenarios there until we got rolling... It was a good win tonight.”
Woodinville’s “Dark Side Defense” shut down Federal Way’s “G-Option” rushing attack. The Eagles managed only 60 yards on the ground, most of which came in garbage time in the fourth quarter.
“It’s just being disciplined and fitting up on it,” Maxwell said. “Not allowing any seams. #13 [Federal Way’s Corey Quinn] in film has made some big runs. We were able to do a good job containing their running game.”
While the outcome was never in doubt, the second half provided some fun moments. When Woodinville’s Matt Armstrong made a tackle on kickoff coverage, his dad (and assistant coach) Steve Armstrong spied Mrs. Armstrong in the crowd, and gave a fist pump and “woo-hoo!” in celebration. Then in the fourth quarter, defensive back Jack Diskin went high in the air for a one-handed interception – a la Odell Beckham, Jr. This awakened the crowd from its late-game doldrums.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Falcons enjoyed the moment, but not too much. Soon they returned to the locker room to prepare for the next challenge.
“We were expecting to win, but we worked hard in practice this week,” wide receiver Camden Pilukas said. “As we keep going through the playoffs, I hope we keep rolling and keep it going.”
On defense, linebacker Miles Mustarde was all over the field with nine tackles. Defensive end Dylan Lewis had three tackles for loss. Linebacker Nate Dixon added two tackles for loss and a sack.
“We haven’t had any big injuries yet, knock on wood,” Dixon said. “We have great energy on this team. We’re one big family and going to practice every day is so much fun. It’s a big party every day when we go to practice.”
A SATURDAY WITH NOTHING TO DO
Normally when one game ends, Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell immediately prepares for the next opponent. But because the Falcons didn’t know their next opponent until the WIAA committee announced brackets on November 4, it meant Maxwell had nothing to do last Saturday.
“As coaches, we’re so regimented,” Maxwell said. “Usually we go to right to work the next morning. Saturday is going to be a hard day for me. Sitting on my hands. It’s funny, my wife gave me a look and asked me what I was going to do. Well, I’m going to spend the day watching other [high school playoff] games that are going on. But the morning will be odd.”
Woodinville will play either this Friday or Saturday at Pop Keeney Stadium. To find out which opponent was selected to play the Falcons, go to KingcoAthletics.com.