Conquerors power through Edmonds-Woodway in 19-12 road win
Edmonds, Wash. – In what will be their only road test of the season, the Kentwood Conquerors overcame 3 interceptions to beat the Warriors of Edmonds-Woodway. Monday evening’s victory pushes the Conks’ record to 2-0.
How it happened: From the outset, the turnover bug bit the Kentwood offense, as the Conks threw a pick on the very first play of the game. The swarming KW defense however, responded with a quick 3 and out, forcing an Edmonds-Woodway punt. After a turnover on downs by the offense, the Conqueror D was back on the field, causing issues for the Warriors. One play after defensive end Frederick Rodgers III stopped a running back for a tackle for loss, linebackers Gabe Johnson and Trevon Erickson came off the edge and combined for a strip sack of the Edmonds-Woodway quarterback with defensive end Jacob Sharp recovering the fumble.
Three plays after giving their offense the ball, the Conk D was back on the field following another Kentwood interception. A suspect defensive pass interference call gave the home team the ball in the red zone for the first time all game, where two plays later the Edmonds-Woodway quarterback broke contain and scrambled into the end zone giving the Warriors a 6-0 lead following an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt.
Things didn’t get any easier for the offense as they were stuffed on an outside run play to once again turn the ball over on downs. Luckily a Frederick Rodgers III sack and a Gabe Johnson tackle for loss on fourth down quickly gave the Conks the ball back. After a facemask penalty, a 26-yard pass from Nathan Laborde to Erickson set the Conks up on the Edmonds-Woodway 4-yard line, where Devin Church punched it in tying the game at 6-6 following a blocked extra point.
It took the Warriors of Edmonds-Woodway all of four plays to regain the lead, finishing with a 30-yard touchdown pass to put them up 12-6 after an unsuccessful two-point conversion. Following an onside kick attempt by EW, instead of pushing forward from the Edmonds-Woodway 46-yard line, the Conks’ offense, due to multiple penalties and an errant snap, managed to travel backwards to their own 15-yardline before punting.
After an Edmonds-Woodway run of 37-yards down to the Conqueror 17-yardline and with all the momentum on the Warriors’ side, Kentwood needed a big play and linebacker Nick Musga delivered. Blitzing straight through A-gap, Musga went untouched and leveled the Edmonds-Woodway quarterback, lighting a fire under the rest of the team. The rest of the D responded by forcing 3 straight incompletions, handing the ball back to their offense.
Behind the offensive line of Jacob Sharp, Skylar Stouffer, Garrett Gregson, Liban Britt, and Isaiah Holder, the Conquerors went on a 13 play, 73-yard drive featuring big runs by Church and Musga. A 6-yard scramble by Nathan Laborde gave the Conquerors a 13-12 lead with just :04 seconds left before halftime following a Connor Plett extra point.
The second half saw a Kentwood Conqueror defense that continued to bring the juice. On the next 3 defensive series, Devin Church had a sack, Garrett Gregson a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery, Jayuan Styles a pass break-up, Trevon Erickson a forced fumble, and Liban Britt a fumble recovery for the Conquerors.
Following the fumble recovery by Britt, quarterback Dominic Alvarez led the Conquerors on a 10-play drive in which they converted two third and longs, one a 17-yard tunnel screen to receiver Jayuan Stiles, and the other a 15-yard scramble by Alvarez to give the Conks a 1st and goal at the 5-yard line. On the following play Devin Church reached the end zone for the second time, extending the lead to 19-12 after an errant snap led to an unconverted extra point.
Already having burned all three timeouts, Edmonds-Woodway was left to one final drive. On first down linebacker Dominique Pope had a tackle for loss, on second Nick Musga had a sack. On third down, the Kentwood pressure forced an errant throw resulting in an incompletion, and on fourth down pressure by Devin Church led to a game-sealing interception by cornerback Jacob Bathurst.
Who Stood Out: Offensively after throwing early interceptions, quarterbacks Nathan Laborde (1 TD rushing) and Dominic Alvarez led crucial scoring drives and managed the game well down the stretch. Running back Devin Church’s physical running style made it tough on the E-W defense as he had two rushing touchdowns. Paving the way for Church and keeping a relatively clean pocket for the quarterbacks were tackles Isaiah Holder and Jacob Sharp, guards Liban Britt and Skylar Stouffer, and center Garrett Gregson.
Defensively the play of the linebackers was stellar. Nick Musga had 2 sacks, Gabe Johnson had a tackle for loss and combined for a strip sack, Devin Church had a sack, Dominique Pope had a tackle for loss, Liban Britt had a fumble recovery and Trevon Erickson combined for a strip sack and forced another fumble. On the defensive line, Frederick Rodgers III had a sack and a tackle for loss, Garrett Gregson had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery, and Jacob Sharp had a fumble recovery. In the secondary, Jayuan Stiles had a pass break-up and Jacob Bathurst had an interception.
Up Next: The Conquerors are at home next Monday as they face the Tahoma Bears (4 p.m. at Kentwood HS)