EDMONDS — The Edmonds-Woodway High School football team’s defense put up a wall. That gave the Warriors enough time for Capassio Cherry to do his thing.
Edmonds-Woodway’s defense did the grunt work, shutting the Meadowdale Mavericks down. Cherry did some heavy lifting of his own, rushing for 302 yards on 34 carries and scoring two touchdowns. And the Warriors took control of the Wesco 3A South race by defeating the Mavericks 21-6 Friday night at Edmonds Stadium.
“It was a really big win,” Cherry said. “It was basically a playoff win for us. It was a slow start in the first half, but in the second half we really started executing and playing Warrior football.”
Edmonds-Woodway (4-0 league, 5-1 overall) needed its defense to weather the offense’s slow start, as the Warriors were scoreless on their first seven possessions. But when Meadowdale scored late in the first half to take a 6-0 lead, Edmonds-Woodway answered right back with a steady dose of Cherry to grab a 7-6 lead going into halftime. Then when Meadowdale’s opening drive of the second half was thwarted by Noah Becker’s interception at the goal line, it was all Warriors after that.
That was thanks in large part to the defense, which was something the Mavericks (2-2, 3-3) were never able to solve. The Warriors held Meadowdale, which racked up 41 points the previous week in a victory over Mountlake Terrace, to just 229 yards, including a mere 40 yards rushing on 20 carries. Edmonds-Woodway also picked off two passes — Dominic Lawrence had the other — and twice stopped the Mavericks on fourth-and-1.
“We knew coming in that defense would be the strength of our team,” Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said. “They gave us the ball enough times that finally the offense got going.”
Despite the play of the defense, Edmonds-Woodway found itself trailing the Mavericks 6-0 with 3 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the first half following Will Moloney’s 6-yard touchdown reception from Hunter Moen.
But the Warriors, who had managed yards to that point without threatening to score, dialed up their bread and butter. On the ensuing possession Cherry received the handoff on five of the drive’s six plays, gaining 67 yards. The last 10 of those came on a run off left tackle in which Cherry found a lane and stretched the ball over the goal line for a touchdown, giving Edmonds-Woodway a 7-6 lead at the half.
Then after Becker’s interception maintained the Warriors’ lead, the Warriors finally started finding some balance on offense, and a nine-play, 70-yard drive was capped off by quarterback Reilly Chappell faking a handoff and scampering 2 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-6.
After that Meadowdale largely abandoned the run for the pass, and though the Mavericks were able to gain some ground they weren’t able to sniff the end zone. Then the Warriors put it away with another sustained drive that featured Cherry, with Cherry again going off tackle for a 7-yard TD to make it 21-6 with 4:34 remaining and end the game as a contest. Cherry then busted loose for a pair of 40-yard runs in the game’s final possession to surpass the 300-yard mark and salt away the game.
“It’s all thanks to my linemen,” Cherry said about topping the 300-yard threshold. “Without them I wouldn’t have holes to run through.
“We just kept pounding it because they couldn’t stop the run,” Cherry added. “Every time I got the ball it was 10 or 15 yards. It was keep going, tire the defense out so we could score, and basically take the win.”
Becker, in addition to his interception, also had three catches for 73 yards.
Moen finished 20-for-40 for 184 yards for Meadowdale. Will Schafer caught five passes for 68 yards for the Mavericks.