SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish football team made a strong bid to snap its six-year losing streak to cross-town rival Glacier Peak on Friday, but Evan Mannes, Ayden Ziomas and the Grizzlies’ passing attack proved too potent for the Panthers.
Mannes, a 6-foot-5 senior tight end, hauled in three touchdown passes, and Ziomas added to a brilliant Week 1 by accounting for all five of Glacier Peak’s scores.
Still, Snohomish had a chance to tie the game late. Trailing by eight with less than a minute left, the Panthers’ drive never materialized, and Glacier Peak scored a 36-28 nonleague win at a packed Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The victory improved the Grizzlies’ record over the Panthers to 7-0.
“A lot of time the fans in the community turn this game into a bigger thing that just a game,” Glacier Peak coach Nick Bender said. “The kids know each other so well. They play youth sports together, so they are actually friends. I think it’s seven (wins) in a row now, and it’s nice to keep that going because there is a little jab and a rivalry between high schools. It’s not bad, but it’s fun to have bragging rights for another year and move on.”
Glacier Peak has owned the rivalry matchup for seven consecutive years and will have another 12 months to lay claim to the town’s best team, but big picture is this was nothing more than a nonleague matchup and a great primer for both schools’ Wesco openers next week.
Evan Mannes, Glacier Peak — The senior was a factor on both sides of the ball, but he made his largest impact catching passes from Ziomas. Mannes finished with seven catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns. He also recorded several tackles and pass breakups from his outside linebacker spot.
“Whenever it gets to that time — and this is where you are — you don’t think plays, you think playmakers,” Bender said. “(Mannes) is a kid the last three years that has been starting for us in different forms and fashions. He is a phenomenal kid, hardworking, captain of the team. We put it on his back.”
Ayden Ziomas, Glacier Peak — Ziomas completed 18-of-24 passes for 256 yards, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another. His poise and senior leadership was key, Bender said, in Glacier Peak’s offense being able to answer nearly every time Snohomish made a comeback.
Tyler Massena, Snohomish — The senior Panthers running back impressed with his shiftiness, quicks and tough running. Massena finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
“Tyler Massena is one of those guys I can honestly say has grown leaps and bounds,” Snohomish coach Joey Hammer said. “He’s all about everybody around him and putting them above himself, and I think that is what is making him shine.”
Makai Williams, Snohomish — Snohomish’s passing attack wasn’t nearly as effective as Glacier Peak’s, but Williams offered a bright spot. The sophomore receiver caught four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Glacier Peak responded with a huge play after Snohomish drove 80 yards in 12 plays to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 28-21 with 4:59 to go in the fourth.
Ziomas, on a third-and-4, found Mannes on a deep crossing route. The big-bodied tight end caught the ball, shed two Snohomish tackles and sprinted toward the goal line before leaping across for a score that gave Glacier Peak a 36-21 lead.
“It’s a crazy feeling right now. I’m so happy my team stayed strong and stayed believing, and we came out with the win. And props to Snohomish. They came out and they were ready to play. They really turned some heads, and they did really good.” — Glacier Peak quarterback Ayden Ziomas
“It’s awesome, our connection. All of us our friends, our whole offense is friends. We work hard at practice, and we hang out afterwards, and it builds a bond. We just have this certain connection on the field that is not like anything else.” — Glacier Peak tight end Evan Mannes
“The game tonight was truly our heartbeat. Our heartbeat and us being together, pulling up by the bootstraps and us believing in each other. I’m extremely proud. You are going to have some disappointment. You want that ultimate success of the scoreboard on your favor in the end, but it’s just going to make us that much more hungry.” — Snohomish coach Joey Hammer