EVERETT — This is becoming the norm for the Monroe Bearcats. Another week, another Friday night blowout.
The ingredients have been consistent: A high-octane offense powered by running back Isaiah Lewis and wide receiver Efton Chism III, smooth operation from QB Jaedyn Prewitt, dominant fronts and an unforgiving defense.
The Bearcats were back at it in Week 3.
Lewis enjoyed a four-touchdown night, and Monroe’s defense posted its first shutout. The result was a 43-0 Wesco 4A win over Kamiak on Friday night at Goddard Stadium.
“I feel like we are catching our stride,” Monroe coach Michael Bumpus said. “The first week was a big win, the second week was a big win but a lot of stuff to work on and this one we put some things together.”
Lewis continued his breakthrough season, flashing dual-threat ability by rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries and catching three passes for 45 yards and a score. Chism III scored a touchdown for the third straight week, but it was Monroe’s defense, amid all the offensive firepower, that dominated the full 48 minutes.
“Our box is tough,” said Bumpus, who postgame implored anyone who played defense Friday to stand up and be recognized. “Even when I try to game plan against our own defense, it’s tough to game plan against. Our heart and soul of the team is the line, so when you have a great line and some ballers on that second level to back it up, we are pretty tough.”
Tough might be an understatement. Monroe (1-0 Wesco 4A, 3-0 overall) through three games is averaging 48.3 points per game and only allowing 9.3 points.
Lewis got Monroe going following an uncharacteristic opening-drive punt by capping off a five-play, 68-yard scoring drive with a 33-yard touchdown run. The Monroe back took a 3rd-and-1 handoff up the middle, spun out of a tackle, shed two more defenders and sprinted the rest of the way for a touchdown.
The Bearcats scored on the next three possessions of the first half — two which came from Lewis.
Chism III continued his strong season, hauling in a 37-yard touchdown pass on Monroe’s third drive that put the Bearcats in front 14-0 on the final play of the first quarter. Chism, streaking down the middle of the field, got behind Kamiak’s deepest defender and caught a beautifully thrown ball perfectly in stride from Prewitt.
The senior signal-caller, who completed 18 of 26 passes for 222 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, recorded his second TD pass less than 2 minutes later when he connected with Lewis on a middle screen. After catching the ball, Lewis turned around and found a convoy of four Bearcat linemen paving his path for a 29-yard catch-and-score. The TD extended Monroe’s lead to 21-0 with 10:02 to play in the second quarter.
Lewis’ second rushing touchdown — a 26-yard score — with 2:00 to go until halftime put the Bearcats in front 28-0. Each of Monroe’s four first-half TDs came from more than 25 yards out.
The Bearcats finished the first half just off the pace of the 49 points per game they were averaging coming into Friday, but Monroe did have three first-half touchdowns called back, including a 52-yard interception return by Austin Steltz that was voided after a roughing the passer call.
Kamiak’s passing game struggled, but the offense moved the ball between the 20s, thanks in large part to the work of senior running back Ben Barton, who finished with 97 rushing yards on 18 carries. But every time the Knights (0-1, 1-2) got close to the Bearcats’ red zone, Monroe’s defense stiffened.
A Kainalu Batongbacal 7-yard touchdown run with 5:14 to play in the third quarter extended Monroe’s lead to 35-0, and Lewis ended the Bearcats’ scoring with a late 2-yard touchdown run.
Monroe plays host to upstart Cascade next Friday, while Kamiak meets rival Mariner at Goddard Stadium.