After giving up 40 points to Sehome – a team that lost 18 games in a row – the week before, some wondered if the Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ defense could slow down any opposing offenses this year. Perhaps after Friday’s performance, the Hawks’ defense made doubters into believers.
Terrace held the Cedarcrest Red Wolves to just 106 yards in total offense on Friday and defeated the visitors from Duvall 24-7 in a non-league tilt played at Edmonds Stadium.
The Red Wolves scored a touchdown on their first possession of the game, but that was the only scoring they could muster against a strong defensive effort by the Hawks.
Junior linebacker Thaddeus Merten, playing with a sore hamstring, had four solo tackles for Terrace, three of which resulted in loss of yardage for Cedarcrest. Merten credited the Hawks defensive coaches for the the big defensive plays.
“There was a lot of blitz calls for me – and I appreciate that,” Merten explained. “Then I can get those sacks. It’s just what the coach calls, and I’m happy with that.”
Terrace Coach Kelly Dougan noted that Merten is a vital part of the Hawk defensive scheme. “With the style of defense we run, we need a guy like him in the middle. And so far, so good. He’s done a great job,” he said.
As a team, the Hack defense held the Red Wolves to just 73 yards rushing, picked off two Cedarcrest passes, recovered a Cedarcrest fumble and held the Red Wolves passing attack to just 33 yards.
The defense also put two point on the scoreboard for Terrace when JaBrae Richardson sacked Cedarcrest quarterback Aaron Davenport in the Red Wolves end zone midway through the first quarter.
The rest of the Terrace scoring came off of touchdown passes of 10, 37 and 65 yards by Jesse Martineau. The Hawk junior quarterback connected with Keegan Grayson in the first quarter, Brandon Bach in the fourth quarter, and Bach again in the third quarter on a 65-yard TD pass play that came on third down and 33 yards-to-go.
“We seem to get ourselves into those situations quite a bit,” Dougan conceded of the third-down-and-long situation that his offense faced prior to the third quarter touchdown. The coach chalked up the team’s response in this case to poise and determination.
“That’s just about those guys maintaining their cool, their composure, believing in each other,” Dougan said.
Martineau rifled a strike in-between two Cedarcrest defenders to Bach, who turned and took the ball down the left sidelines for the score.
Martineau completed 10 passes in 16 attempts in the game for 218 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Bach had three receptions for 102 yards while teammate Keegan Grayson collected four receptions for 105 yards in three quarters of play. Grayson sat out the fourth quarter as a precaution after taking some heavy hits earlier in the match-up.
Terrace rushed for 77 yards in the game, Moussa Traore leading the ground attack with 43 yards on 11 carries.
The clash was slowed by a combined 27 penalties by the two squads for 233 penalty yards. Four of Cedarcrest’s nine first down came off of Hawk penalties; six of Terrace’s 18 first downs resulted in fouls committed by the Red Wolves.
While Dougan admitted that his squad needs to cut down on penalties – specifically personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties – he conceited that he wants his team to play with passion and fire.
“We’re going to just keeping focusing and working on these guys staying in control of their emotions, channeling their energy in the right direction and to keep their mouth shut,” Dougan said.
“We really want our guys to play on the edge,” he continued. “For us to compete at a high level we have to play right on the edge. So we need to find out where that happy medium is.”
The competition gets tougher for Terrace starting next week as the team will open Wesco League play with a home game against the Everett; the Seagulls defeated the Hawks 37-10 last year and are looking to make a name for themselves this season in the league’s South Conference.
Prep Football: Cedarcrest at Mountlake Terrace, Sept. 8
Cedarcrest 7 0 0 0 — 7
Terrace 8 0 8 8 — 24
9:58 — Tyler Gray (Cedarcrest) 44-yard TD run; PAT kick is good
5:54 — JaBrae Richardson (Mountlake Terrace) tackles Aaron Davenport in end zone for safety
5:35 — Jesse Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 37-yard TD pass to Keegan Grayson; two-point conversion attempt is unsuccessful
3:55 — Jesse Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 65-yard TD pass to Brandon Bach; two-point conversion attempt is good
3:06 — Jesse Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 10-yard TD pass to Brandon Bach; two-point conversion attempt is good
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-0 overall; Cedarcrest 0-0 in Cascade Conference, 0-2 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Everett, Friday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
–By Doug Petrowski