Dynasties come and dynasties go.
We may be on the cusp of a change in the Western Conference 4A this season.
For years in the 1970s and ’80s, Snohomish dominated the league under then-coach Dick Armstrong. Then Terry Ennis came to Cascade and turned the Bruins into the league’s dominant team during the ’90s.
Kamiak and Sehome both earned postseason appearances on a regular basis over the last half of the decade and shared last year’s conference championship. And both are in position to advance again this year.
But it is the Snohomish Panthers who have the opportunity to reestablish their tradition with victories this week against Cascade and later on against Sehome.
The Panthers have had occasional success under coach Mark Perry, a former Armstrong assistant. They reached the state semifinals as recently as 1998. They lost to the league’s top three teams, Kamiak, Sehome and Cascade, last year.
Snohomish is unbeaten through six games this year and has already beaten Kamiak handily. The Panthers are averaging 35 points a game and winning by an average margin of 27.5 points. Those are both signs of a dominant squad.
And Snohomish is doing it with solid teamwork built on line-of-scrimmage dominance and the ability to run or throw with multiple backs involved in the offense.
The Panthers could be on the verge of another long run at the top.
Here’s a look at the upcoming weekend schedule:
Kickoff: 7:30 tonight at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Records: Lake Stevens is 4-0 in league, 5-1 overall. Jackson is 2-2, 3-3.
Last year: Lake Stevens 21-14.
Players to watch: Lake Stevens defensive end Lance Barton had nine tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and knocked down a pass in last week’s 26-0 victory over Stanwood. Vikings running back Matt Williams carried 21 times for 98 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Jackson’s James Wilkins scored three touchdowns last week in a 48-0 victory over Lynnwood, including one on a 58-yard punt return. Running back Nick Nelson carried six times for 106 yards and a TD.
Breaking down the game: Both teams had great defensive efforts last week. Lake Stevens held Stanwood to 81 total yards, while Jackson held Lynnwood to 26. The Vikings needed two defensive stops inside their own 10-yard line in the last three minutes to hold off Jackson last year. Lake Stevens backs Williams and Joe Daube combined for 170 yards and Daube scored two TDs, including the eventual game-winner in the third quarter. Nelson ran for 105 yards and scored a TD for Jackson. The missing element this year for the Timberwolves is quarterback Scott Kaloper (13-for-28, 204 yards and a TD), who graduated.
Little-known fact: Lake Stevens is 13-3 over the last two seasons after going 2-16 the previous two years.
Pick: Lake Stevens 35-14.
Kickoff: 7:30 tonight at Quil Ceda Stadium.
Records: Oak Harbor is 2-3, 2-4. Marysville-Pilchuck is 1-4, 1-5.
Last year: Oak Harbor 49-7.
Players to watch: Oak Harbor’s Tony Hall had seven carries for 164 yards and three TDs in last week’s 62-6 victory over Shorecrest.
Marysville-Pilchuck back Tino Psaradelis is a breakaway threat.
Breaking down the game: Mistakes have plagued M-P this season. The Tomahawks had two pass interceptions returned for touchdowns in last week’s 28-8 loss to Enumclaw. Meanwhile, after struggling to score points early in the season, Oak Harbor’s offense came to life last week and it had a big game last year against M-P. Conversely, the Wildcats’ defense held Shorecrest to 59 yards last week. Looks like one program going up against another going down.
Little-known fact: Running back Kellen Ward and quarterback Jay Hartman had a hand in all seven of Oak Harbor’s TDs last year.
Pick: Oak Harbor 28-6.
Kickoff: 7:30 tonight at Monroe Stadium.
Records: Arlington is 3-1, 5-1. Monroe is 1-3, 1-5.
Last year: Arlington 35-14.
Players to watch: Arlington back Joseph Boitano caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin McCormack and ran for two more last week in a 34-14 victory over Everett.
Monroe’s Josh Carswell ran for a touchdown and kicked a 37-yard field goal last week in a 17-14 victory over Meadowdale.
Breaking down the game: Beware Eagles, Monroe is good enough to pull off an upset. The Bearcats led last year’s game until receiver Joel Faries stripped the ball from a defensive back following an interception and returned it for a touchdown. Carswell, an all-league soccer forward, might be the best placekicker in the league and could be the difference in a close game. Monroe was out-gained by more than a 2-to-1 margin last week, but its defense managed to limit the opposition to two scores. Arlington has a potent offense, however. It may be asking too much of the Monroe defense to hold the Eagles to two scores.
Little-known fact: Arlington became the first team this season to hold Everett fullback Ben Challman to fewer than 100 yards.
Pick: Arlington 33-10.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday at Everett Memorial Stadium (KRKO radio, 1380 AM).
Records: Snohomish is 5-0, 6-0. Cascade is 3-2, 4-2.
Last year: Cascade 17-14.
Players to watch: Cascade’s Mike Skoor caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Zack Sweeny in last week’s 27-10 loss to Edmonds-Woodway.
Snohomish quarterback Josh Rodland was 4-for-5 for 121 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 37-14 victory over Kamiak.
Breaking down the game: Snohomish suffered back-to-back heartbreaking losses to Kamiak and Cascade last year. They’ve already avenged the double-overtime loss to Kamiak. Now the Panthers turn their attention to getting even for Cascade’s last-minute win last year at Veterans Stadium. It is apparent that Cascade doesn’t have the team it had last season, while Snohomish is improved. But you can’t go by relative talent alone in this rivalry. Cascade is already on the ropes and another loss would knock the Bruins out of the race. They’ll play hard to avoid that disappointment. Snohomish, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to keep on winning and set up a championship game against Sehome. The Panthers haven’t won a title since Cascade began its domination of the league in 1990.
Little-known fact: Cascade has not lost three regular season games since 1989, when the Bruins were 5-4.
Pick: Snohomish 42-7.
Wesco 4A: Edmonds-Woodway (3-2, 4-2) vs. Shorewood (2-3, 3-3) at Shoreline Stadium, Shorecrest (0-5, 0-6) vs. Kamiak (4-1, 5-1) at Goddard Stadium, Mariner (1-5, 1-5) vs. Sehome (6-0, 6-0) at Bellingham Civic Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Kingco 4A: Franklin (0-6, 0-6) vs. Woodinville (3-3, 3-3) at Pop Keeney Stadium, Inglemoor (6-0, 6-0) at Juanita (1-5, 1-5), Lake Washington (5-1, 5-1) at Redmond (4-2, 4-2), 7:30 p.m.; Bothell (4-2, 4-2) vs. Garfield (3-3, 3-3) at Seattle Memorial Stadium, 8 p.m.
Wesco 3A: Everett (3-1, 4-2) vs. Lynnwood (0-4, 0-6) at Edmonds Stadium (KRKO radio, 1380 AM), 5 p.m.; Stanwood (2-2, 3-3) vs. Meadowdale (1-3, 1-5) at Edmonds Stadium (KRKO radio, 1380 AM), 8 p.m.
Northwest 3A: Bellingham (0-4, 1-5) at Anacortes (2-2, 3-3), Mount Vernon (4-0, 6-0) at Burlington-Edison (0-4, 1-5), Squalicum (1-3, 2-4) at Ferndale (4-0, 6-0), Lynden (2-2, 3-3) at Sedro-Woolley (3-1, 4-2), 7:30 p.m.
North Cascades: Blaine (3-3, 3-3) at Sultan (2-3, 2-4), Granite Falls (0-5, 0-6) at Lakewood (3-2, 4-2), Lynden Christian (6-0, 6-0) at Mount Baker (3-2, 4-2), South Whidbey (2-3, 2-4) at Meridian (5-0, 6-0), 7:30 p.m.
Northwest A: Friday Harbor (0-2, 0-5 at Concrete (1-1, 3-3), 6:30 p.m.; Orcas Island (2-0, 6-0) at LaConner (1-1, 5-1), 7 p.m.; Darrington (1-1, 4-2) at Coupeville (1-1, 3-3), 7:30 p.m.
Chinook A: Life Christian (0-1, 2-2) at King’s (2-0, 5-1), 7:30 p.m.
Non-conference: Emerald Ridge (0-6) at Nooksack Valley (0-6), 7:30 p.m.
Kingco 4A: Eastlake (3-3, 3-3) vs. Roosevelt (1-5, 1-5) at Seattle Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.