Power of ‘The Dark Side’: Woodinville’s defense chokes opponents

Woodinville plays in the Class 4A state championship game against Richland (13-0) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome.

They always make sure they’ve got each other’s back.

They’re a Band of Brothers.

Their bond has been a big reason that the Falcons’ defense has soared to nearly untouchable heights. The link in the chain has been strongest with the front four of the Woodinville football team’s defense, nicknamed “The Dark Side.”

The dominant defensive line is a big reason the Falcons take a 13-0 record and 8.8 points-per-game-allowed average into the Class 4A state-championship game against Richland (13-0) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome.

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“They’ve done a great job versus the run and the pass,” said Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell, who is also the team’s defensive coordinator, leading a defense that has three shutouts. “It makes everybody’s job behind them much easier. We have a nice look of different bodies up front that can be pretty difficult to match up with and block and stay blocked.”

Comprising the primary front four for much of the season — after a couple of changes during the season — are senior defensive ends Jake Baillie and Ben Pryor and defensive tackles Quinn Schreyer, a senior, and Dylan Lewis, a junior.

The front four has also included Myles Walker (knee) and Jared Eisenbarth (broken left fibula), both of whom were injured during their senior seasons.

The feared foursome just digs in and does the dirty work. Not one needs credit individually, preferring to take credit as a group.

“Every sack is a team sack for us,” Baillie said.

The Woodinville defense has registered 45 sacks, 23 interceptions and combined with special teams for 13 fumble recoveries. The Falcons are coming off a 10-0 shutout of a high-scoring Sumner team in the Class 4A state semifinals.

“They’re a machine running well, and Maxwell does a great job getting them ready,” said Eisenbarth, who will primarily play offense after returning from an injury that occurred in Week 5 just 1 yard away from a touchdown.

Eisenbarth came back last week at the H-back position and played about half the team’s snaps after eight weeks of recovery from the broken bone in his left leg.

Up front in the team’s 4-3 scheme, Schreyer and Baillie lead the way, combining for an eye-popping 32½ sacks. Schreyer, a 6-foot-2, 215 pounder,…

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