Before the 2013 football season even started, the Mountlake Terrace High School football team was snake bit by a devastating injury to its top player; the first game of the season saw that snake rear its head and bite again.
Terrace running back and linebacker Devante Downs, out for the season because of a torn ACL, watched his team struggle in the first game of the year Friday night, losing to Stanwood 29-13 at Edmonds Stadium. He also saw, from his vantage point in the press box, two of his teammates go down to injury early in the game.
Junior quarterback Justin Hopkins sprained his left ankle while senior wide receiver/free safety Jonathan Williams suffered an unknown injury during the first offensive series of the game, limiting both of the players’ abilities for the rest of the evening. Hopkins returned later in the first half, but completed only seven passes out of 16 attempts with three interceptions for the game. Williams would not return to action.
Hopkins missed three Hawk possessions while the training staff tended to his sprain. When the junior did return in the second quarter, he was noticeable limping, even hopping on his right foot in between plays and going on and off the field.
Terrace Head Coach Tony Umayam was impressed with the spirit and toughness his starting quarterback displayed Friday night. “Justin, hobbling around out there – he knows it’s going to be tough for us to compete games without him there,” he said. “The fact is that he showed a lot of moxie going out there and playing on his bum ankle.”
Hopkins did show some promise in his ability to stand in the pocket and fire passes on target. With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter Hopkins completed a 49-yard pass to junior Ryan Lacasse, setting up a four-yard touchdown pass to Lacasse later in the same drive. The scored pulled the Hawks to within 10 points of Stanwood, 23-13, but that was the closest they would get as three of their next four possessions would end in interceptions.
The Hawks did pile up 15 first downs and 307 yards of total offense, topping the Spartans’ 13 first downs and 278 total yards. But the team’s three interceptions and two lost fumbles often ended promising drives.
“We couldn’t get a rhythm offensively,” Umayam said. “Defensively it’s tough when you give up big plays.”
Stanwood only gained 70 rushing yards, but did their damage through the air with 208 passing yards and two passing touchdowns from quarterback Drew Wright, — a first-quarter, 30-yard completion to Connor Chitwood and a second-quarter, 40-yard completion to Lawrence Wanambisi. Those scores pushed Stanwood out to a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter. For his performance, Wright was named the Jersey Mike’s of Lynnwood Player of the Game.
The defensive secondary was a concern of Terrace coaches going into this season, and Stanwood took full advantage of it. “Our pass defense got exposed quite a bit,” Umayam admitted.
We’re going to have to regroup and become a deeper team,” Umayam added. “There’s going to be guys that, maybe, didn’t expect they were going to play so much that play a lot.”
Senior Chance Ragsdale led the Hawks in rushing with 98 yards on 23 carries; Lacasse picked up 38 yards in nine attempts. Senior Eni Klosi carried the ball four times for 42 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Senior Brett Potter led the Terrace defense with six solo tackles; seniors Jevin Pahinui and Kaleb Davis each had four solo tackles.
The Hawks return to Edmonds Stadium next Friday, Sept. 13, this time as the visitors in an 8 p.m. match-up with Edmonds-Woodway. The game will be broadcast live on the Sound Live Sports Network at approximately 7:45 pm., directly following the live broadcast of the Inglemoor-Meadowdale football game.
Stanwood 7 – 13 – 3 – 6 — 29
Terrace 0 – 6 – 7 – 0 — 13
— By Doug Petrowski