By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
EDMONDS — The Mountlake Terrace football team scored took the opening kickoff and scored on four players and never looked back, crushing Shorewood 56-14 Friday in the teams’ final regular season game.
“We actually came out and our offense started out better than we have all season,” Terrace coach Tony Umayam said. “The backs ran hard. The offensive line did a nice job controlling the game.”
Terrace’s one-two punch of Chance Ragsdale and Malcolm Johnson was all but unstoppable. The Hawks’ offensive line mauled their T-bird counterparts and the Terrace runners gashed the defense nearly every time they carried the ball.
Ragsdale finished with 334 yards on 16 carries and was certainly a star in the game, but the offensive line created 443 yards on the ground and controlled the game to the point where Terrace didn’t need to attempt a pass.
“They killed it,” Johnson said. “They killed it.”
Umayam was proud of his linemen.
“They made it easy for our backs,” he said. “The difference in the game was our offensive line was able to dominate.”
After a quick three-and-out by Shorewood on its first possession, the Hawks (2-2 league, 4-4 overall) second drive was two plays: a run of 20 yards by Ragsdale and 24 yards by Johnson, putting Terrace up 14-0 with 9:27 to go in the first quarter.
“Our offensive line played great tonight,” Ragsdale said. “They did a great job executing. They made wide holes for me and helped out a lot.”
Shorewood put together its first two first downs on the next possession, but had to punt. Five plays later, Ragsdale took the option pitch from quarterback Justin Hopkins from 11 yards out to put the Hawks up 21-0.
Hopkins’ job on the night was just too feed his backs until he rushed for a 1-yard TD in the second half after Eni Klosi’s interception return was halted at the goal line.
Another T-bird three-and-out led to another Hawk two-play drive and Terrace went up 28-0 with just 54 seconds remaining in the half.
Thanks to a few passes from quarterback Aaron Okamura, the T-Birds strung together a 68-yard, 12-play drive and scored on the conversion to make it 28-8. But the T-birds couldn’t get any traction on defense.
The Hawks went almost exclusively to the wildcat formation on the next drive with similar results. Ragsdale took a direct snap 13 yards to make the score 35-8.
Any threat of the T-Birds coming back into the game was squashed when, facing first-and-goal from the Terrace 2-yard line, they were held on four plays in the final minute before half.
“(The T-Birds) were able to dink and dunk a little bit on us but we had a nice goal-line stand there at the end of the first half that I’m really proud of our defense being able to step up and do that,” Umayam said.
Terrace tallied more than 250 yards rushing in the first quarter and totaled 316 yards for the half. Ragsdale had just three carries for less than 10 yards and rushed 14 times for 260 yards with two touchdowns in the first two quarters. Johnson had the other three touchdowns and merely averaged 9.3 yards on his six first-half carries. After transferring from Texas midseason, Johnson has made the backfield complete for the Hawks.
“It’s great because we can balance out our power back and our quick back” Ragsdale said. “Johnson runs over people and I get outside and try to make a touchdown.”
For Terrace the victory sets up a crossover game with Wesco North 3A No. 3 seed Stanwood. Shorewood’s season ends after a crossover game next week.
After losing University of California commit and star running back Devante Downs to a season-ending knee injury before the season and opening the year with a 29-13 loss to Stanwood, being in this position seemed like a long shot for Hawks.
In the season opener the Hawks lost their starting quarterback and free safety/receiver. With the addition of Johnson, it’s a new team that has slowly gotten better.
“That’s what we tried to do,” Umayam said. “We are in the same spot that we were last year. We’ve had a lot more challenges this year, but we’re right there and we have a chance to go to the playoffs and we have one game to decide it. So, we’re excited.”
Now the Hawks get a chance at revenge against the Spartans. Once again at Edmonds Stadium next Friday at 5 p.m.
“It’s going to be great,” Ragsdale said. “We are going to bring the wood. Do our best and get the win and go to the playoffs.”
At Edmonds Stadium
Shorewood 0 8 0 6 — 14
Mountlake Terrace 28 7 21 7 — 56
M—Malcolm Johnson 3 run (Michael Jenson kick)
M—Johnson 24 run (Jenson kick)
M—Chance Ragsdale 11 run (Jenson kick)
M—Johnson 23 run (Jenson kick)
S—Rikio Campbell 2 run (Aaron Okamura pass to Zane Hopen)
M—Ragsdale 13 run (Jenson kick)
M—Ragsdale 48 run (Jenson kick)
M—Justin Hopkins 1 run (Jenson kick)
M—Cole Krause 10 run (Jenson kick)
S—Campbell 23 run (run failed)
Records—Shorewood 1-3 league, 2-6 overall. Mountlake Terrace 2-2, 4-4.