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Woodinville thwarts Bellevue to win championship

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Junior FootballPhoto by Derek Johnson. Woodinville players huddle during a timeout in Saturday’s GEJFA Championship game (Junior Varsity League) at Pop Keeney Stadium. Included in the photo are Nathan Metz (#59), Wyatt Lane (#28) and Tyler Owens (#10).Powered by a stingy defense and a shining performance from its quarterback, Woodinville’s JV White team knocked off Bellevue’s JV Gold 19-6 to capture the 2013 GEJFA Title.

"We are a really strong defensive team," Woodinville coach Tory Schuessler said. "We’ve been that way all year. We were the #1 ranked defense most of the year. We hadn’t really played against the Wing-T. That was a little bit of a concern to us, but our guys got geared up for it and got the job done. Like they’ve done all year."

With both teams entering the title game with 9-0 records, something had to give. All game long, Bellevue ran their notorious Wing-T offensive attack, but with limited success. Attempts to run straight ahead were usually snowed under, thanks to hard-hitting Falcon players like Derek Kimerer and Bradley Green. Attempts to run outside were neutralized by Woodinville’s rangy defensive pursuit.

But on offense, Woodinville’s shining star was quarterback Tyler Owens. The rangy seventh grader did it all, breaking loose for touchdown runs of 53 and 45 yards, before capping off the afternoon with a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to receiver Will Kanaly. 

"He’s the real deal," Schuessler said of Owens. "It’s the first year that he’s become a real quarterback. He really stepped up this year and took the team over and was a captain every week. He was our quarterback and our leader. He shined today like he should and he’s done that all year."

Amid the post-game jubilation, teammates drenched Owens with water bottles as he answered a question about his touchdown throw. 

"I was trying to do something on fourth down, and I happened to throw it perfectly to him," Owens said as he shuddered from a torrent of cold water poured down his neck. "It feels good to win a championship!"

Schuessler was asked for a summation of his team’s 10-0 season.

"We knew we were talented and we knew we were tough," he said. "But it takes more than that to win a championship. They worked hard all year. And every time the bell was rung, we answered it."

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