EVERETT — For 42 minutes it just didn’t look like it was going to be Glacier Peak’s night.
No matter how many yards the Grizzlies gained, things just weren’t happening. From penalties to turnovers to mishaps on punts, it seemed that fate was determined to intervene against Glacier Peak in its game against the Jackson Tiumberwolves.
But then the Grizzlies carved out their own fate.
Glacier Peak scored 16 points in the final 4 minutes, 19 seconds of the game as the Grizzlies pulled off a stunning comeback to defeat the T-wolves 37-31 on Friday night in prep football action at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Glacier Peak quarterback Ayden Ziomas threw four touchdown passes, including connections to Colton Bunt and Seiver Southard late in the fourth quarter, as the Grizzlies (2-0 Wesco 4A, 3-1 overall) overcame a dominating performance from Jackson receiver Daniel Arias, who caught four TD passes of his own.
”I’m trying to get my heart to calm down a little bit,” Glacier Peak coach Nick Bender said.
“The players’ mindsets, they never feel like they’re out of anything,” Bender added. “It’s a very unique group of kids who are a joy to be around. They stayed positive the whole time.”
Ziomas finished the game 25-for-40 for 317 yards as the sophomore continued his early-season assault. Through four games Ziomas has passed for more than 1,200 yards and has 19 touchdown passes.
“That was ridiculous,” Ziomas said. “Getting the ball just a few minutes left, having to go the whole length of the field, being able to do that and throw the winning touchdown is an amazing feeling.”
Bunt finished the game with more than 200 all-purpose yards — 10 catches for 156 yards, six carries for 55 yards — and scored two touchdowns. Southard also found the end zone twice, while Billy Lutali rushed for 108 yards on 19 carries.
Jackson quarterback Perry White finished 16-for-30 for 335 yards and four scores. Arias caught seven of those passes for 226 yards, and two of his four touchdowns went for 80 yards or more. It was the first loss of the season for the T-wolves (1-1, 3-1).
Jackson seemed to have the game in hand midway through the fourth quarter after Arias’ 7-yard touchdown reception gave the T-wolves a 31-21 lead with 6:34 remaining. To that point Jackson had taken full advantage of Glacier Peak’s penalties (14 for 114 yards), turnovers (two interceptions, including one in the end zone), and punt follies (one Grizzlies punt bonked off a Glacier Peak player’s head and was recovered by Jackson, another took a terrible bounce and gave the T-wolves the ball at the Grizzlies’ 17). It seemed Jackson was going to win despite ultimately allowing more than 500 yards offense to the Grizzlies.
But Glacier Peak refused to give in to fate. The Grizzlies responded with a 10-play, 69-yard drive which was aided by a key personal-foul penalty on third-and-20. It concluded when Ziomas scrambled right to buy time, then found Bunt open in the corner of the end zone to make it 31-28. The drive took just over 2 minutes, meaning there was enough time left for Glacier Peak to get the ball back with a chance to score.
But that meant getting the ball back quickly. It didn’t happen on the onside-kick attempt as Jackson recovered that comfortably. The T-wolves ran three plays and had fourth-and-1 from the Glacier Peak 41 and decided to go for it with a chance to put the game away. But Grizzlies defensive lineman DJ Keenan came up with a huge stop as the ball was turned over to Glacier Peak with 3:19 remaining and 59 yards to cover.
The Grizzlies didn’t need that long. A 39-yard completion to Bunt put Glacier Peak in scoring range. Then on first-and-goal from the 13 Ziomas put a perfect ball into the right corner for Southard, and just like that Glacier Peak had the lead with 1:54 remaining.
Jackson had one last chance to try and salvage the game, but an errant snap went past White and through the end zone for a safety, ending the T-wolves’ hopes.