The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week three goes to Justin Andrews from Woodside High School in Woodside, CA.
Andrew's Woodside Wildcats won an overtime thriller against their local rival Sequoia Cherokees, 32-31. The final score of the game hardly does it justice. Up 26-0 at the half, Sequoia managed to come all the way back and force overtime, to be denied on a two-point conversation attempt and go home defeated.
"I'm just glad we were able to walk out of there with the W. I'm proud of the guys," said Coach Andrews. "Sequoia is a big, physical, well coached team. There were moments when they had us on our heels, but our guys were able to really dig in and make the big plays at the end of the game when it counted. They were able to rally, play together, and for each other, and get the job done," continued Coach Andrews.
That is the story of the game, as the Wildcats managed to hold off Sequoia to squeeze out the win. It was all Woodside early, as they jumped out to a 7 point lead right off the bat with a 90-yard kickoff return by senior Adam Swan. Momentum continued to build for Woodside as Sequoia tried to answer with a long, productive, well-executed drive only to end in an interception by Marcelous Chester-Riley. That would be the first of several big plays the junior CB had for the Wildcats on the evening. Later in the game, Chester-Riley had another interception that he took all the way to the house for 88 yard return at the end of the first quarter. He also caught a 15 yard TD pass with 19 seconds left in the half, putting Sequoia down big going into the half.
"Marcellus Chester-Riley had a really big game for us. Every time the ball came his way he was able to make a big play," said his Head Coach. With a young team, the junior has stepped up and played an important role for his team both on and off the field. "He is definitely a team leader with how he practices and how he approaches the game; he challenges everyone to get better," said Andrews.
The third and fourth quarter was all Sequoia, putting up 26 unanswered points for what was shaping up to be a miraculous comeback.
"It was a combination of better play by Sequoia but also us giving them a lot of opportunities to capitalize. We had a lot of miscues that allowed them to come back – turnovers, fumbles, plays that expanded off of penalties – they did a great job of capitalizing off of our mistakes," admitted Woodside HC Justin Andrews.
With the score tied up, Sequoia went for two and the win, but were stuffed – this for the second time in the game, as they were held out of the end zone on an earlier two-point try, sending this thriller to OT.
When it was time to respond, Woodside rose up and none other than all-star Chester-Riley was there to capitalize, scoring a 10-yard TD run and adding the final line to an all-around impressive game for the Wildcats. Sequoia then got there turn and matched Woodside, with an 8-yard TD run of their own. Sequoia again tried their luck with the 2-point conversation attempt, only for the pass play to be intercepted by Sione Halaapiapi, in the true dramatic fashion of this wild, exciting overtime thriller between the local rivals.
"There were moments when they had us on our heels. They responded well out of the half and continued to compete," Coach Andrews said of the Sequoia team and their impressive comeback. "But our guys were able to get the job done. We held them out of the end zone twice at the end of the game; we made the big plays when it counted." Justin Andrew and his Wildcats are now 3-0 on the season as they travel to Fremont this week to take on the Firebirds.
"I just want to our players to keep competing. I want them to keep the pedal on the medal. I want them to keep getting better with every single snap they are in and just have fun," coach said. "Football is supposed to be fun, and it's more fun when you're playing hard and for each other – and getting those W's."
As part of The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award, Justin Andrews will receive a $1,000 grant for Woodside from the 49ers Foundation. As our Coach of the Week, he will also receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. In the weeks leading up to the game, Coach Andrews will be invited to the visit the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where Coach Tomsula will officially present him with his award. Coach Andrews will also be featured on Cal-Hi Sports.
Congratulations Coach Andrews and the entire Woodside team!