Behind a veteran offensive line that was all business, senior tailback Alec Schwend rushed for 153 yards on 25 big-boy carries as the Falcons turned back Bothell 24-14 at Pop Keeney Stadium on Friday, its first win over the Blue Train since 2005.
But the Falcons’ defense was even more impressive, stifling Bothell’s running game to the tune of 27 yards on 18 carries — after the Cougars ran it for over 300 against Inglemoor last week.
“I’m thrilled for these kids,” head coach Wayne Maxwell said. “They’ve worked their tails off and tonight was a big test. The season is far from over but tonight we took a big step.”
Sophomore Alek Kacmarcik broke for a 56-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage 63 seconds in and the Falcons were off to the races.
Woodinville, running its other stuff behind Schwend’s steady flow, scored twice more on a Trey Fornelius 5-yard gash up the gut and a rollout pass from Brett Arrivey to a wide open John Villasenor to make it 21-zip.
Bothell scored on a corner fade to 6-foot-5 Aaron Wilks to get on the board, but a solid drive by Woodinville and a Conner Zaback field goal made it 24-7 at the half.
Aided by a Falcon personal foul on a late sideline hit, Bothell scored again on a fade to Trent Sewell to make it 24-14 as momentum swung to the Cougs for the first time all night.
Things got tighter as Woodinville was forced to punt and Bothell’s freshman quarterback Ross Bowers — in relief of starter Austin Dahl — hit Aaron Wilks on a 55-yard bomb to take it down to the Falcon 12.
Yet one play later Danny Wilson fumbled and Branden Shrout recovered to turn back the tide for the green team. Neither squad scored again in a physical fourth quarter as time ran out on Bothell, now 2-1, 3-3.
Cougar coach Tom Bainter said the difference was the Falcons’ run game.
“We couldn’t stop ’em. Even when we had ’em at the line of scrimmage it was a three or four yard gain. They’re a good football team.
They’ve got a lot of kids who’ve played on Friday nights, some three-year starters and that type of team comes around every so often and they have it this year. Hats off to them.”
Schwend, who proved to be the best back on the field in a game filled with good backs, was remarkably subdued post-game. He’s not the biggest, not the fastest, but he carried the mail for the Falcons while taking major hits — and played some good corner as well.
“I’m a little beat up but I feel great,” he said. “This is awesome. We’ve been thinking about this since last year in spring practice. It was one of our goals and we got to it. They’re a physical team and I was prepared for that. Our O-line did a heck of a job.”
Said quarterback Brett Arrivey of the win: “It’s indescribable. We’ve been focusing on this for a long time. The last two years they got us pretty good and we’ve worked so hard for this.”
He was asked about the efforts of his buddy Schwend. “Schwend always performs.”
Said lineman Sawyer Whalen, who went both ways all night and had a huge sack at a key moment, and seemed to feel more relief than jubilation: “We’ve been working hard for a long time. It’s just a good feeling to finally beat Bothell.”
Woodinville (3-0, 6-0) hosts Inglemoor (2-1, 4-2) Friday at the Pop.