MOUNT VERNON — In a game filled with offensive derring-do, it was a defensive play that made the difference down the stretch.
Linebacker Aidan Franklin knocked the ball away from the Mount Vernon quarterback, then jumped on the fumble to give Sedro-Woolley the ball late in a 34-27 victory for the Cubs.
The play brought a Mount Vernon drive to an abrupt halt and helped Sedro-Woolley preserve the win and improve to 2-0 on the early season. Mount Vernon is 1-1.
Sedro-Woolley quarterback Kaden Plymale found wide receiver Brent VanderVeen for two touchdowns in the nonconference win, but Mount Vernon proved tough to put away; Bulldogs quarterback Skyler Jensen had two touchdown passes of his own.
“We just kept our composure and found some plays that worked for us,” Sedro-Woolley coach Dave Ward said after the rain-soaked game had wrapped up. “It was a fun night — the rain added some character.”
Sedro-Woolley seemed to be in control early with two first-quarter touchdowns: a 30-yard pass from Plymale to VanderVeen and a 1-yard touchdown run by Dylan Tacker.
Mount Vernon revved up its offense in the second quarter, when Jensen had back-to-back touchdown throws: an 11-yarder to Carlos Garcia and a 63-yard play to Van Stroosma.
With the game tied at 14, Sedro-Woolley answered with a 3-yard touchdown run by Plymale set up by a 76-yard pass to VanderVeen. Garcia and the Bulldogs answered again, this time with a 33-yard run by the senior wide receiver.
The teams traded touchdowns one more time — a 35-yard connection from Plymale to VanderVeen and a Mount Vernon fumble recovery in the end zone — before the game reached the fourth quarter.
In that quarter, Tacker rumbled to a 2-yard touchdown to put the Cubs up 34-27. Mount Vernon threatened, including a key fourth-down conversion ... but Franklin’s big play yanked the momentum the Cubs’ way.
Plymale finished 16-of-29 with 281 yards. VanderVeen had 71 yards receiving and Conner Davis had 68 for the Cubs. The Bulldogs’ Jensen was 14-of-27 for 173 yards, and Garcia had six catches for 54 yards.