By RayJaun Stelly, The Seattle Medium
In the battle of undefeated, both Rainier Beach and O’Dea looked to give one another their first loss of the 2022-23 season. With a change of scenery, the game took place at Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and with the bright lights glaring on, the stage was set.
Both teams came into the matchup with high-scoring offenses and stingy defenses, and the keys to the game would ultimately be determined by which defense could hold the other team’s offense in check.
Rainier Beach would receive first possession and within four minutes of having the ball, penalties would force them to punt the ball to O’Dea.
O’Dea’s first possession looked like they were well on their way to scoring behind the running attack led by Jason Brown, Jr, Beckett Swanson, and Christian Winn. Along with their rushing attack, quarterback Luke D’Anna found Quinn White for a six-yard gain, as O’Dea would continue moving the chains down field. But Rainier Beach’s defense would string together back-to-back tackles for loss by defensive linemen Rico Butler and Nijawn Sterling. Along with the tackles for loss, Rainier Beach would force penalties against the O’Dea offensive line and after 7 minutes of impressive defense the Vikings take over after O’Dea turned the ball over on downs.
With one minute left in the first quarter, Rainier Beach’s second possession would only last 38 seconds as O’Dea forced the games’ second punt.
Much like the first series on offense, the Fighting Irish would move the chains downfield but Rainier Beach’s defense stood firm with another tackle for loss by Dallas Afalava and forced another turnover on downs. With neither team with points on the board and three minutes left until halftime, fans on both sides wondered who would break the scoring drought.
Wanting to finish off a scoring drive before the end of the half, O’Dea would look to Brown. Brown broke away on a 30-yard run to put them in the redzone for the first time during the game. Brown would finish off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown as he broke free from Viking defenders on the sideline.
Leading 6-0 and lined up for the extra point, Rainier Beach jumped offside which brought the Fighting Irish back on field for a successful two-point conversion, as Brown would convert the extra-points attempt with a two-yard run.
Scoring the games’ first touchdown and leading 8-0 heading into halftime, O’Dea’s offense was completely in sync as they received possession to start the third quarter.
The Fighting Irish would only need two plays to score, a 13-yard run by Brown and D’Anna found Cole Zilmer down field for a 77-yard touchdown pass from as O’Dea extended their lead to 15-0.
With both sides of the ball flourishing for O’Dea, they’d force a quick three and out which involved a sack from Anthony Hall.
O’Dea would take possession of the ball, and again would score in just two plays, a 35-yard pass completion by D’Anna put Javaris Matthews in position to score a five-yard rushing touchdown, opening up a 22-point Fighting Irish lead.
Completely taking over the second half, O’Dea would post a 22-0 shutout over the Vikings, handing Rainier Beach their first loss of the season. With the win, O’Dea improved 3-0, while the Vikings fell to 2-1. The Vikings will play at Ballard next week, as the Fighting Irish will face Seattle Prep with the opportunity to start the season 4-0.