Efton Chism III (left) and Monroe square off against Glacier Peak in Week 8 for what could be a key Wesco 4A clash. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Efton Chism III (left) and Monroe square off against Glacier Peak in Week 8 for what could be a key Wesco 4A clash. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A way-too-early look at the prep football season: Weeks 7-9

A handful of late-season matchups stand out as possible key games in league-title and playoff races.

With fall practices only one month away, the 2019 high school football season is right around the corner.

Over the past few weeks, The Herald has taken a way-too-early look at some of this year’s key matchups involving local teams. The previous three installments of this four-part series previewed Weeks 1-2, Weeks 3-4 and Weeks 5-6.

For the final portion, here’s a look at a handful of intriguing matchups for Weeks 7-9.

Shorecrest piled up 426 rushing yards in last year’s rout of Meadowdale, which ended the Scots’ nine-game losing streak to the Mavericks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shorecrest piled up 426 rushing yards in last year’s rout of Meadowdale, which ended the Scots’ nine-game losing streak to the Mavericks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

WEEK 7

SHORECREST at MEADOWDALE

When: 8 p.m., Oct. 18

Where: Edmonds Stadium

The lowdown: Prior to last year’s Wesco 3A South clash, Meadowdale had beaten Shorecrest nine consecutive times by an average of 31 points. The Scots flipped the script last season, piling up 426 yards rushing while routing the Mavericks 52-24 for their first win over Meadowdale since 2008. In last year’s game alone, Shorecrest scored more points than it had in its previous eight matchups combined against the Mavericks. For the Scots, the victory was part of an encouraging 5-5 season that matched their most wins since 2005. The loss was part of a disappointing 3-6 campaign for Meadowdale, which aims to bounce back this fall under new coach James Harmon after returning the bulk of its roster from last year. This matchup could have postseason implications, as both teams figure to be in the Wesco 3A South playoff mix.

CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN at KING’S

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 18

Where: King’s H.S.

The lowdown: This matchup ultimately decided last year’s inaugural North Sound Conference title, with Cedar Park Christian beating league runner-up King’s 28-14 en route to the Eagles’ first conference championship in their program’s 14-year history. With both teams returning the bulk of their rosters, this private-school clash could once again determine the league crown. After graduating just four players from last season’s 7-2 team, CPC looks to build on its success under third-year coach Butch Goncharoff, who also will be an assistant with Seattle’s new XFL team next spring. The Eagles are tasked with replacing standout linebacker and reigning North Sound Conference defensive most valuable player Dawson Drews, who anchored a CPC defense that allowed just 16 points per game last season. King’s, meanwhile, graduated just 12 players and aims to rebound from rare back-to-back losing seasons.

WEEK 8

GLACIER PEAK at MONROE

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 25

Where: Monroe H.S.

The lowdown: After moving up to Wesco 4A in 2016, Glacier Peak lost its first two matchups against Monroe by a combined 121-6 margin. The Grizzlies then returned the favor last season, routing a young Bearcats team for a 42-10 victory. Monroe took its lumps during last year’s four-win campaign, but with a large and talented senior class returning, the older and more experienced Bearcats appear primed for a return to Wesco 4A’s upper echelon. Glacier Peak, meanwhile, is in somewhat of the opposite situation. The Grizzlies are coming off a success-filled 8-2 season and a second-place conference finish, but they have a strong core of seniors to replace. While powerhouse Lake Stevens appears to once again be the odds-on favorite in Wesco 4A, this late-season clash between league rivals from opposite sides of the Snohomish River could be critical in the battle for playoff berths and postseason positioning.

Bryce Petersen (left) and Arlington beat Marysville Pilchuck 17-10 in last year’s matchup. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Bryce Petersen (left) and Arlington beat Marysville Pilchuck 17-10 in last year’s matchup. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK at ARLINGTON

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 25

Where: Arlington H.S.

The lowdown: This regular-season finale features a pair of Wesco 3A North rivals coming off 7-3 campaigns, yet both teams appear somewhat of a mystery after graduating key offensive pieces. Arlington is tasked with replacing standout quarterback Anthony Whitis and its top three receivers from last year’s team, which tied for second place in the Wesco 3A North. Marysville Pilchuck graduated two all-league offensive linemen and its top two ball-carriers from its powerful Wing-T rushing attack, which propelled the Tomahawks to a five-win improvement from the previous season. Arlington won last year’s matchup 17-10, leaning on its strong linebacking corps for a shutdown defensive performance. Arlington might need to rely more on that side of the ball this year after its offensive departures.

Snohomish’s Jacob Brandvold runs reception in for a touchdown as the Panthers took on Squalicum at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Oct. 26, 2018 in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Jacob Brandvold runs reception in for a touchdown as the Panthers took on Squalicum at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Oct. 26, 2018 in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

MEADOWDALE at SNOHOMISH

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 25

Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium

The lowdown: League-title implications could be at stake for at least one team in this regular-season finale, which features two of the past three Wesco 3A South champions. Snohomish is coming off an unbeaten season in league play and its first state-playoff appearance since 2007, but the Panthers graduated standout running back Tyler Massena and four starting offensive linemen from their powerful rushing attack. Meadowdale is coming off a three-win campaign, but should benefit from experience after returning the vast majority of its roster, including quarterback Hunter Moen. The Mavericks’ offense will look different this season under new coach James Harmon, who replaced the spread attack of recent years with a more run-oriented system. These teams combined for more than 1,000 total yards in last season’s shootout, which Snohomish won 44-38 for its third straight win over Meadowdale since moving down to the Class 3A level.

LAKEWOOD at BURLINGTON-EDISON

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 25

Where: Burlington-Edison H.S.

The lowdown: This will be the third meeting in just over a year between these Northwest 2A Sky Division teams. Last year, Burlington-Edison beat Lakewood 39-33 in the regular-season finale for both squads. The Tigers then topped Lakewood again two weeks later, handing the Cougars a season-ending 29-12 loss in the first round of the Week 10 playoffs. Both teams were hit hard by graduation, losing nearly every all-conference player from last year. Lakewood went 0-4 last season in the upper division of the Northwest District’s two-tiered 2A league, but two of those four Sky Division losses came by a combined seven points.

WEEK 9

MOUNT VERNON at GLACIER PEAK

When: 7 p.m., Nov. 1

Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium

The lowdown: Glacier Peak shut down Mount Vernon in last year’s regular-season finale, holding the Bulldogs to just 166 total yards in a 30-6 rout. The victory gave the Grizzlies a second-place finish in Wesco 4A and bumped Mount Vernon to third place, but it was the Bulldogs who won their Week 10 playoff game to advance to state. Coming off eight-win campaigns last season, both teams are tasked with replacing a slew of key players. Glacier Peak graduated a talented core of seniors, highlighted by the trio of four-year starting quarterback Ayden Ziomas, Washington State-bound lineman Ma’ake Fifita and Central Washington-bound two-way standout Evan Mannes. Mount Vernon also lost a strong senior class that was instrumental in the program’s massive turnaround from winless seasons in 2015 and 2016 to a state-playoff berth last year. Despite both teams’ losses to graduation, this regular-season finale could be a pivotal contest in the Wesco 4A postseason picture.

WESCO 3A CROSSOVER GAMES

When: Nov. 1

Where: various locations

The lowdown: These crossover games between the Wesco 3A North and Wesco 3A South determine seeding for the following week’s winner-to-state playoffs.

2A NORTHWEST/SEA-KING BI-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

When: Nov. 1

Where: various locations

The lowdown: The winners of these first-round 2A bi-district playoff games advance to the following week’s winner-to-state round.

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