Last year’s game between Glacier Peak and Jackson produced one of the area’s most thrilling finishes of the 2016 prep football season.
After Jackson scored 17 straight second-half points to build a 10-point lead, the Grizzlies rallied for two touchdowns in the final 4 1/2 minutes to earn a 37-31 win.
The result proved particularly significant, as Glacier Peak finished one game ahead of Jackson in the Wesco 4A standings to earn the league’s fourth and final postseason berth.
With the two teams set to square off again Friday night, Jackson coach Joel Vincent is reminding his team to keep the focus on the upcoming matchup.
“It’s definitely something I’ve heard the players talking about,” Vincent said of last year’s heartbreaking loss. “I’ve done my best as a coach to remind them that 2017 is not 2016. This is a game unique enough to itself. Their team’s different. Our team’s different.”
One major difference in this year’s meeting is the return to health of Jackson junior quarterback Ben Olesen, who missed most of last season due to injury. Olesen threw for 365 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in last week’s win over Mount Vernon.
“It’s been really nice having him back,” Vincent said. “He has great command of our offense. We’ve given him the ability to check out of plays and audible on the things that he sees. And that’s a great luxury when you’re a coach to have a kid that you feel that comfortable with.”
JACKSON at GLACIER PEAK
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium
Jackson: 1-1 overall, 1-0 Wesco 4A; beat Mount Vernon 40-20 last week
About the Timberwolves: Jackson’s season got off to a slow start with a shutout loss to Edmonds-Woodway and a Week 2 cancellation against Eisenhower due to poor air quality in Yakima. The Timberwolves returned to action last week, opening conference play by racking up 40 points and 493 total yards in a win over Mount Vernon. Senior receiver Daniel Arias, a University of Colorado commit, led Jackson with nine catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Navarro added 118 yards receiving and two touchdown catches.
Glacier Peak: 2-1 overall, 1-0 Wesco 4A; beat Cascade 40-27 last week
About the Grizzlies: Glacier Peak rebounded from a season-opening blowout loss to Kentwood with wins over Snohomish and Cascade. Junior quarterback Ayden Ziomas has completed 67.5 percent of his passes this season for 794 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for 258 yards and three scores. Ziomas showcased his dual-threat ability in last week’s win over Cascade, accounting for a total of 425 yards and five touchdowns. Junior receiver Evan Mannes had four catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns last week. Junior receiver David Castro added five catches for 121 yards and a score.
Herald pick: Glacier Peak
CASCADE at No. 8 MONROE
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Monroe H.S.
Cascade: 2-1 overall, 0-1 Wesco 4A; lost to Glacier Peak 40-27 last week
About the Bruins: Cascade’s defense yielded just seven total points through its first two games as the program earned its first 2-0 start since 2013. But it was a different story last week against Glacier Peak’s high-powered offense, as the Bruins gave up 40 points and 477 total yards in a loss to the Grizzlies. Junior running back Junior Due paced Cascade’s offense last week, rushing for 206 yards and two touchdowns and adding a receiving score. As both a rushing and receiving threat, Due has combined for 449 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
Monroe: 3-0 overall, 1-0 Wesco 4A; beat Kamiak 43-0 last week
About the Bearcats: Monroe has outscored opponents by a combined 141-28 margin this season, with its starting defense having yielded just 14 total points through three games. The eighth-ranked Bearcats held Kamiak’s offense to just 191 total yards in last week’s shutout win. Breakout star running back Isaiah Lewis leads Monroe’s high-powered offense with 586 yards rushing and nine touchdowns this season, averaging 9.9 yards per carry behind the Bearcats’ massive offensive line.
Herald pick: Monroe
No. 10 ARLINGTON at No. 4 FERNDALE
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Ferndale H.S.
Arlington: 3-0 overall, 1-0 Wesco 3A North; beat Marysville Getchell 54-14 last week
About the Eagles: After a 26-point statement win over perennial powerhouse Lake Stevens in Week 2, Arlington steamrolled Marysville Getchell last week for the program’s first 3-0 start since 2011. The Eagles scored 54 first-half points in the victory over the Chargers, racing to a 47-0 lead lead less than six minutes into the second quarter. Junior quarterback Anthony Whitis has completed 66.1 percent of his passes this season for 673 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. Arlington looks to avenge last year’s 41-0 loss to Ferndale in this Wesco 3A North showdown of top-10 teams.
Ferndale: 3-0 overall; beat South Kitsap 55-21 last week
About the Golden Eagles: After rallying for a last-second win over rival Lynden in Week 2, Ferndale wrapped up its non-league slate last week with a blowout victory over lowly South Kitsap. The Golden Eagles’ Wing-T ground attack is led by senior running back Cole Semu, who has rushed for seven touchdowns this season.
Herald pick: Ferndale
SNOHOMISH at MEADOWDALE
When: 8 p.m., Friday
Where: Edmonds Stadium
Snohomish: 2-1 overall, 1-0 Wesco 3A South; beat Lynnwood 55-0 last week
About the Panthers: Senior running back Keegan Stich has powered Snohomish’s offense, rushing for 559 yards and seven touchdowns this season while averaging 7.7 yards per carry. The Panthers’ defense is allowing just 12 points per game and yielded a mere 79 total yards in last week’s shutout of Lynnwood.
Meadowdale: 2-1 overall, 1-0 Wesco 3A South; beat Shorecrest 31-13 last week
About the Mavericks: Meadowdale bounced back from a season-opening blowout loss to Monroe with wins over Redmond and Shorecrest. Junior quarterback Nate Hebert shined in last week’s victory over the Scots, completing 21 of 31 passes for 307 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Herald pick: Meadowdale
3A No. 9 BELLEVUE at 2A No. 1 ARCHBISHOP MURPHY
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Archbishop Murphy H.S.
Archbishop Murphy: 3-0 overall, 1-0 Cascade Conference; beat King’s 35-7 last week
About the Wildcats: Top-ranked Archbishop Murphy is averaging 42 points per game, led by a rushing attack that features seniors Ray Pimentel and Ben Hines. Pimentel ran for 195 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over King’s, and Hines added 122 yards rushing and a score. The Wildcats’ starting defense has allowed just 20 total points through three games.
Bellevue: 2-1 overall; beat Tumwater 30-13 last week
About the Wolverines: Bellevue has faced a tough non-league slate, with its lone loss coming in a three-point defeat to Class 4A fourth-ranked Richland. The Wolverines rebounded from the season-opening loss with double-digit wins over Garfield and 2A fourth-ranked Tumwater. Bellevue is led by senior running back Isaiah Ifanse, who has rushed for 663 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 8.5 yards per carry. Ranked by Scout.com as the third-best senior running back in the state, Ifanse has offers from Navy, Air Force and Idaho. Bellevue’s Ben Keeter, the state’s top-ranked senior tight end, has offers from Air Force and Nevada.
Common opponent: Both Archbishop Murphy and Bellevue have beaten Garfield by double digits this season.
Herald pick: Archbishop Murphy