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

A korfball hits the edge of the basket Thursday evening at Mukilteo Beach on September 9, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Kamiak trio set for beach korfball worlds

Plus, Cascade grad Aubrey Peterson helps Great Britain earn softball silver and much more.

Seattle Mariners players dance as they celebrate their 4-3 win over the New York Yankees in a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
M’s rally past Yankees on Santana homer in 7th

Hours after a thrilling 13-inning win, Seattle comes from behind to beat New York 4-3.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, center, passes as head coach Pete Carroll, left, and assistant quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph, right, look on, during NFL football practice Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Smith to start at QB in Seahawks’ preseason opener

Veteran Geno Smith remains in front of Drew Lock in the key position battle, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox hold off Dust Devils to snap 6-game skid

Mike Salvatore and Dariel Gomez provide key hits in Everett’s 4-2 win.

FILE - Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Saying “the countdown has begun,” 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, she is ready to step away from tennis so she can turn her focus to having another child and her business interests, presaging the end of a career that transcended sports.AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams says she’s ready to step away from tennis

The 23-time Grand Slam champion indicates in an essay that she will stop playing after this month’s U.S. Open.

FILE - Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch walks off the field after NFL football practice in Renton, Wash., in this Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, file photo. During Marshawn Lynch’s 12 NFL seasons he earned a reputation for his fearless style on the field, while remaining one of the league’s most reclusive figures off the field. Now the retired running back is lending his voice to try to help members of Black and Hispanic communities make more informed decisions about receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Lynch released a 30-minute interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on his YouTube channel Friday, April 16, 2021, becoming the latest prominent athlete to sit down with him to discuss the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines as the U.S. continues to combat the pandemic.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Marshawn Lynch arrested on suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas

The former Seahawks star was taken into custody around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rolovich seeking $25M from WSU for wrongful termination

The football coach was fired in 2021 for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as required of state employees.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Dust Devils deliver AquaSox 6th consecutive loss

Everett manages just two hits in a 4-0 loss to Ti-City.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox Week in Review: Postseason odds grow longer

Everett lost two more key players last week, and the Sox saw themselves fall further behind in the Northwest League’s second-half race.

Most Read