O'Dea pulls away from Franklin for Metro title, 35-13
The O'Dea Fighting Irish flexed their muscle at the usual time of year, powering past Franklin 35-13 Friday night at Seattle Memorial Stadium to defend their Metro League championship.
Special to The Seattle Times
After most of his Franklin football players had already left the stadium and boarded the team bus, Quakers coach Ny'Ika Long sat alone on a cement wall and pondered what went wrong.
He'd just got done witnessing the O'Dea Fighting Irish flex their muscle at the usual time of year, powering past Franklin 35-13 Friday night at Seattle Memorial Stadium to defend their Metro League championship.
How O'Dea managed to dominate the game on both sides of the ball seemed to leave Long a little dazed.
"They've got that size," Long said. "There are some variables of the game that you can't really control as far as size and strength. It comes down to commitment in the weight room, something that our kids are just now learning, that they've been doing for years, year in and year out. I think that pretty much took its toll."
O'Dea (8-1) used a powerful running game and stout defense to send Franklin (7-2) to its first defeat since the season opener.
The Irish rushed for 348 yards on 56 carries while their defense held Franklin's potent offense to 70 total yards.
O'Dea, ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, won its eighth consecutive game since losing its opener to Capital 28-0.
Although it was only the second consecutive year O'Dea claimed the Metro League's No. 1 seed, it was the 21st time that Monte Kohler has coached the Irish to the league championship in his 26th season.
O'Dea and Franklin both move onto the district playoff round next week.
"We try to make sure they enjoy it," Kohler said. "This has to be a fun environment. We love coming down here and playing for this. You still have to go out and play the game and anything can happen."
The first play from scrimmage was a sign of things to come for the Quakers.
Jayshawn Jordan wasn't fooled by Franklin's halfback pass and waited for the ball and grabbed an interception.
O'Dea turned that mistake — one of three turnovers by Franklin — into an opportunity to take a 7-0 lead on Keenan Forch's 5-yard touchdown run.
Forch finished with 114 yards rushing on 14 carries, including a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.