Edmonds-Woodway’s Cappasio Cherry (6) breaks a tackle during a game against Snohomish at Edmonds Stadium on Friday, Oct. 27. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway’s Cappasio Cherry (6) breaks a tackle during a game against Snohomish at Edmonds Stadium on Friday, Oct. 27. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway beats Snohomish, wins Wesco 3A South title

Warriors stifle Panthers despite injuries to key players.

EDMONDS — The Edmonds-Woodway High School football team was not in a sharing mood Friday night.

The Warriors secured the Wesco 3A South title outright as they defeated the Snohomish Panthers 38-17 at Edmonds Stadium.

Edmonds-Woodway came in knowing they would at least finish tied for the best record in the Wesco 3A South, and the preseason draws in the event of a three-way tie with Snohomish and Everett meant the Warriors in all likelihood would have come away with the league’s No. 1 seed to next week’s district crossover games, even had they lost.

But Friday’s victory, in which Edmonds-Woodway overcame injures to multiple key players and found itself compelled to unleash its passing attack, meant the Warriors (6-0 league, 8-1 overall) got to keep the title all to themselves.

“They were pretty fired up about it,” Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said about winning the title outright. “We made this goal way back in August and we kind of revisited that today and talked about what our goals were. It was right in front of us, and it was a matter of going out and taking it if we could.

“I’m proud of the kids,” Gradwohl added. “We had some kids go down tonight and some kids stepped up and played great. You need that kind of depth moving forward.”

Senior quarterback Reilly Chappell completed 15 of 22 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and junior receiver Jaro Rouse caught eight passes for 137 yards and two scores as the usually ground-dominant Warriors, who lost star running back Capassio Cherry to a leg injury early in the second half, did the bulk of their damage through the air.

“Our offense is more of a run-type offense,” Rouse said. “But since they moved their safeties up — they didn’t have safeties — it was a passing game. That’s when I did what I did. We took advantage of the defense and that’s everything we’re supposed to do.”

Edmonds-Woodway will host the West Central District No. 4 seed in the district crossovers next Friday.

Snohomish (4-2, 5-4) was led by Keegan Stich, who ran 20 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. However, take away Stich’s 76-yard touchdown run and the Warriors did a good job bottling up Snohomish’s star senior running back, who came into the game with more than 1,300 yards rushing.

The Panthers finished as either No. 3 seed from the Wesco 3A South, and Snohomish will play a road game in next week’s crossovers.

Everett claimed the No. 2 seed with a win over Lynnwood in a late game.

Edmonds-Woodway’s offense is normally fueled by a heavy dose of Cherry. But even before Cherry was injured the Warriors went to the pass to take control of the game in the first half.

After falling behind to an early field goal the Warriors scored on three consecutive possessions to take a 17-3 lead. Edmonds-Woodway first embarked on a 12-play, 72-yard drive that was finished off when, on fourth down, Jalil Marinez took a fly sweep to the right and just got enough of the corner to dive to the pylon for a 3-yard touchdown. Then after Jackson Karr’s 40-yard field goal came the first of Chappell’s two touchdown throws to Rouse, as on another fourth down he hit Rouse deep down the middle on a 38-yard post route to make it a two-touchdown game.

The Panthers briefly put themselves back in contention when Stich finally broke his first long run of the game, taking a draw up the middle and high-stepping out of tackles for a 76-yard score, cutting Snohomish’s deficit to 17-10.

But the Warriors found joy through the air again just before the first half expired, with Chappell’s 19-yard lob into the right corner of the end zone hauled in by Rouse — despite Rouse being pushed to the ground in the process — giving Edmonds-Woodway a 24-10 halftime lead.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Panthers still had life early in the fourth quarter as they were driving while down 14. But Bryan Sarnowski’s interception and 52-yard return for a touchdown served as the dagger for the Warriors.

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