EDMONDS — The Everett football team’s Wing-T rushing attack was in full effect Friday night as the Seagulls took down Mountlake Terrace 31-8 to open Wesco 3A South conference play.
“It’s a good confidence builder after last week’s debacle,” Everett head coach Doug Trainor said, referring to his team’s 46-0 blowout loss to Cascade. “It was good to see us execute and take care of the ball a lot better than we did (last week).”
Led by junior running back Christian Balmer, Everett’s combination of power and misdirection runs kept the Hawks on their heels and eventually had Terrace’s defense looking physically exhausted.
“We definitely felt that momentum switch in the end,” said Balmer, who had 20 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns. “We were like, ‘Yeah, they’re getting tired. Let’s push the momentum. Let’s kick it up a notch.’ ”
For as good as Everett’s run game was, the defense was its equal.
Led by Balmer and linebacker Aldo Yeo, the Seagulls held Terrace to just 3-for-12 on third downs and forced two interceptions while allowing 237 yards of total offense. Most of that offense came in the fourth quarter when the Seagulls were in full control of the game.
“It’s nice getting some three-and-outs,” Trainor said. “Their offense had some playmakers and we kind of honed in on those guys. Luckily we contained them.”
Everett (2-1) got on the board first with a 2-yard touchdown run by Balmer midway through the second quarter, taking a 7-0 lead. Senior Dakota Brodel made a beautiful catch — tiptoeing the sidelines on a 34-yard strike from quarterback Gabe Maggio — to set up the scoring play.
The pass was one of just five attempted by Everett’s run-heavy offense.
“It sets them off-guard,” Balmer said of the few passes Everett throws each game, “and that really benefits us.”
Everett continued to pound the ball on the ground late in the first half, marching down the field for a 73-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by running back Attim Moultre with just 23 seconds left in the first half.
The Seagulls extended their lead to 17-0 on a 34-yard field goal by David Eisenkraft on their first drive of the half.
Then, after Everett’s defense held Terrace to its eighth consecutive scoreless drive, Balmer reached the end zone for the second time on a 15-yard run to put Everett up 24-0.
“(Balmer) is a leader and he’s worked extremely hard to prepare for this moment in his life,” Trainor said. “I’m just happy for him to see it pay off. I can’t say enough about the kid. He’s exactly what you want in a football player.”
Terrace’s offense finally started to show a spark when Keegan Grayson took over at quarterback.
The senior led Terrace down the field for its first real scoring threat of the game, making plays with his arm and his feet, but ultimately came up short when Josiah Chavez came up with a big interception in the end zone for Everett.
The Hawks would get the ball back after Everett’s second miscue snapping the ball, and Grayson led Terrace (2-1) to its only scoring drive.
After setting himself with a 24-yard run, Grayson punched it in from four yards out on a quarterback keeper. He then converted the two-point attempt on a pass to running back Brandon Bach.
Everett extended its lead to 31-8 when Maggio scored on a 13-yard run.
“It was definitely really big for us,” Balmer said of the win. “We put that Cascade game behind us.”