SNOHOMISH — The Glacier Peak Grizzlies have proved throughout the 2015 football season that they can throw the ball all over the field.
Friday night in the Wesco 3A championship game against Arlington, the Grizzlies proved that their rushing attack can be just as dangerous. The Grizzlies amassed 392 rushing yards and defeated the Eagles 29-19 to earn the No. 1 seed from Wesco going into the quad-district playoffs.
“I think they presented some issues on defense with some of the things that they did,” Glacier Peak head coach Rory Rosenbach said. “It felt like we had an advantage in that area. We could kind of grind them a little bit. At this point and from here on out, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. All that matters is the final score.”
Senior Dexter Carter led the Glacier Peak rushing attack, finishing with 140 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. Senior Iain Black added 99 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown and junior Colton Bunt finished with 97 yards on eight carries.
“With no disrespect to any group we’ve had before, that’s the best trio we’ve ever had and it’s really not close,” Rosenbach said. “Those guys are a really good group. They all have unique talents. They’re all different, but they all run really, really hard. That’s the thing that they have in common.”
Arlington scored first on the third offensive play of the game when senior quarterback Andrew Kalahar connected with senior wide receiver Donavan Sellgren for a 79-yard touchdown pass. After a missed extra point, the Eagles held an early 6-0 lead.
“(Kalahar) is a really good football player and they have some good receivers, so it’s hard for us to simulate that look because our guys that are really good receivers are playing defense a lot of the time,” Rosenbach said. “They got us with one. The kid made a heck of a play and a heck of a catch and scored. Our guys know it’s a long game. It’s going to be a 48 minute game and one game isn’t going to make the difference.”
Rosenbach was right, the Grizzlies answered back with 13 straight points to take a 13-6 lead after the first quarter. Arlington tied the score at 13 in the second quarter, but Glacier Peak took a 16-13 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to a 24-yard field goal by junior Kevin Ramsey.
With former Glacier Peak kicker Spencer Pettit, who was ranked as one of the top-10 kickers in the country last season as a senior, in attendance, Ramsey converted on all three of his field-goal attempts in the game.
“He’s money,” Rosenbach said of Ramsey. “We’ve harped on him all season about making sure he’s staying prepared in practice. It gets lonely, you know, the lonesome kicker over there. He’s done a really good job, especially in the latter half of the year, of being focused at practice.”
After the Eagles tied the game at 13, Glacier Peak scored 16 straight points to take a 29-13 lead. Arlington added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to make the final score 29-19.
Kalahar and his receivers were the story for the Eagles’ offense. The senior quarterback finished 17-for-29 for 395 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was Sellgren, who finished with eight catches for 219 yards and one touchdown. Senior Kyle Bayer caught five passes for 138 yards.
“Andrew prepped real well all week and he had a really good game again, as always,” Dailer said. “He’s just Mr. Consistency and we’re glad to have him.”
Despite the loss, the Eagles will host a playoff game next week as the No. 2 seed from Wesco. Dailer seemed confident his team could rebound from the loss to the Grizzlies.
“That’s a good football team in Glacier Peak,” Dailer said. “Like I told the boys, we just made more mistakes than them … I think we learned from it and I think we get better from it. We’re excited about our home playoff game next week.”
At Veterans Memorial Stadium
Arlington 6 7 0 6 —19
Glacier Peak 13 3 3 10 —29
A–Donovan Sellgren 79 pass from Andrew Kalahar (kick failed)
GP–Iain Black 1 run (kick failed)
GP–Jaxsen Sweum 6 run (Kevin Ramsey kick)
A–Chase Marx 3 pass from Devon Nutter (Andrew Kalahar kick)
GP–Kevin Ramsey 24 FG
GP–Kevin Ramsey 22 FG
GP–Dexter Carter 14 run (Kevin Ramsey kick)
GP–Kevin Ramsey 30 FG
A–Wyatt Bass 3 pass from Andrew Kalahar (run failed)
Records–Arlington 7-2. Glacier Peak 8-1.