What: Wesco 3A championship (3A South 1 vs. 3A North 1)
When: Friday, 8 p.m. | Where: Quil Ceda Stadium, Marysville
Records: Glacier Peak 4-0 league, 7-1 overall; Marysville Pilchuck 4-0 league, 7-1 overall
KEY PLAYERS: Glacier Peak—Michael Palmer, RB/OLB (904 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns); Chris Beccera, QB (109-for-199 for 1,861 yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions); Sean Elledge, WR/S (674 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns, 126 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown); Austin Jacobsen, ILB; Nate Bussing, ILB. Marysville Pilchuck—Jake Luton, QB (56-for-92 for 927 yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 95 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns); Austin Joyner, RB/DB (1,287 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns); Kacey Walker, RB/OLB (1,016 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns); Jordan Hoorn, LB; Austin Gianetto, TE/DE.
SIGNATURE VICTORIES: Glacier Peak—Glacier Peak 42, Lake Stevens 31 (week 1), Glacier Peak 45, Jackson 35 (week 3), Glacier Peak 25, Meadowdale 7 (week 8). Marysville Pilchuck—Marysville Pilchuck 42, Arlington 14 (week 1), Marysville Pilchuck 69, Stanwood 6 (week 6), Marysville Pilchuck 47, Oak Harbor 39 (week 8)
THE LONE DEFEAT: Glacier Peak: Bothell 41, Glacier Peak 14 (week 6). Marysville Pilchuck: Lake Stevens 45, Marysville PIlchuck 21 (week 2)
OPPOSING COACHES THOUGHTS: Lake Stevens is one of just two schools — the other being Snohomish — to have faced both teams this season, losing to Glacier Peak in week 1 and beating Marysville Pilchuck in week 2. Vikings coach Tom Tri said the Grizzlies and Tomahawks have very contrasting styles, with Glacier Peak trying to get the score up quickly and MP trying to establish its run game. “Two completely different philosophies,” Tri said. “One is more ball control and the other is trying to score as fast as they can.” Tri expects that MP will try to establish Austin Joyner and Kacey Walker early in the game, while Glacier Peak will look to slow down the run and keep the Tomahawks defense on its toes. Tri said if there is a slight advantage he thinks it belongs to Glacier Peak, but added, “Marysville Pilchuck is certainly capable of winning if they play (its) game.” After finding out that the game is going to be played at Quil Ceda stadium, Tri added, “I’d say it’s probably a fairly even game.”
KEY INJURIES: Glacier Peak: None; Marysville Pilchuck: None
HOW THE GRIZZLIES WILL WIN: Like last week against Meadowdale, the Grizzlies need to assert themselves offensively. If quarterback Chris Beccera gets Sean Elledge involved early and running back Michael Palmer continues working for tough yardage, the Grizzlies should be able to move the ball effectively and put up points. Unlike last week, the Tomahawks can compete with the Grizzlies if the game turns into a shootout. Glacier Peak’s defense needs to slow down the Marysville Pilchuck run game, led by Austin Joyner and Kacey Walker, which should make it more difficult for the Tomahawks to use the play action pass. If the Grizzlies can strike early and often they should take control of this game, it is unlikely that the Tomahawks have another big comeback in them like they needed against Oak Harbor.
HOW THE TOMAHAWKS WILL WIN: For the Tomahawks the formula is simple. Establish the run and be sharp defensively. The Grizzlies can beat teams both through the air and on the ground so the Tomahawks have to keep Glacier Peak running back Michael Palmer contained, but also do a good job in the secondary not letting Sean Elledge or Quinton Dunbar make big plays. The Grizzlies will look to get on the scoreboard quickly so it is important for Marysville to establish the tempo of the game early. If Austin Joyner and Kacey Walker get going the Grizzlies could be in for a very long night.
THE PICK: Marysville Pilchuck 28, Glacier Peak 27