Meadowdale seals victory with defensive stand | Football

Mavericks hold off Vikings in season-opening victory
By David Pan | Sep 12, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Caleb Monillas (28) and Alain Bui (15) chase after Inglemoor quarterback Kolby Solomon during the Mavericks’ 18-13 victory Friday, Sept. 6, at Edmonds Stadium.

Special teams and defense came up big when they needed to in Meadowdale’s season opener.

Clinging to a precarious 5-point lead late in the fourth quarter, punter Cole Sargent successfully booted the ball from the Mavericks’ end zone to midfield where Inglemoor took over and looked to mount a winning drive.

Instead the Meadowdale defense shut down the Vikings, sealing an 18-13 victory with a sack on fourth down, in a nonconference football game Friday, Sept. 6, at Edmonds Stadium.

Friday’s game was the first career victory for new head coach James Harmon, who previously was the team’s defensive coordinator.

“It couldn’t feel better,” Harmon said. “These kids worked hard and the coaches really had a long, hard week of practices. It feels good to have a game plan work the way it did.”

Senior quarterback Hunter Moen completed 6 of 9 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Colton Walsh caught 3 passes for 145 yards and one TD.

“I wished we would have rushed the ball a little bit better,” Harmon said. “I wish we would have completed a couple more passes. But for the most part, it feels awesome.”

Meadowdale took a 6-0 lead on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Moen to senior wide receiver Mason Vaughn. Moen followed up with an 87-yard strike to Walsh late in the third quarter. Senior Caleb Monillas scored on a 3-yard run less than two minutes into the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 18-0.

Inglemoor cut the lead to 18-7 on 2-yard touchdown run by Trevor Thurman midway through the period. Thurman then made the Maverick faithful squirm in their seats with a 4-yard scoring run and the Vikings trailed 18-13 with just over three minutes left in the game.

“That game could have gone a number of ways and we’re glad it ended up the way it did,” Harmon said. “But when you’re punting out of our own end zone it’s hard to know what’s going to happen. Is it going to be a bad snap? Is going to get blocked? Are they going to take it back on us and it be a short field? It worked out the best possible way.”

Meadowdale limited Inglemoor to 83 yards on the ground. Sam Lybeer recorded a game-high 9 tackles and Alain Bui added 7 tackles.

Meadowdale made its final defensive stand after the Viking offense appeared to find its rhythm with back-to-back scoring drives.

“The defensive line got off the ball really well and added some pressure that made covering the guys down the field a little bit easier,” Harmon said. “When the quarterback got pressure in his face, our DBs (defensive backs) are able to get on top on their routes a lot faster.”

Last year, Inglemoor stunned Meadowdale with a 34-yard touchdown pass and successful 2-point conversion with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter in a 29-28 thriller.

Harmon reminded the players that they’ve been in these situations before.

“It didn’t work out for us,” Harmon said. “So let’s put our nose to the grindstone. Let’s finish and I think our kids did.”

Meadowdale hosts Shorewood in its Wesco 3A South opener at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, at Edmonds Stadium. The Thunderbirds crushed Granite Falls 42-14 in their season opener.

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