Archbishop Murphy defeated Sedro-Woolley for the second time in three weeks and advanced to the 2A state tournament with a 23-6 win over the Cubs on Friday at Terry Ennis Stadium in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy defeated Sedro-Woolley for the second time in three weeks and advanced to the 2A state tournament with a 23-6 win over the Cubs on Friday at Terry Ennis Stadium in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy’s defense stifles Sedro-Woolley in 23-6 win

The Wildcats defeated the Cubs for the 2nd time in 3 weeks and advanced to the 2A state tournament.

EVERETT — For the last three weeks, Archbishop Murphy has had a singular focus, and it wasn’t a 2A state tournament berth on which the Wildcats were fixated.

Murphy began preparing for Sedro-Woolley the third week of October for its regular-season finale against the Cubs. After a week off last Friday, the Wildcats faced Sedro-Woolley again Friday night in the second of back-to-back matchups over the course of three game weeks.

In a 2A Week 10 playoff game with a state berth on the line, Murphy’s defense played like a unit well-versed in the Cubs’ offense.

Archbishop Murphy suffocated Sedro-Woolley’s attack, and the Wildcats earned a 23-6 home playoff win at Terry Ennis Stadium.

“It’s a big win, anytime you can beat a program like Sedro two times in a row, which is kind of odd,” Wildcats coach Mark Leone said. “We’re proud of our boys. We definitely got some things we got to clean up, but we advanced and now we got to look to do that again.”

The win sends Murphy (7-2) back to the state playoffs after being absent from the state round of 16 last season.

The Wildcats’ defense forced Sedro-Woolley to become one-dimensional on offense, as the Cubs’ rushing attack was virtually non-existent. Outside quarterback Kaden Plymale’s 15 rushing attempts for 32 yards, Sedro-Woolley running backs totaled just three carries. Instead, the Cubs leaned on the passing game. Plymale finished 22-for-38 for 188 yards and three interceptions, but after completed 10 of his first 12 passes, he was 12-for-26 with all three of the picks over the rest of the game.

“The way they rallied to the ball, and they just didn’t give up big plays,” said Leone, when asked what impressed him most about his defense’s performance. “One of our priorities was to try and make them go the length of the field and to sustain long drives, and I thought our defense did a really good job.”

The six points came two weeks removed from holding the Cubs to 14 points in Murphy’s 27-14 win over Sedro-Woolley to end the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ offense made just enough key plays and took advantage of strong field position.

Quarterback Victor Gabalis and running backs Josiah Santiago and Mason Mathis all scored rushing touchdowns.

Santiago ran for a game-high 72 yards on five carries, and Mathis and Gabalis both had 39 yards on 10 carries. Joe Ennis chipped in 71 total yards.

While Archbishop Murphy’s defense put together a dominating effort for the majority of the game, the unit looked vulnerable during Sedro-Woolley’s first two drives.

The Cubs opened with a 13-play drive that ended with a turnover on downs at Murphy’s 16-yard line. On Sedro-Woolley’s next possession, it took advantage of a short field and scored a touchdown with a six-play, 34-yard drive to take a 6-0 lead at 4:18 in the first quarter.

Archbishop Murphy shut out Sedro-Woolley for the remaining 40 minutes.

The Wildcats answered the Cubs’ scoring match with a touchdown of their own, using an eight-play drive that covered 71 yards and ended with a 15-yard touchdown run from Santiago.

An interception from Murphy defensive back Keyshon Rife gave the ball right back to the Wildcats, and three plays later a 1-yard Gabalis TD run gave Archbishop Murphy a 13-6 lead with 10:09 to play in the second.

The score held until early in the third quarter when kicker Anthony Veneziani extended the lead to 16-6 with a 27-yard field goal at 8:47 in the third. Mathis put the game away with a 2-yard touchdown run, giving the Wildcats a 23-6 lead with 8:44 to play in the fourth.


Santiago, Archbishop Murphy — The Wildcats largely picked away at the Cubs’ defense with short plays and methodical drives, but Santiago delivered some big runs on limited touches. He finished with a game-high 72 rushing yards and a touchdown and reeled off runs of 15, 20 and 21 yards.

Ennis, Archbishop Murphy — Ennis contributed 71 total yards of offense (24 rush, 47 receiving), and he was one of the key defensive players who helped shut down Sedro-Woolley’s passing game.


The Wildcats managed to not only put themselves in a first-and-42 situation, they figured out a way to dig themselves out of it and score a touchdown. In an odd sequence of multiple personal foul penalties, the Wildcats moved from inside the Cubs’ 10-yard line back to near midfield. Murphy got closer with a Mathis 8-yard run. That was followed by a 15-yard run by Gabalis before Ennis caught a 17-yard pass to set up a fourth-and-short on Sedro-Woolley’s 2-yard line. On the next play, Mathis capped off the wild sequence with a 2-yard TD run up the middle.


Archbishop Murphy (7-2) will have to wait to learn its state first-round opponent next week, while the loss ended the season for Sedro-Woolley (7-3).

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) and safety Jamal Adams (33) talk during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at the team's facilities in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
5 things to watch during Seahawks’ mandatory minicamp

The camp is only three days long, but some clarity could arise on a number of issues.

Empty seats are shown at Husky Stadium during an NCAA college football game between Washington and Oregon State, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Seattle. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were not permitted to attend the game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
State football title games moving to Husky Stadium for ’23 season

The WIAA announced Tuesday a one-year agreement with the University of Washington to host the games for the upcoming season.

Giants pitcher Ryan Walker, an Arlington High School graduate, works against the Pirates during the sixth inning of a game on May 30 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Arlington graduate Walker reaches big leagues with Giants

The WSU alum was drafted in 2018 and has since climbed the minor-league ladder until his promotion to the majors on May 21.

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
2022-23 Herald Athletic Cup: Lake Stevens captures 1st place

The Vikings win the competition, which rewards local high schools for their overall athletic success, for the second straight year.

Spring 2023 All-Wesco teams

Note: All-Wesco teams are chosen by the league’s coaches. For any misspellings… Continue reading

AquaSox bullpen falters in 9th in loss to Canadians

Everett carries a two-run lead into the final inning, but a late grand slam lifts Vancouver to an 8-5 win.

San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr., right, gets up after safely steals second base as Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford looks on during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in San Diego. Tatis Jr. advanced to third on the throwing error by catcher Cal Raleigh. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Kirby struggles, Mariners fall to Padres to split short series

The young righty gives up five runs and 11 hits in a season-low 3.2 innings as Seattle loses 10-3.

Everett Public Schools athletes of the year Jackson's Sylas Williams (left) and Cascade's Abby Surowiec (right) with Superintendent Ian Saltzman at the Everett Public Schools athletics awards banquet Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools)
Student-athletes honored at Everett Public Schools banquet

Jackson’s Sylas Williams and Cascade’s Abby Surowiec were named the athletes of the year at the annual awards ceremony.

Schaeffer dominant in debut, AquaSox blank Canadians

The 2022 Seattle Mariners draft pick strikes out 10 in his first start after being promoted as Everett wins 2-0.

Most Read