EDMONDS — The Edmonds-Woodway Warriors got the win they needed and in doing so sent a message to the rest of the Western Conference South Division.
Edmonds-Woodway shut out the Mariner Marauders 17-0 in a Wesco South contest at Edmonds District Stadium Friday night, sending the Marauders to their first Wesco South loss.
The victory also told the rest of the South that you can’t count out the Warriors, 4A state semifinalists the past two seasons.
“It keeps us in the hunt. It let’s people know that Edmonds-Woodway is still here. The kids have a lot of pride, they’ve worked hard,” Warriors head coach John Gradwohl said.
Reigning 4A state player of the year Tony Heard rushed for 144 yards, scoring a touchdown and throwing for a second to lead the Warriors (2-1 in league, 4-2 overall).
Heard carried most of the load for the Warriors rushing 26 times and the Warriors seemed to ride their big back through most of the second half with Edmonds-Woodway clinging to a 7-0 first half lead.
Gradwohl was quick to praise the offensive line for allowing Heard to control the ball.
“The offensive line is young. They continue to play better and control the line of scrimmage. We’ve played some good teams, they’re tested by fire,” Gradwohl said.
Heard got the Warriors on the board in the second quarter when the back scored from a yard out.
The two teams battled through a scoreless third quarter before Heard found wide receiver Din Kuses for an 87-yard touchdown pass. Heard lobbed the ball over the Marauder defenders, finding Kuses on the 40-yard line before the receiver went 60 more yards for the 13-0 lead.
The scoring drive followed superb play from the Warriors defense.
After allowing Mariner to move the ball for the final eight minutes of the third quarter and the first two minutes of the fourth, the Warriors were faced with a first-and-goal on the 7-yard line. They used a Marauder penalty and three huge stops to force the Marauders to turn the ball over on downs.
“We needed a big play and we got it. When you have a great team like Mariner you need plays like that,” Gradwohl said.
Warriors linebacker Jacob Gilliis capped the defensive stop, sacking Mariner quarterback AJ VanWieringen for a loss of 6 yards, setting up a fourth-and-goal on the Warriors 26.
The Marauders weren’t able to capitalize, forcing the turnover on downs and setting up Heard’s TD pass.
Mariner (3-1, 4-2), which entered the game winners of four straight, were led by Adrien Black’s 53 rushing yards. VanWieringen threw for 78 yards but was intercepted twice.
At Edmonds District Stadium
E-W—Heard 1 run (Lindsey kick)
E-W—Kuses 87 yard pass from Heard (Lindsey kick)
E-W—FG Lindsey 40
Records—Mariner 3-1 in league, 4-2 overall. E-W 2-1, 4-2.