In a season chock full of blowouts, this Woodinville football game came down to the wire.
After falling behind 17-0 to Eastlake in the first quarter, the Falcons fought back to take a 21-17 lead, before succumbing on a late touchdown run.
"I told the boys I couldn’t have been happier with the way they came out and competed in the second half," Woodinville head coach Wayne Maxwell said. "The problem was that we only played one half of good football, but not fully what we’re capable of. We spotted them too much. They’re a good team with good playmakers over there. So it’s tough."
With star running backs Wyatt Smith and Alek Kacmarcik out with injuries, Woodinville started the game at a noted disadvantage.
Eastlake pounded away at the Falcon defense, with imposing running back Troy Lewis averaging over seven yards a carry.
Lewis’ 27-yard touchdown gallop through a gauntlet of arm tackles late in the first quarter staked the Wolves to a 17-0 advantage.
"Our biggest issue in the first half was tackling," Maxwell said. "We haven’t had so many missed tackles in a long time. Really, it was pretty simple. We needed to do a much better job fundamentally tackling."
But when Eastlake fumbled away a punt with 2:38 left before halftime, Woodinville’s offense went to work.
Quarterback Will Jack first hit receiver Tommy Wick with a 24-yard strike to the Eastlake 20 yard line.
Moments later, Jack rolled to his right and fired a touchdown pass to Micah Hamilton.
The hometown crowd roared to life as the scoreboard read Eastlake 17, Woodinville 7.
At halftime, Woodinville players were enthused while coaches strategized.
"We got fired up in the locker room," Falcon receiver Tommy Wick said. "We knew that we were kind of beating ourselves at that point, and we made some adjustments and came out with a lot more fire in the second half."
"At halftime we made an adjustment on who was going to help out on the nose guard," Woodinville offensive line coach Mike Monan said. "So that gave us an extra half second (of pass protection) ... We made an adjustment on our slide protections and rolled a little bit more to the left to help out on that nose guard, and it seemed to work."
With pass protection shored up, quarterback Will Jack led a fourth quarter comeback. The senior launched a long arcing pass that Wick hauled in for a 32-yard score, pulling the Falcons to within 17-14.
On the ensuing series, Falcon defensive back Ian Biddle intercepted an Eastlake pass at the Wolves’ 32 yard line.
Moments later, Will Jack looked right and connected with Tommy Wick for a 23-yard touchdown strike, giving Woodinville a 21-17 lead.
"We tried to get some good match ups outside and some one-on-ones," Wick said. "Will made some good throws, and I just tried to go up and get them."
But in the game’s waning minutes, Eastlake mounted what proved to be the winning drive.
Troy Lewis ultimately rumbled across the goal line to give the Wolves the 24-21 victory.
"When you win games by blowouts you don’t know what you’re going to do when you face a game like this," assistant coach Mike Monan said. "This is what football is about. When you face a team like Eastlake that gives you a challenge, this is why I coach football.
"To get the hearts of these young kids out here to see if they’re going to be alpha males ... Tonight they came back. We were a little short. But hey, they fought and that’s what I like."
Woodinville fell to 1-1 in conference play and 4-2 overall.
The Falcons play Thursday night October 17th vs. Redmond at Pop Keeney Field.