Playing before an overflow crowd at Pop Keeney Stadium, the Bothell Cougars trounced the Woodinville Falcons 35-0 last Friday night, October 25th.
The win gave Bothell (7-1) the Crest Division Championship for the second straight year, and they will play Skyline for the KingCo 4A title next week. Meanwhile, Woodinville (5-3) will face Newport in a Kingco crossover game.
With top players Wyatt Smith and Alek Kacmarcik officially out for the season, Woodinville entered the game with the odds stacked against them. The game remained scoreless until late in the first quarter, when Bothell’s Sean Hanrahan picked off a Will Jack pass and raced 31 yards for a touchdown. It would be the first of four interceptions for the Bothell secondary on this day.
The Cougars added two more touchdowns in the second quarter to pull away for a 21-0 halftime lead. This included a gorgeous pass play, as Bothell quarterback Ross Bowers pump faked on an out route, before launching a deep arcing pass into the talented arms of the galloping Denzell Wilson for the touchdown. The play electrified Bothell’s side of the stadium, and gave the game a sense of inevitability.
"In the first half, and really all night, I thought our defense did a nice job," Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. "They had the one long pass play, the pick six, and the low snap where our punter took a knee (for a loss and turnover on downs).
"Those are pretty critical plays where we very well could have been down one score, or 0-0 at halftime. But they got ahead 21-0, they put another one in the bank in the third, and they took control of the game and ended it. They did a good job of playing good defense on us and controlling us on that side of the ball and made it tough for us all night."
Playing for the final time at Pop Keeney was Woodinville tackle Andre Dillard.
"It’s been fun watching Andre grow and develop through his time here and gaining his confidence as a player," Maxwell said. "And he really has so much room to improve and get better. Because he’s really just a young, young football player. A lot of those big guys grow into their bodies late. He’s one of them. A lot of the college guys that have offered him think that he’s a diamond (in the rough)."
Standing on the edge of the Pop Keeney field for the final time as a player, Dillard reflected on his Falcon career.
"It was the best experience of my life," he said. "I learned so much. My coaches picked me up out of Leota Junior High and coached me into who I am now. They taught me to be a better man. I grew up here."
Next season, Dillard will be playing somewhere collegiately. So far he’s received scholarship offers from Idaho, Portland State and Eastern Washington.