EDMONDS — Meadowdale football coach Matt Leonard offered a frank description of his team’s performance after the Mavericks’ must-win game Friday. There wasn’t much he liked about it.
“We just didn’t play well,” Leonard said. “We didn’t protect very well. We couldn’t run the ball. We turned the ball over, fumbled a snap. It just wasn’t a good night.”
Meadowdale needed a win to earn Wesco 3A’s final playoff berth, but the Mavericks came up short, losing to Ferndale 56-15 at Edmonds Stadium.
Meadowdale (3-6, 3-4 Wesco 3A) is expected to play Marysville Pilchuck in a Wesco crossover game next week before wrapping up its season.
The Mavericks struggled mightily defending the Golden Eagles’ trademark Wing-T offense. Meadowdale gave up 369 rushing yards as Ferndale gashed the Mavericks time and time again.
Ferndale back Bryan Ebe ran for 172 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries, and teammate Jacob Broselle added 117 yards on nine rushes.
“It’s so hard to replicate what they do in practice,” Leonard said. “We do the best we can, but it’s different at game speed live. They are not super complicated, but what they do is good.”
Conversely, Meadowdale managed just 49 rushing yards on 29 attempts, including several sacks. Passing success was hard to come by, too. Mavericks quarterback Hunter Moen completed 14 of 30 passes for 131 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
For a game Meadowdale needed, it got off to a disastrous start.
The Mavericks went three-and-out following a Ferndale game-opening five-play, 72-yard scoring drive. Meadowdale punter Carlos Abad couldn’t handle a low snap on fourth down, and the ball went bouncing by before Ferndale’s Jaden Brown scooped up the loose ball and scored a touchdown from 12 yards out.
Meadowdale responded with its best drive of the game. Moen finished off a nine-play drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mason Vaughn, trimming Ferndale’s lead to 14-7.
The Golden Eagles scored 21 unanswered points and took a 35-15 lead into halftime before piling on in the second half.
The loss eliminates Meadowdale from postseason contention. The Mavericks are scheduled to play a final game next week against Marysville Pilchuck. Ferndale plays a winner-to-state game next week against Eastside Catholic, one of the state’s best teams.
Bryan Ebe, Ferndale — Ebe was one part of a three-pronged attack that consistently gouged Meadowdale’s defense for big yardage. The senior back finished with 172 yards and had touchdown rushes of 3, 3, 6 and 13 yards.
Jaden Brown, Ferndale — Brown made a huge impact on defense and special teams. He gave the Golden Eagles a momentum boost with his 12-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He also caught both interceptions Meadowdale quarterback Hunter Moen threw.
Geiran Hatchett and Darius Washington, Ferndale — The Golden Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage, and Hatchett and Washington were a big reason. They each had a pair of sacks and stuffed Meadowdale’s run game. Hatchett, a junior, is a big-time recruit, who according to 247 Sports has received offers from programs such as Ohio State, Washington and Michigan.
Nate Hebert, Meadowdale — The Mavericks didn’t have many highlights, but Hebert ran hard despite limited space. He also unbelievably hung on to a 21-yard touchdown pass from Moen. Hebert got crushed at the goal line as he hauled in the pass, but somehow didn’t lose possession.
“We knew this year might be a little bit tougher on us just because of the inexperience, and that is what young teams do, they make mistakes that we just keep making that are costing us games. When we don’t make the mistakes, we play really well. It cost us the game against Snohomish last week, and it put us behind the eight ball against a power run team like that, and that’s a rough recipe.” — Leonard