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Originally published Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:38 PM

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Edmonds-Woodway stays perfect with 56-32 win over Kamiak

The Warriors firmed their grip on the WesCo 4A South division after beating the Knights and improving to 6-0.

Special to The Seattle Times

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MUKILTEO – The Kamiak Knights found the ball slippery on Friday night at Goddard Stadium. The Knights fumbled two of the first three times they the ball, and again on the opening kickoff of the second half.

Edmonds-Woodway took full advantage, scoring on two of the three opportunities and running away with a 56-32 Wesco 4A South victory.

The win gives the Warriors (6-0 overall, 3-0 league) a commanding lead as they try to claim the South Division crown for the eighth time in 11 seasons. Edmonds-Woodway already has victories over the two teams currently tied for second — Jackson and Kamiak.

“We’re in the driver’s seat,” Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said. “But let me tell you, I don’t know how much you watch, but Lynnwood and Mariner are playing some good football. I wish we had played them four or five weeks ago. So, we’re not looking past anybody.”

The Warriors put this one away early.

Edmonds-Woodway got the ball first and traveled 61 yards in five plays, finishing with a Davis Giles 45-yard strike to a streaking Jason Smarr for the game’s first score. On the ensuing kickoff, the Knights (4-2, 2-1) couldn’t hold onto the ball.

Spencer Schultz recovered the fumble for the Warriors at the Kamiak 28. Three running plays later, Edmonds-Woodway led it 14-0 after Junior Opoku-Mensah’s 10-yard touchdown run.

After the kickoff, Joseph Binda took the handoff on first down for the Knights. He gained two yards before fumbling. While Edmonds-Woodway couldn’t take advantage, one series later, Giles hit a wide-open Smarr in stride again.

This one covered 79 yards and gave the Warriors a 21-0 lead.

“That was my first game starting,” Smarr said. “Those were my first catches.”

The margin grew to 28-6 by halftime. Kamiak received the second-half kickoff, but again couldn’t hold the ball.

Edmonds-Woodway’s Nick Venema picked it up at the Knights 21 and returned it for another score and an insurmountable 35-6 lead.

“A couple big mistakes, turnovers,” Gradwohl said. “Those are almost back-breakers. They came back from those well.”

Kamiak made a run — sort of.

The Knights scored twice over the next six minutes after the Venema return to close to 35-18. Edmonds-Woodway, though, put together two long drives to take the air out of the ball.

First, the Warriors ran more than 6 minutes off the clock in the third quarter. The drive ended with Opoku-Mensah’s second TD run, a 7-yarder. Opoku-Mensah finished with 142 yards rushing on 20 carries and those two scores.

Then, Edmonds-Woodway ran more than 7 minutes off in the fourth quarter with an 81-yard, 15-play drive that ended with Giles’ fourth TD pass of the game, 12 yards to Theo Lebesis.

“We’d seen that Kamiak, they were trying to stop the run,” Giles said. “You get some speed out there, that opens up everything.”

Giles finished 9-for-17 for 252 yards. He also ran it nine times for 39 yards, and that included an 11-yard sack.

“Our quarterback, he ran the show,” Gradwohl said. “We don’t give him enough credit. But he did a great job of managing the game tonight, and he had a few big runs with his legs.”

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