Strong second half helps Peninsula advance in playoffs

Posted on November 7th, 2021 By:

The Peninsula Seahawks fought through an ugly first half and several penalties for a come-from-behind 28-21 victory over Edmonds-Woodway in a first-round state football playoff game Saturday at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.

“I think we have been getting a little too fired up at the start of games,” Peninsula head coach Ross Filkins said. “Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We are the type of team that can beat anyone, including ourselves. We had 12 penalties, and it is somewhat of a miracle to pull off a playoff win when you do that. But the beautiful thing is we got the win and know we can improve.”

Peninsula's Dane Meddaugh, who had two interceptions, tackles Edmonds-Woodway's Aaron Barraza.

Peninsula’s Dane Meddaugh, who had two interceptions, tackles Edmonds-Woodway’s Aaron Barraza. Photo courtesy of Ed Johnson

Like they’ve done on occasion this season, the Seahawks started out flat. Senior running back Ethan Hogan scored early from one yard out, but that was a rare bright spot in the opening half.

Edmonds-Woodway senior running back Aaron Barraza burst through the Seahawks twice for touchdowns and added an interception to stop a promising Seahawk drive and lift the Warriors to a 14-7 halftime lead. But Peninsula has proven all year that it can fight back from a deficit.

“We put ourselves in a similar position we had been in before,” quarterback Jake Bice said. “But we got some great halftime speeches and then we all rallied. The seniors all stepped up. We didn’t want it to end, and wanted another week. We just came out with the fire we didn’t have to begin with.”

Peninsula's Austin Hansen grabs a pass.

Peninsula’s Austin Hansen grabs a pass in the rain. Photo courtesy of Ed Johnson

It didn’t happen immediately, however. A dropped pass, which was the story of much of the first half, led to a three-and-out to open the second half. The Seahawk defense, behind a big third-down hit by Jones Stalker, shut down the Warriors and got the ball right back.

Then, Peninsula got the spark it needed. Hogan broke free from the 35-yard line for a 50-yard run, the longest play of the night, and followed up with consecutive runs of 14 and 16 yards. Payton Knowles capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

More Seahawk penalties helped the Warriors counter and score their third touchdown to take a 21-14 lead.

Peninsula running back Ethan Hogan ran for 133 yards.

Peninsula running back Ethan Hogan (24) ran for 133 yards. Photo courtesy of Ed Johnson

Again, Peninsula refused to go down. With Bice spreading the ball around, Caleb Novak, Hogan and Austin Hansen all had big plays in the Seahawks’ ensuing drive. Hansen made a catch on the sideline on a fourth down to set up a 20-yard Connor Burton touchdown run.

“When we get people trying to be greedy and do their own thing, that is when we are in trouble,” Filkins said. “Seahawk football is all about playing 11 as one, and when we do that, we are a really good team.”

After the game-tying touchdown, the Seahawks defense shut down the Warriors. With Barraza sidelined with what appeared to be cramps much of the third and fourth quarters, Edmonds-Woodway struggled to convert big plays.

“We made some adjustments on defense and we had a really good scouting report,” Filkins said. “(Edmonds-Woodway) ran a few trick plays, but aside from that we knew what was coming and it worked out.”

Peninsula quarterback Jake Bice looks for a receiver.

Peninsula quarterback Jake Bice looks for a receiver. Photo courtesy of Ed Johnson

The Seahawks offense stayed in rhythm and continued to get plays from multiple players. Hogan added a pair of 10-plus-yard rushes. He finished with 133 yards, 111 coming in the second half . Aiden Lester took a reverse for an 18-yard gain and then Josh Hinkel scored from eight yards to give the Seahawks their first lead. It would ultimately be the deciding score.

Junior Dane Meddaugh came up with his second interception of the night and the Peninsula defense kept the Warriors at bay the rest of the way.

The Seahawks, 7-1 overall, earned the eighth seed in the state playoffs. They will face No. 9 seed Rainier Beach Saturday at 1 p.m. at Peninsula High School.

“Everyone had an impact,” Bice said. “Everyone was doing their best to help the team. It is always a good game when we share the rock around. Now we need to clean up the little things and we can grow and we can go fight in our next game.”