Then a combination of Bothell’s stout defense and a steady diet of Danny Wilson put it on ice for the Cougars, as they knocked off Woodinville 23-7 at Pop Keeney Stadium under a second half downpour on Friday.
For its efforts, Bothell gets the privilege of playing top-ranked Skyline Thursday at the Pop for the KingCo 4A title this Thursday.
But when Woodinville looks at the film, it will lament three first-half special teams plays that weren’t all that special.
In fact they turned the tide, as the Falcons went to halftime down 13-7 instead of being up by, say, three points or perhaps a touchdown or more. And that was all before the field — and the ball — got really wet.
It went like this: Woodinville took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards on 12 plays down to the Bothell seven-yard line for a chip-shot field goal attempt by Conner Zaback, who is normally money in the bank. But the snap was way high, the timing was off, and the kick went wide right.
It led to a scoreless first quarter.
Then Woodinville got on the board with an 8-yard TD pass from Caleb Hamilton to Colter Clinch, who received a whole lotta help from his friends to push the pile into the end zone.
But, lickety split, Danny Wilson, that darn cat, returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.
Alex Yarno’s PAT would strike the right post to make it 7-6 Falcons.
Bothell forced Woodinville to punt and this time the long-snap was a one-hopper. Zaback caught it like a shortstop, and was forced to run.
He attempted to kick it on the run but was hit, fumbled the ball and it bounced into the hands of Jared Berry, who returned it down to the 6-yard line. After a penalty on a late hit, Wilson did the shimmy-shake and broke free for a 21-yard touchdown run to make it 13-7 Bothell.
Woodinville would never score again.
Said Wayne Maxwell: “Obviously the difference was the special team plays. That’s 14 points right there. If we get up by 14, or 10 or seven, it’s a whole different ballgame as far as play-call and how we handle things. So that was huge ... We score and they answer … But great job on their part for coming back, keeping composure and making plays.”
Said Tom Bainter, when asked if it was a statement game: “No, not yet, I don’t think so. I’d call it a good old-fashioned rivalry game where we both had a lot to shoot for …Their defensive scheme was very good, but I liked the adjustments we made at halftime and we were able to spread them out a little bit. They’re physical and the thing is now we get to play for a title and that’s what we were shooting for.”
Some numbers: Wilson was 21 for 181 with all three Cougar TDs.
Sophomore quarterback Ross Bowers was 4 of 14 for 30 yards including two interceptions.
Woodinville’s Hamilton was 17 of 34 through the air for 184 yards with a TD and four picks, one on a tipped ball and two in desperation late. He led the Falcons in rushing with 78 yards, unofficially.
Woodinville now hits the road to Issaquah this Friday, in a do-or-don’t game to make the state tournament.