Walking around campus this past week, King’s head coach Jim Shapiro ran into former player Curtis Clausen. The two got to chatting and during their conversation Clausen brought up the upcoming Archbishop Murphy game.
“He talked about how he couldn’t play in both Murphy games during his final two seasons here,” Shapiro said. “You could see the emotion in his eyes. I think this game is more important to them than even some of the current players.”
Tonight’s Cascade Conference opener between King’s and Archbishop Murphy is a big one, especially for the small 1A school from Shoreline. The Knights have never beaten the Wildcats but this year might be their best shot.
King’s returned a number of key players from last year’s playoff team, including last year’s Cascade Conference offensive player of the year Billy Green and Yale-bound Mason Friedline, and have already defeated Murphy’s nemesis Lynden in Week 1.
“(King’s) is extremely talented without many weaknesses,” said Archbishop Murphy head coach Bill Marsh. “Obviously they’re well coached and Green is an outstanding QB.”
Despite both of these schools being in the smaller classifications, the whole Puget Sound region will get a chance to see them as Root Sports televises the game live from Terry Ennis Stadium.
Last year Archbishop Murphy ran over and around King’s, tallying 370 yards on the ground in a 35-14 win. This year the Wildcats, even though they’re under a new coaching regime, are just as formidable on the ground.
“It’s a different style of offense; it’s no longer the Wing-T,” said Shapiro of Murphy. “But as always they have a large number of backs and they’re strong and quick.”
Last week Wildcats running back Hans VanderWel carried the ball 13 times for 146 yards and a touchdown and had a school-record 98-yard kickoff return for a TD. Archbishop Murphy also has Alex Galgano and Ricky Gordon in the backfield.
“It’s going to come down to our defensive line,” Shapiro said. “We’ve got to stop the run and give our offense the chance to get the ball and move the ball.”
KING’S vs. ARCHBISHOP MURPHY
Where: Terry Ennis Stadium
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: King’s (2-0 overall); Archbishop Murphy (2-0)
Breakdown: Both teams are coming off of impressive wins on the road as King’s traveled to Port Angeles and dismantled the Roughriders 43-7 and the Wildcats went to southern California and had an easy time with University City in a 40-26 victory. King’s has never beaten Archbishop Murphy and the Knights suffered their only conference loss of the season to the Wildcats last season, losing 35-14 at Woolsey Stadium.
Key players: King’s—Billy Green, Sr., QB; Mason Friedline, Sr., OL/DL; Caleb Taylor, Sr., WR; Ben Welch, Sr., RB/WR. Archbishop Murphy—Alex Galgano, Sr., RB/SS; Frank Medlicott, Sr., FB/LB; Hans VanderWel, Sr., RB; Camden Buchanan, Sr., QB.
TV: Root Sports (cable)
The pick: King’s 40, Archbishop Murphy 38