The prep football regular season is hitting its midpoint with Week 5 action taking place this week.
This Friday brings a slew of important conference matchups, including rivals jockeying for position in their league standings.
Here’s a look at four games to watch this week:
3A NO. 6 ARLINGTON AT STANWOOD
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Stanwood H.S.
Stream: Twin Cities Sports Network
The skinny: North county rivals meet in the annual battle for the Stilly Cup with bragging rights and positioning in the Wesco 3A North title chase on the line. Stanwood ended its streak of 12 consecutive losses in the series with a 37-6 triumph last fall.
Arlington: 4-0 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A North; beat Kamiak 46-9, beat Marysville Getchell 42-7, beat Mount Vernon 52-14, beat Ferndale 46-14
About the Eagles: Arlington has cruised through its first four weeks and is coming off a major statement victory with a blowout of defending Wesco 3A North champion Ferndale last week. Through four weeks, the Eagles have beaten teams by an average of 35.8 points, scored a least six touchdowns in each game and held every opponent to two TDs or less. Junior quarterback Leyton Martin has completed an efficient 73.4% of his passes for 1,071 yards, 12 TDs and one interception. His top target is senior wide receiver Jacoby Falor, who has 340 yards and five TDs on 26 receptions. Junior Jake Willis has added another 243 yards and four TDs on 15 receptions. Junior Caleb Reed leads the backfield with 375 yards and nine TDs on 48 carries. Senior linebacker Nolan Welch-Downing has led or tied for the team lead in tackles in each of the past two weeks. A victory this Friday would give Arlington a chance to clinch the Wesco 3A North title against Marysville Pilchuck next week.
Stanwood: 3-1 overall, 2-1 Wesco 3A North; beat Lakewood 37-16, lost to 3A No. 8 Marysville Pilchuck 36-7, beat Oak Harbor 56-6, beat Mount Vernon 19-15
About the Spartans: Stanwood enters its pivotal rivalry matchup needing a victory to keep a realistic shot at claiming the Wesco 3A North championship. The Spartans haven’t topped the Eagles in consecutive seasons since 2008-09. Special teams and defense have shined recently for Stanwood. The Spartans have kickoff return TDs in each of their past three games, two from senior Max Mayo and another from junior Canyon Bumgarner. The defense has surrendered just 21 points while forcing six turnovers over the past two weeks, including a fumble return TD from Bumgarner. Senior running back Cruise Swanson paces Stanwood’s Wing-T offense with 397 yards and five TDs on 73 carries. Bumgarner has added 237 yards and one TD on the ground. Mayo leads the team with two interceptions on defense.
Herald pick: Arlington
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE AT 3A NO. 7 MONROE
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Monroe H.S.
The skinny: Unbeaten Wesco 3A South foes square off in a marquee league showdown with first place in the standings up for grabs. Monroe won 49-7 last season.
Mountlake Terrace: 4-0 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A South; beat Jackson 34-6, beat Snohomish 35-21, beat Shorewood 35-0, beat Shorecrest 20-0
About the Hawks: Mountlake Terrace is 4-0 for the first time in at least 20 years and has mostly cruised through its early schedule with three victories by 20 or more points. The Hawks are coming off back-to-back shutout victories of the Shoreline schools and are in line to face their toughest test of the season with a trip to face the defending Wesco 3A South champion Bearcats. Leading Snohomish County rusher Zaveon Jones highlights the attack for Terrace. The senior is averaging 9.7 yards per carry with 820 yards and 10 TDs. He’s rushed for at least 146 yards in each game. Go-to senior receiver Logan Tews leads the passing game with 189 yards and three TDs on nine receptions. The Hawk defense has forced 10 turnovers, including two interceptions apiece for Tews and junior Rayshaun Conner. Tews also leads the team in tackles, while Jones has team-bests of 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Monroe: 4-0 overall, 2-0 Wesco 3A South; beat Roosevelt 34-25, beat Shorecrest 60-12, beat Kamiak 53-0, beat Lynnwood 56-0
About the Bearcats: It’s been smooth sailing early on for Monroe, which is yet to trail at any point through four contests. The team has been flat-out dominant in the first half of games, outscoring opponents 132-15. The Bearcats take a 16-game regular season win streak into Friday’s matchup and haven’t fallen to a Wesco 3A South opponent since October of 2021. Senior quarterback Blake Springer, a three-star recruit according to 247sports.com, has completed an efficient 73.9% of his passes for 816 yards, 11 TDs and three interceptions. His top target is speedy junior Mason Davis, who has 252 yards and three TDs on 14 receptions. Davis has also returned two punts for scores. Senior Gavin Ranz leads a quartet of players with over 100 rushing yards with 173 and six TDs on 31 carries. The defense has surrendered just six points and 207 yards combined over the previous three games. Senior linebacker Nick Mouser and junior defensive end Brennan Sheppard each have three sacks and a pick-six.
Herald pick: Monroe
3A NO. 8 MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK AT FERNDALE
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Ferndale H.S.
The skinny: Wesco 3A North contenders battle in a key tilt with league positioning on the line. The programs have split their past four matchups, with Ferndale winning 35-21 last season.
Marysville Pilchuck: 4-0 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A North; beat Edmonds-Woodway 40-14, beat Stanwood 36-7, beat Marysville Getchell 28-6, beat Oak Harbor 21-12
About the Tomahawks: Marysville Pilchuck is 4-0 for the second time in the past three seasons and has a chance to match its win total from last year with a victory Friday. A win would also give the squad a chance to clinch the Wesco 3A North crown next week against Arlington. Senior quarterback Luke Shoemaker has completed an efficient 71.6% of his passes for 784 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. His top target is sophomore receiver Marcus Gaffney, who’s hauled in 17 receptions for 289 yards and two TDs. Senior running back Kenai Sinaphet has 390 yards and four rushing TDs, while junior running back Joseph Davis has 366 yards and five TDs on the ground. Sinaphet leads the team in tackles and has a team-high seven tackles for loss from his linebacker spot. Sophomore defensive linemen Tayden Olson and Khian Mallang share the team lead with 2.5 sacks apiece.
Ferndale: 3-1, 1-1 Wesco 3A North; beat 2A No. 4 Lynden 17-14, beat Oak Harbor 26-6, beat Glacier Peak 22-14, lost to 3A No. 6 Arlington 46-14
About the Golden Eagles: After picking up a pair of signature wins through the first three weeks, Ferndale’s stellar start was derailed in a lopsided defeat against Arlington last Friday. It was just the second time Ferndale has lost to a Wesco 3A North opponent by 30 points or more points since joining the league as a football-only member in 2016. Junior Talan Bungard and senior Phoenyx Finkbonner lead the ground game in Ferndale’s Wing-T attack. Bungard has 440 yards and five TDs on 77 carries, and Finkbonner has 215 yards and two TDs on 46 carries. Two-star senior wide receiver/defensive back Conner Walcker, an Eastern Washington University commit, has 238 yards and two TDs on 22 touches. He also leads the defense in tackles and shares the team lead in pass breakups.
Herald pick: Marysville Pilchuck
SULTAN AT GRANITE FALLS
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Granite Falls H.S.
Stream: NFHS Network
The skinny: Emerald Sound Conference rivals open league play with the Black and Blue Bowl trophy at stake. Sultan snapped a four-game skid in the series by winning 16-13 last season. This is the first time both programs have entered the matchup with a winning record since 2006.
Sultan: 4-0; beat Evergreen (Seattle) 48-3, beat Vashon Island 40-0, beat Coupeville 46-13, beat Sammamish 34-30
About the Turks: After cruising through its first three games, Sultan rallied from an 8-point deficit in the fourth quarter to top Sammamish last week. The Turks are now off to their best start since 2016 and have a chance to reach 5-0 for the first time in at least 20 years. Sultan is also playing for consecutive wins in the Black and Blue Bowl for the first time since winning five straight from 2011-15. Senior running back Derek Feltner leads the offense with 502 yards and seven TDs on 64 carries. Junior quarterback Kaden Kohler has completed 63.9% of his passes for 335 yards, seven TDs and two interceptions. His top target is sophomore Junior Vargas, who has 185 yards and two TDs on 10 receptions. The defense has forced 12 turnovers, including two picks by Feltner. Senior defensive lineman Hayden Murphy, who has three TD receptions on offense, has a team-high three sacks.
Granite Falls: 3-1; lost to Meridian 22-13, beat Friday Harbor 34-13, beat Bellingham 32-27, beat Cascade (Leavenworth) 41-0
About the Tigers: Granite Falls is riding a three-game winning streak and is looking for its fifth win over the past six matchups in this series. After being shut out during the first half during Week 1 against Meridian, the Tiger offense has been rolling with 120 points scored in three-and-a-half games since. The unit is led by senior Kaden LaPlaunt, who’s connected on 12 TD passes and added a rushing score. His top target is senior wide receiver Jonathan Roberts, who’s amassed over 300 receiving yards and has six TD catches. Senior wide receiver James Porter has added three receiving TDs, and senior running back Spencer Shilling has a team-high two rushing TDs. Freshman linebacker Beau Everson has a pick-six for the defense.
Herald pick: Granite Falls
OTHER WEEK 5 GAMES
Meadowdale at Steilacoom, 7 p.m.
Oak Harbor vs. Cascade at Everett Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.
Cedarcrest vs. Shorecrest at Shoreline Stadium, 5 p.m.
Tulalip Heritage at Neah Bay, 5 p.m.
Kamiak at Camas, 6 p.m.
Lakewood at Archbishop Murphy, 7 p.m.
Mount Vernon vs. Marysville Getchell at Quil Ceda Stadium, 7 p.m.
Jackson at Lake Stevens, 7 p.m.
Snohomish vs. Lynnwood at Edmonds Stadium, 7 p.m.
Cascade Christian at King’s, 7 p.m.
Darrington at Concrete, 7 p.m.
Edmonds-Woodway vs. Shorewood at Shoreline Stadium, 8 p.m.
Inglemoor vs. Everett at Everett Memorial Stadium, 8 p.m.