The Mountlake Terrace Hawks were looking to take advantage of their team speed and pounce quickly in their clash with the Shorewood Thunderbirds on Friday; with two scores in the first 5:22 of the game, Terrace did just that.
With the fast start – and a swarming defensive effort – the Hawks earned a 20-0 victory over the T-Birds in a non-league match-up played at Shoreline Stadium.
The Hawks’ first two drives of the night both ended with touchdowns. After Keegan Grayson took the opening kickoff 37 yards to the Shorewood 35-yard line, the Terrace offense needed just seven plays to score. The drive culminated with a 6-yard TD pass from Jesse Martineau to Grayson to put the Hawks up 6-0.
The opening drive included a 34-yard bomb by Martineau to Brandon Bach, who was isolated in one-on-one coverage, hauled in the long pass and brought the ball down to the six-yard line, setting up the Martineau-to-Grayson TD connection on the next play.
Martineau and Bach would hook up again on Terrace’s second drive of the game. After the Hawk defense forced a three-and-out by Shorewood, Terrace took over at their own 35-yard line. After a three-yard loss on first down, Martineau found Bach down the right sideline again and dropped a long spiral into the junior’s hands; Bach would take the 68-yard reception to the end zone for the score.
Terrace Coach Kelly Dougan had saw something in the film leading up to Friday’s game that gave him confidence to include the long pass strikes into the Hawk game plan.
“It was there. The defense they play gave us an opportunity on the outside to get our one-on-one matchups – we knew that going in,” Dougan explained. “Jesse threw some really nice balls and Brandon made some nice catches; good athlete to a good athlete.”
Bach ended the game with five receptions for 138 yards and the touchdown catch. Martineau and Grayson, who shared the quarterback duties on Friday, combined for 11 completions on 17 attempts for 166 yards.
The Hawks would add another score in the third quarter – a Grayson 2-yard TD run on a fourth-and-goal situation – but it was just window dressing as it was the Terrace defense that truly secured the victory.
Despite Shorewood holding the advantage in first downs (15 to 12), total plays (49 to 37) and time of possession (27:19 to 20:41), the Hawk defense held the T-Birds to just 130 total yards in the game, less than half of what the Terrace offense accumulated.
Dougan praised his defensive big guys after the game. “We’re loving our d-line and our linebackers right now,” he said. “They were the difference for us, for sure.”
The Hawk defensive linemen and linebackers found plenty of holes in the T-Bird offensive line and took advantage, recording five sacks and 10 tackles for loss of yardage in the game.
“Our main goal was to get out fast,” said Terrace linebacker Cesar Soto. “The last time we played, against Everett (on Sept. 15), they were a lot bigger and stronger than us, but they were a lot slower. So we figured if we get off the ball quicker than they did it would be a lot easier for us to get into the backfield.”
While getting into the Everett backfield proved to be more difficult the week before, Soto and his teammates were much more successful against Shorewood, forcing the T-Birds into difficult third and fourth down situations. Shorewood ended the game going 2-for-11 on third down conversion attempts, 2-for-6 on fourth down.
Grayson led the team in tackles with seven, junior outside linebacker George DeVries recorded six.
Dougan also credited his coaching staff for their preparation of the defense.
“We spend the right amount of time on it in practice. Then the guys are focused and their learning and their buying into the system. Defensive coordinator Matt Terwilliger is doing a fantastic job along with our defensive line coach James Brown and our DB (defensive backs) coach Alex Ashby.”
The Hawk defense will be tested in their next game – a Sept. 29 tilt against the Meadowdale Mavericks at Edmonds Stadium. The Mavs averaged 26.6 points per game in their first three outings of the season before being humbled by the Snohomish Panthers 38-6 on Friday.
Prep Football: Mountlake Terrace at Shorewood, Sept. 22
Terrace 14 0 6 0 — 20
Shorewood 0 0 0 0 — 0
First Quarter scoring
8:45 — Jesse Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 6-yard TD pass to Keegan Grayson; two-point conversion attempt fails
6:38 — Jesse Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 68-yard TD pass to Brandon Bach; two-point conversion pass from Martineau to Bach is good
Third Quarter scoring
9:12 — Keegan Grayson (Mountlake Terrace) 2-yard TD run;Noah Thompson PAT kick fails
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 3-1 overall; Shorewood 2-2 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Meadowdale, Friday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
–By Doug Petrowski