By RayJaun Stelly, Seattle Medium
As the lights shined bright at West Seattle Stadium, O’Dea and Garfield matched up against one another for a Friday night showdown. For the Fighting Irish it was their senior night and for the Bulldogs an opportunity to get an impressive win on their record.
Receiving the ball first, Garfield looked to be well on their way to score during their first series until O’Dea intercepted the ball.
The Fighting Irish who are known to run the ball faithfully, opened their first series with three rushing plays. On the third play, O’Dea running back Jason Brown, Jr. found himself in the endzone, scoring the games’ first touchdown and giving O’Dea a 7-0 lead.
Garfield 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.
In the second quarter, both defenses began to completely control 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.
Besides Brown’s touchdown, neither offense accomplished much as O’Dea maintained their 7-0 lead at halftime.
As they began the third quarter, Garfield’s defense stepped up and recorded a big sack and forced a punt to help set the tone for the second half.
The Bulldogs’ offense still looked a little sluggish, but a gutsy fourth down call swung the momentum in the Bulldogs’ favor as Jacolby Cochran scored on a pass from quarterback E.J. Caminong.
O’Dea would answer late in the quarter as their defense forced a fumble that was recovered by the Irish in the Bulldogs’ redzone to set up Brown’s second touchdown of the game, as the Fighting Irish took at 14-7 lead.
However, O’Dea’s lead wouldn’t last long, as Garfield answered in 38 seconds with a two play drive 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 defense and their ball control offense would shorten the game. Their defense forced a quick ‘three-and-out’ and put the game in the hands of their offense. The Irish would not allow Garfield to have another possession as the milked the clock by running the ball and forcing penalties.
Garfield’s final chance to get the ball back came up short as the Irish picked up a critical first down late in the game. As the clock continued to dwindle down, and Bulldogs’ ran out of timeouts the Fighting Irish would send their seniors off right with a 21-14 win.
Now that the regular season has come to an end, both teams will wait to see the final seedings for Metro League playoff that begin next week. Garfield now 5-3 (2-3 in Metro), and O’Dea 6-2 (4-1 in Metro) will regroup in order to prepare for their next opponent.