Timberwolves offense misfires in season opener | Football
Last updated 9/15/2017 at Noon
The Jackson football team hasn’t exactly had an ideal start to the 2017 season.
Even though the Timberwolves outgained Edmonds-Woodway in total yards, the Warriors prevailed 10-0 in the season opener for both teams Friday, Sept. 1, at Edmonds Stadium.
Last week’s game at Eisenhower then was cancelled due to air quality concerns brought about by the wildfires in the Yakima region. There are no plans to reschedule the non-conference game, according to Jackson coach Joel Vincent.
Jackson (1-0) hosts Mount Vernon (2-0) in both teams’ Wesco 4A opener at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15, at Everett Memorial Stadium. The Bulldogs (1-1) lost 41-35 to Sedro-Woolley and beat Burlington-Edison 17-6 last week.
“It’ll be a good test right out of the gate for us,” Vincent said. “Mount Vernon has a new coach (Nik Vasilchek). They’re improved from previous years. It’ll be interesting to see how we play coming off a two-week layoff.”
Vincent wasn’t planning to make any changes to Jackson’s practices this week. Perhaps the only benefit to missing last week’s game is that no one was complaining of any soreness on Monday, Vincent said.
Senior running back/linebacker Clint Wagner, who missed the season opener and who wasn’t scheduled to play against Eisenhower due to a leg injury, is expected back for Friday’s game.
“That’ll be a big help,” Vincent said.
Jackson (0-1) could have used some help on offense against the Warriors (2-0), at least in terms of scoring. Vincent voiced no complaints about the defense.
“I was really, really happy with the way the defense played,” Vincent said. “They faced a lot of adversity with a short field. I thought they kept us in the game.”
The two teams battled through a scoreless first quarter before senior running back Noah Becker gave Edmonds-Woodway a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run. The Warriors threatened to extend the lead to two touchdowns with a drive deep into Wolfpack territory late in the second quarter. But due to a penalty, Edmonds-Woodway was forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Jackson Karr and a 10-0 halftime lead.
The Timberwolves were able to move the ball through the contest but their drives stalled once they advanced to the red zone either due to Jackson penalties or key Edmonds-Woodway defensive plays.
“They were moving the ball. We needed to make a play,” Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said. “You get a sack here. They had a penalty there. Something like that and then that puts us in a good situation. We seemed to make a play at the right time. We seemed to do that tonight. They got inside our 30 a number of times.”
Vincent lamented the Wolfpack’s inability to put points on the scoreboard.
“Offensively, we really struggled,” Vincent said. “We found a way to shoot ourselves with penalties. It was a game we won in every category except the score. We had more yards and we didn’t win the game.”
Jackson outgained Edmonds-Woodway 266 to 223 in total yards. The Warriors’ ground game actually had the edge with 193 yards to Jackson’s 134.
Wolfpack senior running back Jonathan Navarro finished with 58 yards on 12 carries. Junior quarterback Ben Olesen completed 13 of 25 passes for 132 yards but we picked off twice. He also ran for 38 yards on 11 carries. Senior wide receiver Daniel Arias caught six passes for 52 yards and Marcello Pellegrino had four catches for 51 yards.
“I don’t think we pass protected very well,” Vincent said. “Ben did the best he could. He was on the run quite a bit. We’ve got to get better protection for him We’ve got get better at picking up the blitzes.”
Vincent also wants to see less penalties and better execution on third down.
“We had a lot of third downs that we didn’t convert,” Vincent said.