EDMONDS — When James Harmon took over for Matt Leonard as Meadowdale’s head coach, and replaced Leonard’s spread offense in favor of a triple-option attack, it’d be reasonable to expect senior quarterback Hunter Moen to experience some growing pains early in the season while he’s adjusting to the new style.
It looks like the kinks have been worked out.
The Mavericks’ (2-0, 1-0 Wesco 3A south) defense was stout and their offense awakened in the second half as they rolled to a 40-8 win over the Shorewood Thunderbirds (1-1, 0-1) at Edmonds Stadium to open up Wesco 3A South play for both teams.
“Last week I felt really good about (the new offense),” said Moen, who threw for 251 yards on 12-of-16 passing and rushed for an additional 71 yards. “The score didn’t show it, but this week it really did. But I’m starting to feel more comfortable in it.”
After scoring just 18 points in a Week 1 win over Inglemoor and just seven in the first half against the Thunderbirds, the Mavericks erupted for 33 points in the second half.
Meadowdale’s offense was clicking just like Harmon wanted it to, with Moen making big plays and spreading the ball around — seven different players recorded carries and six different receivers caught passes for the Mavericks on Friday.
“We don’t want anyone to pinpoint who we’re going to give the ball to,” Harmon said. “We have a lot of ball-carriers, we have a lot of targets and that’s the game plan, to spread it around — and Hunter did a great job with it.
“We’re lucky to have who we have.”
The Mavericks’ defense was something that translated instantly in the switch to Harmon, who was Meadowdale’s defensive coordinator for three seasons before being named head coach. The Mavericks have allowed just 13 points defensively in two weeks, with Shorewood’s lone score coming on Kody Carpenter’s 88-yard kick return in the second half. The Thunderbirds were limited to just 92 yards of offense.
“Our defense is what sets the tone for our offense,” Moen said.
Friday’s game was a big revenge opportunity for Mavericks, who were thumped 38-7 by Shorewood in their league opener last year.
“This game meant a lot to us,” Moen said. “Coming off a win like that, 40-8, it feels really good.”
Meadowdale struck first with Hussain Al-Mayyahi’s 3-yard touchdown run to the left side on the triple option to put the Mavericks up 7-0 with 2:24 remaining in the first half. Moen set up Meadowdale near the goal line by finding Samuel Lybeer on a 24-yard reception on third-and-9 in the key play of the drive.
Seeing just seven points on the board didn’t elicit panic from Moen and the Mavericks’ offense, which was hampered by costly penalties and bad snaps in the opening 24 minutes.
“We knew what we had to do,” Moen said. “We didn’t write anything up on the board, so we just knew what we had to do — nothing new. Just do what we need to do and everything will work out.”
Moen’s premonition proved true, as he led the Mavericks on a commanding eight-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by his 12-yard touchdown scamper. The point-after kick was no good and the Mavericks led 13-0.
Carpenter returned the ensuing kickoff to the house and Sontri Jorkhang found Jack Doneen on the two-point conversion to pull Shorewood within five.
But that’s when Meadowdale’s offense erupted, scoring on each of their next four drives to turn it into a rout.
Moen found senior running back Kristian Lunsford on a 27-yard touchdown pass to put the Mavericks up 20-7 with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter.
Then Moen recorded his second touchdown pass of the night, dropping a fade route into Colton Walsh’s hands for a 29-yard touchdown on the first play of their drive after a fumble recovered by Meadowdale’s defense set them up with prime field position.
Ian Newsom scored from eight yards out to put the Mavericks up 34-8 with 7:26 to play and Al-Mayyahi scored for the second time on a 5-yard touchdown run with 2:53 remaining.
The Mavericks rushed for 212 yards on the ground.
Walsh led all pass-catchers with 99 yards on five receptions.