For the second time this week and the fifth time this season, Archbishop Murphy High School has received word that a Cascade Conference opponent will forfeit a regularly scheduled football game against the Wildcats.
On Tuesday night it was announced that Cedarcrest would not play its Oct. 28 game with Archbishop Murphy. That followed an announcement earlier in the week by Cedar Park Christian-Bothell that it would forfeit Friday’s game with the Wildcats.
As with earlier forfeits by South Whidbey (Sept. 23 game), Sultan (Sept. 30) and Granite Falls (Oct. 7), this week’s forfeits are due to opponents’ concerns about player safety against the bigger, faster and stronger Wildcats.
But under the heading of good news for Archbishop Murphy, Olympic of Bremerton has said it will honor its commitment to play a non-conference game on Oct. 21 at Terry Ennis Stadium. It will be the Wildcats’ homecoming game.
Archbishop Murphy officials — specifically head football coach and athletic director Jerry Jensen, principal Alex Crane and president Steve Schmutz — have remained unavailable for comment this week on the forfeits and on peripheral issues related to the forfeits (the school did put out a press release on Wednesday afternoon confirming the Cedarcrest forfeit).
Jensen, however, did comment Tuesday in a blog posting for the Kitsap Sun.
Speaking of Olympic, Jensen said: “Thank God that (coaching) staff and that community has a little bit of integrity.”
In his only other published remark about the string of forfeits, Jensen said: “I couldn’t have imagined it in 1,000 years. I would have bet my life against it.”
Also unavailable for comment on Wednesday was Cedarcrest athletic director Jason Frederick.
Archbishop Murphy, a Class 2A school that has one of the state’s top football teams at any level, began its season with impressive victories against Issaquah (73-0), Blanchet (59-0) and King’s (38-0). The latter ended up being the only Cascade Conference game the Wildcats will play this season, and preceded by a few days the first of the forfeits by South Whidbey.
Further ahead for Archbishop Murphy is a crossover game with the No. 4 team from the Northwest Conference, either on Nov. 4 or 5. If the Wildcats win, they would advance to the state playoffs in pursuit of the first Class 2A state football championship in school history.
A year ago Archbishop Murphy took a 12-0 record into a state semifinal game against Tumwater, but lost 24-21. A week later Tumwater lost to Prosser in the title game.