By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — It took Mount Si just until the second quarter to show why it’s Class 3A’s second-ranked team.
The Wildcats scored 42 points against Glacier Peak in the second quarter, breaking open a tight 3-3 game and rolling to a 52-19 rout of the Grizzlies in the opening round of the 3A state football tournament.
“I don’t know if you’re really capable of scoring more points in a quarter,” Wildcats head coach Charlie Kinnune said. “We rolled.”
Mount Si received the game’s opening kickoff and promptly marched down the field, but its drive stalled on the Glacier Peak 5-yard line and the Wildcats had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Cameron Van Winkle.
The 18-play drive consumed more than half of the first quarter, so holding Mount Si to a field goal was a small victory for the Grizzlies. They followed up Mount Si’s drive with an impressive drive of their own.
Chris Becerra completed five of six passes on the drive, marching the Grizzlies down the field for a Spencer Pettit’s score-tying field goal with two seconds to play in the quarter.
The Grizzlies forced Mount Si into a three-and-out on the Wildcats’ first possession of the second quarter and it looked like momentum had swung in favor of Glacier Peak.
But that momentum didn’t last long.
Glacier Peak quarterback Chris Becerra threw an interception on the first play of the Grizzlies’ next drive and Mount Si needed just three plays to capitalize. Quarterback Nick Mitchell connected with Griffin McLain for a 14-yard touchdown to give the Wildcats a 10-3 lead.
The Wildcats defense stepped up on the next drive, forcing the Grizzlies into a three-and-out. Just like the previous drive, the Wildcats offense needed just three plays as Mitchell found the Kingco 3A Offensive Player of the Year, Trent Riley for a 16-yard touchdown and a 17-3 lead.
The next Grizzlies possession followed the same pattern as the last, another three-and-out forced by the Wildcats. Mount Si’s offense needed more than three plays on its next drive, but the result was the same as Evan Johnson scored on an 11-yard touchdown run after eight plays to give the Wildcats a commanding 24-3 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
Firmly in control now, the Wildcats didn’t take their foot off the gas. On the first play of the Grizzlies next drive, Becerra threw another interception. The Wildcats took over and after an incompletion, Mitchell found Riley again for his second touchdown, this time from 21 yards away. The play was all the more impressive because Mitchell appeared as though he would be sacked, but broke away from the Glacier Peak defense and threw across his body to Riley, who made a leaping catch and got his feet down in bounds for the score.
The Grizzlies quickly went three-and-out on their next possession and the Wildcats took advantage in just one play. Mitchell and Riley connected for their third touchdown of the game and the Wildcats took a 38-3 lead.
Mitchell finished the half and the game completing 11 of 15 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Riley had six catches for 105 yards and three touchdowns.
The Grizzlies got a solid 23-yard run from Michael Palmer on the first play of their next drive, the first bright spot that Glacier Peak had in some time. But again, it was short lived. Becerra threw his third interception of the game on the next play, a screen pass to a receiver that was sniffed out by Joey Cotto, who jumped the route and intercepted the ball and returned it for a Mount Si touchdown.
“We rely on our defense,” Riley said. “We just love playing D because we play with a lot of energy, and it’s carried us all year. And that usually gets our offense going.”
Becerra completed his first five passes of the half, but completed just one of his final 10 for no yards and three interceptions.
The Wildcats led 45-3 at that point and had assured a running clock in the second half.
Mount Si scored on their first possession of the second half to go ahead 52-3.
Glacier Peak’s Sean Elledge scored on a 54-yard touchdown run and Becerra completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Josh May after the outcome was no longer in doubt in the fourth quarter.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Snohomish Veterans Memorial Stadium
MS—Cameron Van Winkle 22 FG
GP—Spencer Pettit 35 FG
MS—Griffin McLain 14 pass from Nick Mitchell (Van Winkle kick)
MS—Trent Riley 16 pass from Mitchell (Van Winkle kick)
MS—Evan Johnson 11 TD (Van Winkle kick)
MS—Riley 21 pass from Mitchell (Van Winkle kick)
MS—Riley 41 pass from Mitchell (Van Winkle kick)
MS—Joey Cotto 43 interception return (Van Winkle kick)
MS—Keenan McVein 1 run (Van Winkle kick)
GP—Sean Elledge 54 run (Josh May pass from Austin Hines)
GP—May 13 pass from Chris Becerra (Hines run)
Records— Mount Si 10-1, Glacier Peak 9-2.