By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — Coming into Friday night’s game, Jackson and Glacier Peak were two football teams pretty evenly matched on paper. Both teams came into the game 2-0 and both averaged 42.5 points per game.
The potential for a great game on paper transferred over to the field as the two teams combined to score 80 points and throw the ball all over the field. But only one team would meet and surpass their season scoring average: the Grizzlies, who won the game 45-35.
With the win, the 3A Grizzlies are 3-0 after their nonconference schedule, with victories over three Wesco 4A opponents.
“I’m happy with the way they came out and prepared every week,” Glacier Peak head coach Rory Rosenbach said. “They took it one game at a time. It would have been real easy to look past one opponent to get to the other based on just being high-school kids, but they did a great job focusing on the week that was in front of us.”
The Grizzlies found themselves behind early on Friday to a Jackson team that threw the ball over 50 percent of the time. Jackson took the first lead of the game when quarterback Conor Plaisance connected with Joakim Soderqvist on an 81-yard touchdown pass. The ball was tipped near the sideline by Glacier Peak’s Marcos Baruch, but then caught by Soderqvist behind the defense, who then won a footrace to the end zone.
Plaisance finished the game 27-for-50 with 336 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions.
“What they hurt us with is what we were worried about,” Rosenbach said of Jackson’s offense. “They have a lot of speed at the back end, boy they can turn it up. They have a sixth gear that some of our guys don’t have.”
But the Grizzlies came back with a heavy dose of Sean Elledge, which was the one thing that the Timberwolves never found an answer for. Elledge scored all three of Glacier Peak’s first-half touchdowns, including a 36-yard run and a 66-yard pass from quarterback Chris Beccera. Elledge added one more 59-yard touchdown reception in the second half for good measure.
The two teams were tied at 21 at halftime, but Glacier Peak started the second half scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by Michael Palmer. Minutes later they were in the end zone again after a Plaisance interception. This time on Elledge’s 59-yard touchdown pass.
Rosenbach said the interception opened the game up for the Grizzlies.
“That was a huge one, that interception, because we had gone down and scored and for us to get the ball back right there was huge,” he said. “I think it took the wind out of their sails and got us rolling.”
Elledge, meanwhile finished his career game with seven receptions for 187 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 69 yards and a score.
“It was a pretty good feeling getting four touchdowns,” Elledge said.
Beccera finished the game 17-for-32 with 354 yards and four touchdowns.
The loss dropped the Timberwolves from the ranks of the unbeaten and coach Joel Vincent said mental lapses were to blame.
“I like the level of effort tonight,” Vincent said. “We’ve got to be a little bit more disciplined and we’ve got to be a little bit more focused. Where we got in trouble tonight generally fell into one of those two categories.
“We can’t come in and make the number of mistakes that we made tonight that I would attribute mostly to lack of discipline and focus against a team that is that good and expect that we are going to win.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Veterans Memorial Stadium
J—Joakim Soderqvist 81 pass from Conor Plaisance (kick blocked)
G—Sean Elledge 36 run (Branson Corwin kick)
J—Alec Kisena 55 fumble return (Larry Baker-Bruce run)
G—Elledge 66 pass from Chris Beccera (Corwin kick)
G—Elledge 6 pass from Beccera (Spencer Pettit kick)
J—Alek Baumgartner 29 pass from Plaisance (Michael Zeng kick)
G—Michael Palmer 1 run (Pettit kick)
G—Elledge 59 pass from Beccera (Pettit kick)
J—Trey Robinson 49 run (kick blocked)
G—Josh May 33 pass from Beccera (Pettit kick)
G—Pettit 23 FG
J—Robinson 32 pass from Plaisance (John-Robert Woolley run)
Records—Jackson 2-1 overall. Glacier Peak 3-0.