Three Snohomish County teams remain as squads from across the state prepare for the first round of their respective state tournaments.
Here’s a look at all three matchups involving local teams:
NO. 15 NORTH CREEK AT NO. 2 LAKE STEVENS
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Lake Stevens H.S.
Radio: KRKO 1380 AM
The skinny: The second-seeded Vikings host the 15th-seeded Jaguars with a spot in the 4A state quarterfinals up for grabs. This is the first-ever meeting between the programs. North Creek, which opened in 2017, is 0-1 all-time against Wesco 4A teams. Lake Stevens is 7-6 against KingCo 4A squads under longtime coach Tom Tri, who’s in his 18th season at the helm of the program, including 4-5 in the state playoffs.
North Creek: 5-4; beat Bettye Davis East Anchorage (Alaska) 41-16, beat Auburn Riverside 38-14, lost to Mount Si 38-28, beat Bothell 21-14, lost to 4A No. 5 Skyline 19-15, beat Issaquah 54-30, lost to 4A No. 14 Woodinville 7-5, lost to 4A No. 9 Eastlake 28-24, beat Camas 31-14
About the Jaguars: After an up-and-down regular season that included a 4-4 record and a second-to-last finish in the always-tough KingCo 4A, North Creek delivered one of the state’s more shocking Week 10 results by going on the road and upsetting perennial power Camas. Now the Jaguars are in the state playoffs for the second straight season and second overall time in program history. Senior quarterback Luc Naldrett has completed 63.3% of his passes for 1,764 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. His top target is sophomore receiver Peyton Cunningham, who leads the team with 442 yards and four TDs on 24 receptions. Cunningham also had 301 yards and three TDs on the ground. Seniors Declan Adams and Stephen Woodward have combined for another 610 yards and five TDs on 52 receptions. Senior running back Logan Fialdini paces the backfield with 538 yards and 10 TDs on a 3.8-yards-per-carry average. North Creek’s defense has forced 11 interceptions and held six opponents under 20 points. Senior defensive lineman Kateo Faaiu is a three-star recruit and senior linebacker Brady Goff is a two-star recruit, according to 247sports.com.
Lake Stevens: 8-2; lost to Garfield 26-16, beat 3A No. 5 Bellevue 37-28, beat 4A No. 12 Federal Way 63-21, lost to West Linn (Oregon) 45-6, beat Jackson by forfeit, beat 4A No. 9 Eastlake 41-16, beat Mariner 48-0, beat Kamiak 56-10, beat Glacier Peak 57-17, beat Bethel 63-0
About the Vikings: Lake Stevens once sat at 2-2 after a stunning blowout loss to Oregon power West Linn in Week 4. It’s been nothing but victories since for the red-hot Vikings, who have thoroughly handled each and every opponent while racking up blowout wins in five straight weeks. Over the past five games, Wesco 4A champion Lake Stevens is averaging 53.0 points per game and outscoring opponents by 44.4. Four-star senior running back Jayden Limar, a University of Notre Dame commit, averages 9.4 yards per carry with 1,276 yards and 23 touchdowns. He’s added another 158 yards and two TDs receiving. Sophomore quarterback Kolton Matson has completed 71.6% of his passes for 972 yards, 13 TDs and five interceptions. He also has two rushing scores and has been sacked just twice all season. The trio of seniors Isaac Redford and Cole Becker and sophomore Cassidy Bolong-Banks lead a balanced receiving corps and have combined for 1,030 yards and 14 TDs on 77 receptions. Bolong-Banks also has 250 yards and three TDs rushing. Redford has recorded a team-high six of the Vikings’ 12 interceptions on defense, and senior Ashten Hendrickson has a team-high four sacks. Senior offensive lineman Micah Avery is a two-star recruit.
Herald pick: Lake Stevens
NO. 11 STANWOOD AT NO. 6 MT. SPOKANE
When: Friday, 6 p.m.
Where: Union Stadium (Mead)
The skinny: The 11th-seeded Spartans make a long trip to the Spokane area to battle the sixth-seeded Wildcats for a 3A state quarterfinal berth. Stanwood is in search of its first win at state since reaching the semifinals in 1996. Mt. Spokane, which beat Arlington in the first round last fall, is making its third consecutive appearance at state.
Stanwood: 9-1; beat Lakewood 42-0, beat Marysville Pilchuck 30-16, beat Oak Harbor 38-14, beat Mount Vernon 35-3, beat Arlington 37-6, beat Union 69-47, beat Marysville Getchell 40-6, lost to 3A No. 7 Ferndale 28-7, beat Snohomish 42-21, beat Lakes 28-20
About the Spartans: The milestones keep on coming for Stanwood, which is making back-to-back trips to the state tournament for the first time in program history. The next item the rising program hopes to take care of is making its trip to state more than a one-and-done and experience. Senior running back Ryder Bumgarner leads the charge for the Spartans’ run-heavy Wing-T attack on offense. The two-star recruit rumbled for 279 yards and three TDs last week to break the 2,000-yard barrier for the season. He’s amassed 2,063 yards and 21 TDs on the ground. Senior Carson Beckt has added another 597 yards and 11 TDs rushing. Beckt also leads the team with 252 yards and five TDs on seven receptions. Sophomore running back Canyon Bumgarner has racked up four rushing TDs over the past two games. Stanwood’s defense has forced 24 turnovers, including a team-high three interceptions by junior Max Mayo and two picks last week by senior Gary Grisham. Seniors Noah Grina and Carter Kinney share the team lead with four tackles for loss. Kinney and senior Caden Caldero each have three sacks.
Mt. Spokane: 9-1; beat University 30-14, beat Ridgeline 56-0, beat Lewis & Clark 38-16, beat Ferris 44-0, lost to Post Falls (Idaho) 23-17 (OT), beat Central Valley 35-28 (OT), beat Cheney 45-29, beat 4A No. 10 Gonzaga Prep 31-27, beat 3A No. 12 Mead 20-10, beat Lake Washington 35-13
About the Wildcats: Mt. Spokane is unbeaten against teams from Washington and is looking to extend its run of state quarterfinal apperances to three consecutive seasons. In fact, the Greater Spokane League 4A/3A champion Wildcats haven’t lost a first-round game at state in any of their past four trips (2009, 2010, 2019, 2021). Junior quarterback TJ Haberman leads a strong passing attack and has completed 52.5% of his passes for 2,169 yards, 19 TDs and six interceptions. His top target is junior Boden Gardner, a big-play threat who averages 23.4 yards per catch with team highs of 702 yards and nine TDs receiving. The trio of seniors Rece Schuerman and Bradley Runge and junior Tristan Olson have combined for 898 yards and nine TDs receiving. Junior Matteo Saccomanno paces the backfield with 556 yards and six TDs rushing. The Wildcats have forced 19 turnovers on defense, including a team-high four interceptions by Runge. Mt. Spokane has also been strong on special teams. The Wildcats have three return TDs (two punts, one kickoff), and their two kickers are a combined 26 of 26 on extra-point attempts. They’ve also connected on 9 of 14 field goals with a long of 44 yards.
Herald pick: Mt. Spokane
NO. 13 MONROE AT NO. 4 LINCOLN (TACOMA)
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where: Lincoln H.S. (Tacoma)
Webcast: NFHS Network
The skinny: The 13th-seeded Bearcats head south to clash with the fourth-seeded Abes for a 3A state quarterfinal berth. Monroe is 2-6 against opponents from Pierce County since 2012. Lincoln is 3-3 against Snohomish County squads over the same span.
Monroe: 9-1; beat Roosevelt 56-14, beat Shorecrest 48-13, beat Kamiak 44-14, beat Lynnwood 70-26, beat Mountlake Terrace 49-7, beat Shorewood 62-8, beat Edmonds-Woodway 28-14, beat Snohomish 49-7, lost to 3A No. 7 Ferndale 34-28, beat Liberty (Renton) 35-21
About the Bearcats: Monroe is making its seventh state playoff appearance and is back for the first time since qualifying as a 4A team in 2017, which is also when the program secured its only quarterfinal berth. The Wesco 3A South champion Bearcats have put up points in bunches all season and haven’t been held below 28 points. Three-star junior quarterback Blake Springer has completed 68.9% of his passes for 2,041 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He’s surrounded by a number of big-play weapons with five receivers at 227 yards or more. Sophomore running back Beau Pruett leads the team with 565 yards and eight TDs on a 22.6-yards-per-catch average. He also paces the running game with 825 yards and 13 TDs while averaging 8.8 yards per carry. The Bearcats hope to have Pruett back this week after he exited early with an injury in Week 10. Seniors Kody Edelbrock and Trent Bublitz, a two-star recruit, have combined for 934 yards and 10 TDs receiving. Sophomore Mason Davis has been a special-teams star with four kickoff return TDs. He also averages 19.0 yards per touch with 493 total yards and six TDs on offense. Monroe’s defense has forced 27 turnovers, including five in a game-winning performance last week. Edelbrock and junior Nick Mouser sport team highs with five sacks apiece.
Lincoln: 10-0; beat Auburn Riverside 28-21, beat 4A No. 5 Skyline 35-27, beat Camas 42-28, beat Mount Tahoma 35-21, beat Bonney Lake 43-32, beat Stadium 49-6, beat Silas 55-22, beat Lakes 42-28, beat 3A No. 15 Spanaway Lake 38-19, beat Marysville Pilchuck 62-31
About the Abes: After suffering a shocking Week 10 loss to Stanwood in 2021, Lincoln got its revenge on Wesco by overmatching Marysville Pilchuck last week. The Abes, who are making their seventh state appearance in the past eight full-length seasons, get rewarded with another Wesco opponent. Lincoln is led by the state’s top senior quarterback recruit, Gabarri Johnson. The four-star University of Missouri commit has completed 70.2% of his passes for 1,698 yards, 19 TDs and three interceptions. The dual-threat Johnson also leads the team with 1,214 yards and 13 TDs rushing. His top target is two-star senior Drake Granberry, who’s averaging 28.9 yards per catch with 837 yards and nine TDs. Junior Navarre Dixon has added to the ground game with 670 yards and 11 TDs rushing. Lincoln’s defense has come up with 10 interceptions, including two apiece by Granberry and junior DJ Ervin. Senior defensive linemen Eilly Fualaau and Tai Fifita have a combined nine sacks. Tapuloa Tusi, a 6-foot-4, 350-pound two-star senior offensive lineman, adds to a talented-stocked group for the Abes.
Herald pick: Lincoln
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