By scheduling happenstance, Woodinville and Bothell kicked off their seasons by playing each other– in a showdown usually reserved for mid-season. On this warm Friday night at Pop Keeney Stadium, the Falcons prevailed with a 36-14 win.
“There’s no better feeling than coming out here and stomping Bothell,” Woodinville safety/receiver Nash Fouch said. “It sets the tone for the season.”
“It’s so weird playing them in the first game,” Woodinville quarterback Jaden Sheffey said. “Our biggest rival. There’s something special about beating them.”
Woodinville (1-0) was fundamentally sound in all phases of the game. But the earmark of this win came courtesy of the Falcons’ “Dark Side” Defense, which shut down Bothell’s ballyhooed quarterback Jacob Sirmon, a UW commit. Sirmon was hassled all night long, completing 8 of 29 passes for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bothell managed just 150 total yards and a paltry 25% conversion rate on third down.
“The key was being able to stop the run and not letting [Sirmon] get comfortable,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “For the most part we did that. We had to replace Jake Kim, the all-time Woodinville sack leader, and we had to see how the guys were going to step up. Our kids did a great job tonight.”
Woodinville took control early and never looked back. The Falcons led 22-7 at halftime and 29-7 heading into the fourth quarter. The Sheffey-to-Fouch connection hit the jackpot twice. The first being a beautiful 30-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter. Then came a 60-yard pass-and-catch that electrified the crowd and set up another Falcon touchdown.
Woodinville’s Matt Jones and Brett Accimus combined for 192 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Accimus also had four tackles to lead the defense.
Coach Maxwell was asked which players stood out.
“The offensive line, we love those guys,” Maxwell said. “Coach [Mike] Monan does a great job with those guys. We’ve got some big experienced guys back. We feel very confident they’re going to do the job whether it’s on the ground or through the air.
“And Noah Taplett and Miles Mustrade on defense did a great job,” Maxwell said. “Jaden Sheffey’s leadership at quarterback running the offense was smooth. Jake Baillie causing trouble up front on defense. Those things stood out.”
Worth mentioning too was Woodinville’s wunderkind, Cage Schenck. The diminutive sophomore got the start at cornerback. He was often matched up against Bothell receivers who were 5-8 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier.
“Coming into the game we were excited about Cage,” Maxwell said. “We knew people would try to target him. He plays much bigger than what he looks like. He’s a special kid. He might be short, but the kid can play ball. One of the better competitors on the team.”
“The kid’s a savage,” Nash Fouch said. “Coming out here in his first start. He had one catch on him and he came up and popped the kid. He was out there playing with no fear. He’s got a bright future... Might be the most talented athlete on the team.”
Woodinville plays a rare Saturday game this week. Eastlake pays a visit to Pop Keeney Stadium, with kickoff time at 7PM.