SNOHOMISH — In a game that had all the drama and thrills of a classic crosstown rivalry, Glacier Peak held off a determined Snohomish squad on Friday night for a 31-29 non-conference football victory at Snohomish Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Grizzlies trailed 16-15 midway through the third quarter, regained the lead with a touchdown and a field goal, and then took advantage of a huge Snohomish turnover in the late minutes to seal the outcome.
“For the second week in a row, (the Grizzlies) played well enough to win,” said Glacier Peak coach Rory Rosenbach, whose team improved to 2-0 after last week’s season-opening win against Lake Stevens. “They’ve shown that they can battle adversity and overcome, but I think we’ve also got a lot of work to do.”
In front of a packed grandstand divided equally between Glacier Peak and Snohomish boosters, both teams made the typical number of early-season miscues. And some of them, Rosenbach pointed out, were no doubt due to big-game jitters.
“It was a well-played game,” he said. “I thought emotions got to our guys a little bit, but not too much. But that’s what this rivalry should be. Every time.”
For all the points the two teams scored, it was a big play by the Glacier Peak defense that clinched the win. The Panthers had scored a TD with 3:58 to play in the game, cutting the deficit to two points, and then got the ball back with 2:17 remaining. Starting a drive at their own 38, they ran one play to reach the 45.
And then calamity struck.
A high center snap sailed over the head of Panthers quarterback Tanner Arrington, and there was a mad scramble for the ball inside the 25-yard line. Glacier Peak’s Justin Guffey came up with the recovery, and the Grizzlies were able to gain one first down and then run out the clock.
An earlier turnover gave Glacier Peak a lead it would take to the halftime locker room. On the first play after a second-quarter punt that pushed the Panthers back to their own 16, Arrington was unable to field a low center snap. Players from both teams skirmished for the loose ball, and suddenly Glacier Peak’s Austin Hines was able to pick it up and dash to the end zone for a 10-yard TD return.
The defense “made some plays when they had to,” Rosenbach said. “But we were also fortunate to take advantage of some (Snohomish) mistakes, and that’s what really helped us in the end.”
But the Panthers never buckled, and Snohomish seemed to answer every Glacier Peak scoring drive with one of its own. Arrington, who completed all 11 passes he threw in the second half, finished the game 25-for-31 for 311 yards and four touchdowns.
Glacier Peak quarterback Branson Corwin was nearly as good, completing 18 of 30 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown.
Friday’s game was the first coaching showdown between Rosenbach and his longtime friend, Kai Smalley, who replaced Mark Perry as Snohomish’s head coach this season.
The Panthers, Rosenbach said, “are close, and when they click they’re going to be really good. They’ve got some guys that can play ball.
As for the Grizzlies, “I think the sky’s the limit for them,” he said. “We just have to do some things better. We’ve got to tackle better and we’ve got to make some plays on third down when we need to.
“But when these guys click,” he said, nodding at his own players, “I think they’re going to be really good, too.”
At Snohomish H.S.
Snohomish 0 13 3 13 — 29
Glacier Peak 0 15 6 10 — 31
GP-Darling 48 pass from Hines (Hines pass from Pettit)
S-Lande 50 pass from Arrington (Herrera kick)
GP-Hines 10 fumble recovery (Pettit kick)
S-Johnston 19 pass from Arrington (pass failed)
S-Herrera 23 FG
GP-Elliott 10 pass from Corwin (pass failed)
GP-Pettit 27 FG
S-Lande 10 pass from Arrington (pass failed)
GP-Corwin 1 run (Pettit kick)
S-Kutsch 13 pass from Arrington (Herrera kick)