By RayJaun Stelly, The Seattle Medium
In a regular season finale, the Garfield Bulldogs and O’Dea Fighting Irish matchup had finally arrived at West Seattle Stadium. Bright lights, dark skies, muddy field, and two teams looking to finish their season with a win.
O’Dea celebrating their senior night, looked to celebrate those who will graduate this school year with a win. Meanwhile, Garfield, who played Seattle Prep at the same stadium last week and won, expected the same result against a well-disciplined Fighting Irish team.
O’Dea’s displayed their discipline immediately, with Garfield going on offense first and looking to score, the Bulldogs’ first series came to an end because of an interception by the Fighting Irish.
Following the turnover, O’Dea running back Jason Brown, Jr. made his presence felt and helped put momentum in his teams’ favor. The Fighting Irish would establish their running game early, as they ran the ball on all four plays of their first offensive possession, which frustrated Garfield’s talented defense and resulted in Brown muscling his way into the endzone scoring the games’ first touchdown.
Down 7-0, the Bulldogs would have a chance to redeem themselves following the interception that led to a touchdown, as the Bulldogs would get the ball back and establish their running game by committee. While the Bulldogs’ passing game was out of sync, their constant switching of running backs from play to play helped keep O’Dea honest on defense.
By the second quarter both defenses had completely took over of the game. O’Dea would record their second interception of the game, and Garfield’s Denali Dukes would recover a fumble as both teams forced a combined four punts during the quarter. Late in the quarter, Garfield’s two-minute drill landed them in the redzone, but once again O’Dea’s defense won out as quarterback E.J Caminong’s pass was swatted down as time expired, and O’Dea went into the half leading 7-0.
In the second half, Garfield’s defense would rise to the occasion forcing O’Dea to punt. Garfield’s ensuing drive looked like it came to end, and stuck with the decision to punt or go for it on fourth down in the middle of the field the Bulldogs decided to go for it. As Caminong dropped back to pass he found receiver Jacolby Cochran, who blew past O’Dea’s defenders for a touchdown.
Tied at seven, O’Dea’s defense forced their third turnover of the game, as they recovered a fumble close to Garfield’s endzone. O’Dea would once again put the ball in Brown’s hands as he ran in for his second touchdown of the game.
Leading 14-7 with 1:53 in the third quarter, the Fighting Irish lead lasted all of 38 seconds. Garfield would score on a two-play drive that saw Cochran take a screen pass down to the O’Dea goal line to setup a rushing touchdown by Reon Hampton, as the Bulldogs’ tied the game before heading into the fourth quarter.
During the fourth quarter, O’Dea took to the air, as they began passing the ball right over the top of Garfield’s defense. Fighting Irish quarterback John Kohler would complete four passes, including one for a touchdown, as O’Dea would take a 21-14 lead.
After scoring, O’Dea’s went on to control both sides of the ball. Their defense forced a three-and-out, and once their offense received the ball again, they didn’t allow Garfield to retain another possession.
Dominating time of possession by running the ball and forcing penalties, Garfield’s final chance to get the ball back came up short. A controversial ruling on the field, which involved a measurement to determine whether or not O’Dea got a first down or a turned over the ball on downs went in favor of O’Dea, which ruined Garfield’s chance of getting the ball back.
As time continued to run and Garfield using all their timeouts, once the clock sounded off O’Dea was victorious in their regular season finale, winning 21-14 behind Jason Brown’s 30 carries for 212 yards and two touchdowns. O’Dea quarterback John Kohler would finish the game completing 5 of 7 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Garfield quarterback E.J. Caminong completed 12 of 19 passes for 221yards and one touchdown, with two interceptions. While Jacolby Cochran would finish the game with 7 receptions for 177 yards and one touchdown.
O’Dea’s defense held the Bulldogs to just 64 rushing yards in the game.
With the regular season ended, the post season has arrived and seedings will be handed down to teams for the 3A State Playoffs. Garfield now 5-3 (2-3 in Metro), and O’Dea 6-2 (4-1 in Metro) have a bye this week, and will go back to the drawing board and prepare for their next opponent.