Photo by Don Mann. Woodinville junior Daniel Clark makes a juggling catch for a 22-yard gain in the second quarter.
Woodinville needed this one in a bad way.
Having lost four of its previous five games, including the last two in a row — one by a whisker and one by a mile — the Falcons had their backs against the wall and played like it on a balmy October night at Pop Keeney Stadium last Thursday.
Spencer Brueske hauled in two first-half touchdown passes from Brett Arrivey, Joe Ip punched in two touchdown runs and super-soph Alec Schwend motored for 107 yards and a score on only 10 carries as Woodinville, despite season-ending injuries that prevented key defenders Anders Fornelius and Jake Dammrose from even suiting up, disposed of Lake Washington 34-7 with efficiency on Senior Night at the Pop.
Woodinville, now sitting at 2-2 in KingCo and 3-4 overall, has a bit of momentum as it heads to Memorial Stadium next Friday to take on Ballard at their place, with post-season aspirations on the line.
"That crossover game is our goal and we’re in playoff mode right now," coach Wayne Maxwell said.
"We want to be the three spot from the Crown division and play the two spot from the Crest and we told the kids that."
If it happens, it will be without the services of seniors Fornelius, Dammrose, and sophomore Sawyer Whalen.
Fornelius, a heady and physical play-making linebacker/running back, was stricken with appendicitis and underwent emergency surgery, Maxwell said, two days after last week’s 53-3 Bothell drubbing and is done for the year.
Dammrose, perhaps Woodinville’s best cover corner, sustained a broken right arm against the Cougars and is on the shelf.
And Whalen, a talented up-and-comer at defensive end and offensive tackle, was carted off the field during the game against LW and the prognosis was not good: a likely broken ankle.
"Our young guys need to step up and play well," Maxwell said, looking forward, like coaches must, to greener pastures.
"Austin Smedsrud did a great job out there tonight," he said of Fornelius’ replacement at linebacker. "He was in their backfield all night making plays. So that’s good for him to have a good, positive experience to build his confidence."
Woodinville took a commanding 27-0 lead into halftime and, moreover, did not cough up a turnover all night.
"We really had to focus on taking care of the football tonight — that’s our issue," Maxwell said. "In the games we’ve lost this year, that’s been our problem."
What did Maxwell like best on the night?
"The fact that we played with confidence and executed," he said. "Our running backs ran hard with great effort and our blockers stayed on their assignments. We moved the ball and Arrivey was able to do some things through the air.
"But mainly we took care of the football. And that was our focus. It was important for us to get back on track and be consistent. We had a couple of rough ones the last couple of weeks."