Here are three takeaways from The Herald’s sportswriters after Week 8 of the Snohomish County high school football slate:
Monroe’s OT win over Snohomish might be the game of the year
There have been plenty of blowouts and mismatches across the area in prep football this fall. But on Friday night, Monroe and Snohomish provided no shortage of drama in a riveting back-and-forth clash that may very well end up being the game of the year among all local teams. In a high-stakes regular-season finale, Monroe rallied for a last-minute touchdown to force overtime and then stuffed two-time defending Wesco 3A South champion Snohomish on a 2-point conversion attempt in the extra period to earn a 42-40 win. With the victory, the Bearcats earned a three-way share of the Wesco 3A South title with Snohomish and Edmonds-Woodway.
Monroe kicked itself in the foot early on and trailed 19-0 until the final play of the first half, when the game swung on a crazy sequence. Snohomish lined up to attempt a 44-yard field goal, looking to extend its lead. But a high snap sent Snohomish’s quarterback — who doubles as the team’s kicker — chasing after the loose ball. He scooped it up and threw an off-balanced pass downfield, which Monroe two-way standout Cole Pruett intercepted and returned for a momentum-swinging 78-yard pick-six. The Bearcats added another TD in the opening minute of the second half — and just like that, the back-and-forth duel was on. The teams combined for four fourth-quarter TDs, including Blake Springer’s game-tying 7-yard TD pass to Wahi Emmsley with 33 seconds left in regulation. Both teams then scored a TD in overtime, but Pruett’s 2-point conversion reception and the Bearcats’ defensive 2-point stop were the difference. “You love games like this,” Monroe coach Scott Darrow said. “… It’s why you love high school football.”
FINAL: Monroe 42, Snohomish 40.
The Bearcats stuff Snohomish on a 2-point conversion attempt to win the Wesco 3A South title. #wafbscores pic.twitter.com/dJSfqzIXpT— Cameron Van Til (@CameronVanTil) October 23, 2021
— Cameron Van Til
Kamiak proves any doubters wrong in close loss to Lake Stevens
It’s no secret that the Knights have made an incredible turnaround under fourth-year coach Bryant Thomas. After three consecutive one-win seasons from 2017-2019, the Knights went 4-0 during the abbreviated spring season and raced out to a perfect 6-0 mark this fall while clinching the program’s first Week 10 playoff berth since 2014. The caveat to that success was that Kamiak, which won those 10 games by an average of 31.4 points, hadn’t faced the type of high-level competition that it would see in the postseason. The six wins this season came against teams with a combined 19-29 record, including three against squads playing independent schedules. But the Knights got their first test against the state’s elite last Friday when they visited Class 4A No. 2 Lake Stevens in a showdown of unbeaten Wesco 4A squads. Kamiak didn’t prevail but still gave the powerhouse Vikings their toughest game this season in a 35-28 final. The Knights outgained Lake Stevens in total offense (327 yards to 315) and the Vikings needed a fourth-quarter TD and a late Kamiak turnover to avoid an upset.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Knights’ performance is how little time they had to prepare. Kamiak had its rivalry game with Mariner — originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15 — postponed to last Tuesday due to COVID-19 protocols within the Knights’ program. After a 41-14 victory against Mariner, Thomas said the Knights had time for just one full practice and one walkthrough before that game. They faced Lake Stevens just three days later. It’s yet to be determined who Kamiak will face in the Week 10 playoffs, but whoever it is will surely be in for a tough matchup.
— Zac Hereth
Wesco 3A crossover round has deja vu feel
The Week 9 crossover round between the Wesco 3A North and Wesco 3A South has a bit of a repetitive feel this year. That’s because two of the four crossover matchups with postseason implications will be rematches from Week 1. And if not for a cancellation, there would’ve been a third rematch as well.
Wesco 3A South top seed Monroe will travel to face Wesco 3A North top seed Ferndale in a non-elimination game, which is a rematch of Ferndale’s 55-35 season-opening win. North No. 3 seed Marysville Pilchuck will host South No. 5 seed Shorecrest in a loser-out game, which is a rematch of Marysville Pilchuck’s 52-7 season-opening blowout. And South No. 2 seed Edmonds-Woodway was slated to host North No. 2 seed Arlington in a non-elimination game, which would’ve been a rematch of Arlington’s 35-7 season-opening rout. However, Edmonds-Woodway had to cancel that game and it will be considered a no contest. The two crossover games with postseason implications that are fresh matchups are a pair of loser-out contests: South No. 3 seed Snohomish against North No. 5 seed Oak Harbor, and North No. 4 seed Stanwood against South No. 4 seed Lynnwood.
In recent years, the Wesco 3A North has dominated its South counterparts in Week 9. Over the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the North went 13-1 in the crossover round, including 7-1 in games with postseason implications. The North outscored the South by 27.3 points per game in those 14 contests, including a clean sweep in 2019 while winning all seven crossover games that year by at least 21 points. And given the aforementioned results that transpired in Week 1, the North certainly appears to hold the upper hand once again.
— Cameron Van Til