By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
EDMONDS — For two quarters on Friday night, Edmonds-Woodway running back Desmond Young was putting up big numbers for both yards and touchdowns against Mountlake Terrace.
But when Young went out just before halftime after aggravating a nagging hamstring injury — he needed help back to the bench after a breakaway TD run — the Warriors turned to backup Junior Opoku-Mensah in the second half and barely missed a step on the way to a 48-29 non-conference victory over the Hawks.
Young had 93 yards on 11 first-half carries with scoring runs of 4, 13, 6 and 36 yards. Opoku-Mensah added 126 yards on 15 attempts, including a 5-yard touchdown, with all but 17 coming in the third and fourth quarters.
Those totals were part of Edmonds-Woodway’s 267 rushing yards, and the Warriors added another 193 yards through the air as quarterback Davis Giles completed 14 of 17 attempts.
“Offensively I feel real good,” said Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl. “But we had to keep scoring because otherwise it would’ve been a whole different game. So I was real proud of our guys to keep staying ahead of them.
“Defensively this’ll be a good film for us (to study), because I thought the Terrace staff did an excellent job of exposing some of our weaknesses,” he added.
Young has been bothered by a tight hamstring this season and practiced sparingly during the week. Opoku-Mensah actually started Friday’s game and got the first three carries, but then Young came in and scored a touchdown on his third attempt.
Though an interception ended Edmonds-Woodway’s second offensive possession, the Warriors scored touchdowns on their remaining three drives of the first half, all on carries by Young.
Young’s fourth touchdown came on a snap at the Mountlake Terrace 36-yard line. He squirted through a hole at the line of scrimmage, cut to daylight, and was suddenly in the secondary and in clear. But near the 20-yard he slowed and began to stride awkwardly, and a Mountlake Terrace defender caught up and tackled him as they both spilled across the goal line.
Young got helped to the sideline and then went to the locker room. He returned to the bench in the second half, but without his shoulder pads and with an ice pack on the back of his right leg.
“He didn’t pull it,” Gradwohl said, “but it’s pretty tight.”
With Young a spectator in the second half, Opoku-Mensah kept the Warriors’ ground game churning. His best moment came on a burst up the middle early in the fourth quarter that went for 53 yards and set up Edmonds-Woodway’s final touchdown.
“Junior ran well,” Gradwohl said. “Obviously Desmond is our guy, but if we have to run to other people … they all run well and I really like them. And that big run Junior had in the fourth quarter, that was huge.”
The Warriors face rival Meadowdale next week and Young is questionable to play. “Meadowdale is important because it’s a rivalry game, but it’s not a league game,” Gradwohl said. “And at some point we have to get him healthy.”
Mountlake Terrace was led by quarterback Beau Kennedy, who completed 13 of 17 attempts for 199 yards and one touchdown. Running back Devante Downs contributed 110 rushing yards on 22 attempts, highlighted by a 49-yard scamper midway through the third quarter. But Downs also had lost fumbles on consecutive carries in the second quarter, and the Warriors used a short field to score two quick touchdowns for a lead they never lost.
Those fumble recoveries, the first by defensive back Matt Cuzzetto and the second by linebacker Mac McLachan, “were the difference,” Gradwohl said. “Absolutely, that was the separation difference in a lot of ways.”
Mountlake Terrace coach Tony Umayam was pleased with his team’s effort, but disappointed with a defense that was unable to slow the Edmonds-Woodway offense.
At Edmonds District Stadium
Edmonds-Woodway 7 21 13 7 — 48
Mountlake Terrace 0 15 8 6 — 29
EW—Young 4 run (C. Davis kick)
MT—Downs 2 run (Kennedy kick)
EW—Young 13 run (C. Davis kick)
EW—Young 6 run (C. Davis kick)
MT—Evenson 4 pass from Kennedy (Downs run)
EW—Young 36 run (C. Davis kick)
EW—Opoku-Mensah 5 run (C. Davis kick)
Mountlake Terrace_Guerrero 1 run (Esparza pass from Kennedy)
EW—Cuzzetto 23 pass from Giles (kick failed)
EW—Cuzzetto 24 run (C. Davis kick)
MT—Guerrero 10 run (run failed)
Records—Edmonds-Woodway 2-0 overall. Mountlake Terrace 0-2.