Sports

Marysville Knights fall short of Wesco senior championship

SHORELINE —

Lynnwood had defeated the top-seeded Mountlake Terrace team the week before and took a first-quarter lead in the Nov. 15 final, defeating the Marysville Knights 14-12.

But the Marysville defense kept the Knights competitive in the game, ending two Tiger drives with interceptions and three more by recovering fumbles. Knights’ defender Dylan Judson recovered one such fumble in the first play of the second quarter.

Penalties proved costly to the Knights’ offense though, killing that drive deep in Marysville territory. Back-to-back

Lynnwood penalities gave Marysville more favorable field position on their next possession, forcing the Tiger quarterback to pass and giving Knights defensive back Justin Peterson a chance to recover another fumble.

The Knights took over from the Lynnwood 27-yard line and went to running backs Hans Vanderwel and Jordan Woodin to drive into the end zone on four carries. Vanderwel found the end zone with 43 seconds left in the first half, pushing through the middle of the Tiger defense from about four yards out.

Marysville started the second half with great field position, not far from the 50-yard line. But while Woodin got 15 yards on the first play, Marysville was in need of a big play on fourth down. A short pass to Vanderwel was measured just inches short of the first down.

Lynnwood drove well again, but after covering about 50 yards of the field, Marysville defensive back Nick Claus got the team’s second interception — following an earlier one by Sean Elledge. Once again, penalties proved costly to Marysville.

With Lynnwood starting at the Marysville 30-yard line, the Knights’ plan seemed to be forcing the Tigers to pass and create a turnover. On third down, Lynnwood went for that pass, but there was no pick, setting up the Tigers’ second score of the game with six minutes left. A successful two-point kick gave Lynnwood an eight-point edge.

The Knights fumbled the kickoff but the defense got the ball back, forcing a turnover on downs at midfield. Then Lynnwood got an interception, dampening the spirits on the Marysville sideline.

But the Knights weren’t done yet, getting the ball back with two minutes to drive. From deep in their own territory, Marysville quarterback Peterson found Vanderwel around the Knights’ 40-yard line.

Vanderwel shed his two defenders, adding another 60 yards for a touchdown, giving new life to the Marysville sideline and a chance for his team to tie the game. Marysville’s two-point kick attempt had the height but went inches outside of the right upright.

A failed onside kick dashed the Knights’ hopes of a comeback.

It was the Knights’ first year in the Wesco league after many seventh-graders from the three Marysville teams in last year’s Greater Snohomish County Youth Football League proved too old to come back in that league this year.

At quarterback, Peterson led the offense, earning the admiration of coach Mark McDougall.

“In all my years of coaching, I’ve never seen a kid play quarterback like he does at 14,” McDougall said.

Offensive tools like Vanderwel, Woodin and Elledge helped keep defenses honest and gave Peterson plenty of targets. Players Dylan Judson, Liko Tevaga and Jordan Hoorn led a defense that McDougall called stellar.

“We passed the ball well all season,” he said.

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