By Mark Nelson Herald Writer
EVERETT — Archbishop Murphy head coach Dave Ward might want to design a few more plays for sophomore running back Morgan Masanda.
Masanda — standing just 5-foot-6 and 141 pounds — ran at full-efficiency Friday night for the undefeated Wildcats, scoring every time he touched the football.
His line: three carries, 65 rushing yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — as Archbishop Murphy rolled to a 50-0 win over Cedarcrest in the Cascade Conference opener for both squads.
The Wildcats (1-0 league, 3-0 overall) ran the ball so well that 11 players accounted for more than 350 combined rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.
Sophomore Alex Galgano scored two touchdowns on eight carries. Galgano ran for a team-leading 147 yards while senior running back Keola Wilkins added two carries for 82 yards and a touchdown in the second half as Archbishop Murphy amassed 386 rushing yards on 32 carries in the shutout.
“They were blitzing well,” Archbishop Murphy’s Ward said of Cedarcrest. “They got through (the line) a couple times and our quarterback could barely get the hand-off but once he did, the running backs had room to run because the blitzes were inside and there wasn’t anybody out there.”
Masanda, who had 82 rushing yards and a touchdown in a win over Kennedy Catholic last week, took advantage of the open field as he out-ran a bevy of Cedarcrest defenders for his third touchdown — a 47-yard scamper to the right side with 3 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“Morgan really looked good,” Ward said. “He’s got some speed and when we get him to the outside he’s got the ability to go all the way when he does touch it.”
Masanda added: “We had a lot of guys getting hit in the backfield because their blitzes were hard to pick up, but upfield they made their blocks, they got it done and we did what we needed to do to win.”
Despite hitting some runners behind the line of scrimmage, Cedarcrest — which lost 14-7 to Archbishop Murphy last season on a fake field goal with 25 seconds left — struggled against the Wildcats’ clearly larger linemen.
“They’re bigger than almost every football team in Washington state,” seventh-year Cedarcrest head coach Jason Frederick said. “That’s hard to compete with, but our kids battled.
“They’ve got size all the way across the front. They outweigh most lines by probably 600-700 pounds.”
Wildcats senior defensive back John Schulstad led the Wildcats on the other side of the ball with two interceptions in the first quarter, as Cedarcrest (0-1, 1-2) turned the ball over on its first three possessions.
Schulstad returned his second pick 45 yards for a touchdown with 5:52 left in the first quarter.
The Red Wolves managed just 29 rushing yards on 27 carries and picked up just four first downs all game.
Cedarcrest junior linebacker Tanner Marty sacked backup quarterback Conner Kruse in the second quarter.
While Archbishop Murphy backed up its No. 1 spot in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll, Ward wasn’t ready to crown the Wildcats as league champions just yet.
“King’s and Lakewood, with their passing attack, are probably going to be a better challenge for us because our linemen are really good against the run,” Ward said. “We’re looking down the road saying we’ve got tougher games coming. We don’t have the league by a long shot.”
At Ennis Stadium
Archbishop Murphy — Galgano 28 run (kick failed)
Archbishop Murphy — Schulstad 45 interception return (Hans VanderWel pass from Austin VanderWel)
Archbishop Murphy — Masanda 4 run (Briede kick)
Archbishop Murphy — Masanda 14 run (H. VanderWel run)
Archbishop Murphy — Masanda 47 run (Briede kick)
Archbishop Murphy — Galgano 65 run (Foster Wade kick)
Archbishop Murphy — Wilkins 53 run (Briede kick)