Lake Stevens’ Steven Lee Jr. reacts to getting a stop during a game against Eastlake on Oct. 7, 2022, in Lake Stevens. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lake Stevens’ Steven Lee Jr. reacts to getting a stop during a game against Eastlake on Oct. 7, 2022, in Lake Stevens. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

4 games to watch in Week 1 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer to open the high school football season.

High school football teams across the state hit the field for their first games this week.

Here’s a look at some of the area’s top games in Week 1:

GARFIELD AT LAKE STEVENS

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Lake Stevens H.S.

The skinny: The Vikings begin their Class 4A state title defense with a home game against the talent-stocked Bulldogs. Garfield won last year’s game 26-16.

Garfield: 6-4 overall (last season); advanced to 3A Week 10 playoffs

About the Bulldogs: Garfield hails from the 3A powerhouse Metro League and has reached the Week 10 playoffs in each of the past two seasons. The Bulldogs feature a talented senior class with five recruits rated at three stars or higher by 247sports.com. The group includes top in-state quarterback EJ Caminong and four-star athlete Rahshawn Clark, a Federal Way transfer. Both are University of California commits. Three-star wide receiver Reggie Witherspoon adds to the potent passing attack. Garfield also sports a strong pairing in the trenches with three-star recruits Jahjah Napihaa and Pule Leatigaga, who both weigh in at over 300 pounds.

Lake Stevens: 12-2 overall (last season); won 4A state title

About the Vikings: Lake Stevens will have plenty of new faces on the field after graduating a slew of talented seniors from its 2022 4A state championship squad. Junior quarterback Kolton Matson and junior running back Jayshon Limar, a three-star recruit, lead the offensive attack for the Vikings. Matson passed for 1,722 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, and Limar figures to be a breakout star while taking over for older brother Jayden in the backfield. Two-star senior Bryce Slezak anchors the offensive line, which is replacing four starters. The defense is led by a pair of 2022 All-Area picks in senior linebacker Mason Turner and senior defensive back Steven Lee Jr. The pair totaled a combined 29 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception last season.

Herald pick: Lake Stevens

KAMIAK AT ARLINGTON

Arlington’s Leyton Martin runs the ball during the Stilly Cup rivalry game against Stanwood Sept. 30, 2022, in Arlington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington’s Leyton Martin runs the ball during the Stilly Cup rivalry game against Stanwood Sept. 30, 2022, in Arlington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Arlington H.S.

The skinny: The Wesco 3A North favorite Eagles host the Knights in an early non-league test. Arlington won last year’s matchup 28-14.

Kamiak: 3-7 overall (last season); advanced to 4A Week 10 playoffs

About the Knights: Kamiak mustered just three wins last season, but it came against one of the toughest schedules in the area. The Knights get their first chance at redemption against that same schedule with a season-opening rematch against Arlington. Kamiak returns six all-league picks from a season ago, which includes top in-state junior recruit T’Andre Waverly, a four-star athlete. Waverly had 460 yards receiving and seven TDs last fall. Junior running back Jullian “Tupu” Notoa rushed for over 800 yards last season.

Arlington: 7-3 overall (last season); advanced to 3A Week 10 playoffs

About the Eagles: With a bevy of returning starters in the fold, Arlington enters 2023 as the Wesco 3A North title favorite. The Eagles welcome back a number of playmakers at the skills positions, including junior quarterback Leyton Martin, do-it-all senior Jacoby Falor and leading 2022 receiver junior Jake Willis. Three starters are back on the offensive line to lead the way. All-league pick senior Jeremy Fleming leads seven returners from a defense that allowed just 16.3 points per game last season.

Herald pick: Arlington

GLACIER PEAK AT SNOHOMISH

Glacier Peak’s Chrisvin Bonshe slips past the Snohomish defense during the Dick Armstrong Cup rivalry game on Sept. 2, 2022, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Chrisvin Bonshe slips past the Snohomish defense during the Dick Armstrong Cup rivalry game on Sept. 2, 2022, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Snohomish H.S.

The skinny: Crosstown rivals square off in the 12th edition of the Dick Armstrong Cup. Glacier Peak has won all 11 meetings by double-digits, including 42-13 last fall.

Glacier Peak: 7-3 overall (last season); advanced to 4A Week 10 playoffs

About the Grizzlies: Glacier Peak is coming off its sixth consecutive Week 10 playoff appearance as a 4A program and enters the season as the presumed top challenger to Lake Stevens in Wesco 4A. The Grizzlies feature a number of new faces with just three starters back on offense and two on defense. Senior running back Chrisvin Bonshe leads the charge on offense. He ran for 632 yards and six TDs while sharing duties in the backfield last season. Senior safety Owen Gluth and senior linebacker Brad Perman highlight the new-look defense. Gluth, an all-league pick, had five interceptions as a junior.

Snohomish: 4-6 overall (last season); advanced to 3A Week 10 playoffs

About the Panthers: Snohomish’s streak of three consecutive seasons with at least a share of the Wesco 3A South title came to an end after the team placed second in the league last fall. The Panthers, who are coming off their eighth consecutive Week 10 playoff appearance, are replacing a large group of impactful seniors. Among the key returners are junior two-way lineman Seth Abood and junior wide receiver/defensive back Parker Jackson. Both were all-league picks last season.

Herald pick: Glacier Peak

MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK AT EDMONDS-WOODWAY

Edmonds-Woodway’s Jesse Hart comes down with a long reception during a game against Snohomish on Sept. 23, 2022, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway’s Jesse Hart comes down with a long reception during a game against Snohomish on Sept. 23, 2022, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

When: Friday, 5 p.m.

Where: Edmonds-Woodway H.S.

The skinny: A pair of Week 10 playoff qualifiers open the season with an early test. Marysville Pilchuck won last season’s meeting 20-16.

Marysville Pilchuck: 5-5 overall (last season); advanced to 3A Week 10 playoffs

About the Tomahawks: After graduating a large group of talented seniors from its 2021 state semifinal team and undergoing a coaching change, Marysville Pilchuck posted a .500 campaign and reached the Week 10 playoffs with a young group last fall. The Tomahawks return their most firepower on offense. Junior running back Joseph Davis totaled 1,317 yards and 12 TDs on offense last season. Returning all-league linebacker senior Kenai Sinaphet had nine tackles for loss, three sacks and three forced fumbles.

Edmonds-Woodway: 5-4 overall (last season); advanced to 3A Week 10 playoffs

About the Warriors: Edmonds-Woodway is coming off its fourth straight .500 or better season and has reached the Week 10 playoffs in each of the past three full-length campaigns. The Warriors feature a strong passing game led by two-star senior quarterback Steven Warren Jr. He threw for 2,198 yards, 19 TDs and four interceptions last season. Senior receivers Jesse Hart and Diego Escandon are his go-to targets. They combined for 1,310 yards and 10 TDs receiving. Senior defensive lineman Austin Renfro, an all-league pick, leads six returners on defense.

Herald pick: Edmonds-Woodway

OTHER WEEK 1 GAMES

Darrington at Winlock, 4:30 p.m.

Issaquah at Everett, 5 p.m.

Monroe at Roosevelt, 5 p.m.

Central Kitsap at Mariner, 7 p.m.

Cascade at Marysville Getchell, 7 p.m.

Lakewood at Stanwood, 7 p.m.

Lakeside (Seattle) at Shorewood, 7 p.m.

Cedarcrest at Stadium, 7 p.m.

Archbishop Murphy at Lake Washington, 7 p.m.

Evergreen (Seattle) at Sultan, 7 p.m.

Granite Falls at Meridian, 7 p.m.

Shorecrest at Meadowdale, 8 p.m.

Mountlake Terrace at Jackson, 8 p.m.

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