Edmonds-Woodway shuts out Jackson in season opener | Football

Becker runs for 107 yards, 1 touchdown to lead the Warriors
By David Pan | Sep 07, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Edmonds-Woodway senior running back Noah Becker scores on a 5-yard run during the Warriors’ 10-0 victory over Jackson.

Edmonds-Woodway executed on both sides of the ball in its season opener.

Senior running back Noah Becker carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards and one touchdown and the defense recorded a shutout to lead the Warriors to a 10-0 victory over Jackson in a non-conference football game Friday, Sept. 1, at Edmonds Stadium.

The offense and defense both did their jobs, according to Becker, who also plays linebacker.

“It feels good to win,” he said. “Our defense obviously didn’t let them score. That helped. Our offense was driving down the field.”

Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said his players, both starters and back-ups, produced a great overall team effort.

“We played a lot of guys because of the heat,” Gradwohl said. “So we’re going to learn a lot from this. They’re a good team. We have a lot of room for improvement. Week one everyone does.”

The play of Edmonds-Woodway’s reserves was a highlight for Gradwohl.

“It was nice to see some of the younger kids and these other back-ups play,” he said. “There wasn’t a drop-off (in performance) and actually in some cases it helped us. There are kids in there playing both ways and they were tired. We had some fresh legs out there. It was fun.”

The two teams battled through a scoreless first quarter before Becker gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run. The Warriors (1-0) threatened to extend the lead to two touchdowns with a drive deep into Wolfpack territory late in the second quarter. But in part due to a penalty, Edmonds-Woodway was forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Jackson Karr and a 10-0 halftime lead.

The 4A Timberwolves were able to move the ball through the contest but their drives stalled once they advanced to the red zone – either due to Jackson penalties or key Edmonds-Woodway defensive plays.

“They were moving the ball. We needed to make a play,” Gradwohl said. “You get a sack here. They had a penalty there. Something like that and then that puts us in a good situation. … We seemed to make a play at the right time. We seemed to do that tonight. They got inside our 30 a number of times.”

Jackson coach Joel Vincent lamented the Wolfpack’s inability to put points on the scoreboard.

“Offensively, we really struggled,” Vincent said. “We found a way to shoot ourselves with penalties. It was a game we won in every category except the score. We had more yards and we didn’t win the game.”

Jackson outgained Edmonds-Woodway 266 to 223 in total yards. The Warriors’ ground game, led by Becker, actually finished with 193 yards to Jackson’s 134.

“The line did great tonight,” Becker said. “There were many holes in their defense. I was just going as hard as I could to get to the line.”

Gradwohl was interested to see how a number of new linemen would play in their first start and he was pleased.

“We did some good things,” he said. “We got some new linemen in their first game.”

Friday’s game also marked the first varsity start for quarterback Reilly Chappell. The senior completed 4 of 9 passes for 30 yards but more importantly he effectively ran the Edmonds-Woodway offense.

“He did a lot of good things,” Gradwohl said. “There’s just a few things we need to work on with his tempo. … He calls the offense. People don’t realize he calls usually which side we’re going to. He did an awesome job with that. He made some smart decisions running and not throwing the ball. Sometimes you don’t want to throw it into a crowd. It wasn’t a passing game for us.”

The defense largely contained senior wide receiver Daniel Arias, who has verbally committed to Colorado. Arias caught six passes for 52 yards.

Edmonds-Woodway had either Aaron Richardson or Grayson LeCompte defending Arias along with a safety over the top.

“We were just trying to make it hard for him,” Gradwohl said.

The Warriors also picked off Jackson quarterback Ben Oleson twice. Oleson, who started three games last season before suffering an ACL injury, completed 13 of 25 passes for 132 yards.

“We were working on, in practice, trying to shut down their key players,” Becker said. “I think it worked tonight.”

The Warriors head out on the road to face Kentwood at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 7, at French Field in Kent. The 4A Conqueroers defeated Glacier Peak 58-29.

“We just need to keep practicing hard and go on to the next game with the same intensity,” Becker said.

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