Fast-start Falcons beat Emerald Ridge

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Drew “D-Lo” Lozano scores his second

touchdown of the night. Derek Johnson photo


PUYALLUP — After the game’s final seconds expired, Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell stood on the field at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. The last time he stood there was two years ago when Woodinville beat Sumner in an epic semifinal, played in monsoon conditions. 

The outcome this time around was just as happy, as the Falcons knocked off Emerald Ridge 45-21 in a State playoff game last Saturday night. 

“Good memories here, right?” asked Maxwell. “A lot drier tonight for sure! Proud of the way our guys came out and established themselves right away. Took control in all phases of the game. Couldn’t be happier with how the guys executed tonight.” 

Woodinville came out like gangbusters, building a 24-0 first-quarter lead. Joey Johnson ran wild for a touchdown. Quarterback Noah Stifle connected with Carter Smith for a scoring toss. But the backbreaker was when sophomore Nick Owens intercepted a pass and ran it back 35 yards for a touchdown.

“I was panicked because they did their hurry-up offense,” Woodinville defensive end Matthew Armstrong said. “The QB threw the ball over the top and I turned around and I saw Cage [Schenck] all over the guy as usual. He popped the ball and I saw Nick in a good spot, and he caught it and took off. I ran with him. …All that green space and he was going to score. That put us in the driver’s seat.” 

Woodinville led 31-0 at halftime and 45-7 early in the fourth quarter. Emerald Ridge added two touchdowns in garbage time. 

Woodinville improved its record to 9-1 on the season. Johnson rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Drew Lozano added 55 yards and two more touchdowns. Nate Dixon had a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss. Josh Spencer had an interception to go along with Nick Owens’ pick 6.   

Inside the concrete-bunker locker room, Woodinville players shouted, laughed and sang along to a Nickleback song. Matt Harvey was Woodinville’s answer to Gardener Minshew. The senior center walked around wearing a bandana atop his wavy hair while donning his trademark aviator sunglasses. 

Matthew Armstrong was pulling miles of tape off his arms while speaking with a reporter. 

“It’s my senior year, and it’s kind of cliché when people say it goes by fast,” Armstrong said. “But it does go by fast. These are the moments you will remember. It’s not the practice that goes 30 minutes late and you want to leave and go home and go to bed. You work hard for a week and then have a night like this. You’re in the locker room singing Nickleback with your team. These are the things you’ll remember.” 

Woodinville’s all-everything Cage Schenck was asked about advancing in the postseason.

“Playoff time, round of 16,” Schenck said. “All these remaining teams are about equal in the state of Washington, so it’s open to everyone. We need to come out and have a good week of practice and get after it next Saturday.”

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Tagged under: WHS Football