The Edmonds-Woodway High School football team has an opportunity to take complete control of the Wesco 3A South.
Snohomish has a chance to create chaos in the conference standings and move back into the thick of the league-title race.
Plenty is at stake Friday night as the Warriors and Panthers square off in a key Wesco 3A South clash at Edmonds Stadium.
Entering as the only remaining unbeaten in league play, Edmonds-Woodway (3-2 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A South) can gain an inside track to the conference title with a victory. The Warriors already beat the league’s other primary contenders — Shorecrest and Meadowdale — and figure to be a definite favorite the following two weeks as they close league play against Shorewood and Everett.
Snohomish, meanwhile, can create a logjam atop the conference standings. With a win, the Panthers (2-3, 2-1) would be one of at least three Wesco 3A South teams with one league loss.
And in addition to this game’s pivotal nature, two of the last three meetings between Edmonds-Woodway and Snohomish have produced dramatic finishes.
“We’ve had some crazy games with Snohomish,” Warriors coach John Gradwohl said.
Three years ago, Edmonds-Woodway prevailed for a 28-26 win after stopping Snohomish on a 2-point conversion attempt with just more than 1 minute remaining. The Panthers returned the favor last year, rallying from a 14-point second-half deficit to earn a 41-35 overtime victory en route to the Wesco 3A title.
That overtime triumph was one of five wins by seven points or less for Snohomish last season. The Panthers, however, haven’t had the same success in close games this year. They fell 17-14 in a season-opening non-league loss to Marysville Pilchuck and suffered a 36-35 loss to Shorecrest last Friday after the Scots converted a game-winning 2-point attempt with 24 seconds to play.
“We’ve been in a lot of tight ballgames in the last year-and-a-half, and that’s (one of the first times) we came out on the short end in a tight one,” Snohomish coach Joey Hammer said of the loss to Shorecrest. “A lot of times, there’s far more good things that you can take away from it than (losing). … And so I think the kids have seen it as that and they’ve responded extremely well this week. We’ve had a great week of prep.”
The Panthers are tasked with facing an Edmonds-Woodway defense that hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in each of its three league games.
“They’re locked in, they’re assignment-driven, they’re very physical and they’re very disciplined,” Hammer said. “And so you can tell they’re very well-prepared (and) they’re very well-coached.”
Edmonds-Woodway, meanwhile, looks to slow down Snohomish’s rushing attack. Led by Tyler Larson and Joshua Vandergriend, the Panthers average more than 200 yards per game on the ground.
“They’ve got three guys that can run the ball pretty well,” Gradwohl said. “They’re tough runners. Very rarely is one guy taking the running backs down. You’ve really gotta rally to the ball (and) get more than one guy on them, because they run hard.”
SNOHOMISH at EDMONDS-WOODWAY
When: 8 p.m., Friday
Where: Edmonds Stadium
The skinny: If Edmonds-Woodway wins, the Warriors gain the inside track to the Wesco 3A South title. If Snohomish wins, there will be a logjam atop the league standings with at least three teams at one loss in conference play. In last year’s meeting, the Panthers rallied for a 41-35 overtime victory en route to the Wesco 3A South crown.
Snohomish: 2-3 overall, 2-1 Wesco 3A South; lost to Shorecrest 36-35 last week
About the Panthers: After rolling past Everett and Shorewood in its first two league games, Snohomish suffered a one-point loss to Shorecrest last week after the Scots converted a game-winning 2-point attempt with 24 seconds to play. The Panthers are led by a rushing attack featuring Larson and Vandergriend, who both average eight-plus yards per carry and have combined for 778 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. In last week’s loss, the duo ran for a total of 279 yards and five scores.
Edmonds-Woodway: 3-2 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A South; beat Lynnwood 28-13 last week
About the Warriors: Edmonds-Woodway is off to a 3-0 start in Wesco 3A South play after holding all three of its league opponents — Shorecrest, Meadowdale and Lynnwood — to 14 points or less. Steele Swinton led the Warriors’ offense last week, rushing for 212 yards and two TDs on 29 carries. Edmonds-Woodway’s only losses were to 4A non-league opponents Glacier Peak and Woodinville, who both are unbeaten.
Herald pick: Snohomish
No. 1 LAKE STEVENS at GLACIER PEAK
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO 1380 AM
The skinny: This Wesco 4A clash of unbeatens pits Lake Stevens’ high-powered offense against Glacier Peak’s stingy defense. The Grizzlies gave the Vikings a rare wire-to-wire conference test in last year’s matchup, falling 24-21 to Lake Stevens in a game that ultimately determined the Wesco 4A title.
Lake Stevens: 5-0 overall, 3-0 Wesco 4A; beat Kamiak 62-6 last week
About the Vikings: Lake Stevens has outscored opponents by a whopping 48.4 points per game and reached a running clock in four of its first five contests. The six-time defending Wesco 4A champions average 60.4 points per game and have topped 70 points twice, led by a balanced offensive attack that gains 524 yards per contest. Tanner Jellison has been ultra-efficient, completing 78.9 percent of his passes for 1,242 yards, 17 TDs and only one interception. Dallas Landeros leads the high-powered rushing attack with 718 yards and 14 TDs, averaging 8.5 yards per carry. Lake Stevens is riding a 41-game Wesco 4A win streak, dating back to 2013.
Glacier Peak: 5-0 overall, 3-0 Wesco 4A; beat Cascade 35-14 last week
About the Grizzlies: Glacier Peak allows just 9.4 points per game and hasn’t yielded more than 14 points in a contest all season. The Grizzlies stymied Cascade’s powerful Wing-T rushing attack in last week’s win, limiting the Bruins’ offense to just 129 total yards and 2.7 yards per play. On the other side of the ball, Dylan Owen leads Glacier Peak with 542 yards rushing and seven TDs. Last week, Owen and Ryan Black combined to run for 233 yards and three scores. The Grizzlies have won all five of their games by at least 21 points.
Herald pick: Lake Stevens
MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK vs. MARYSVILLE GETCHELL
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Quil Ceda Stadium
The skinny: Marysville Pilchuck has dominated the Berry Bowl since this annual crosstown rivalry game began in 2012, winning all seven matchups by an average margin of 33.6 points.
Marysville Pilchuck: 5-0 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A North; beat Stanwood 56-22 last week
About the Tomahawks: Marysville Pilchuck has outscored opponents by 25 points per game during its unbeaten start to the season. Dylan Carson and Jordan Justice lead the Tomahawks’ rushing attack, which averages 326 yards per contest and 7.7 yards per carry. Carson has totaled 583 yards rushing and seven TDs, with an average of 6.9 yards per attempt. Justice has run for 570 yards and seven scores at a clip of 9.2 yards per carry. Marysville Pilchuck allows just 11.4 points per game.
Marysville Getchell: 1-4 overall, 1-3 Wesco 3A North; lost to Arlington 14-13 last week
About the Chargers: Marysville Getchell suffered a one-point loss to Arlington last week after a 2-point conversion pass landed incomplete with 1:24 to play. It was the second narrow loss for the Chargers, who fell 14-12 to Shorecrest in their season opener. Marysville Getchell has scored more than 14 points only once all year.
Herald pick: Marysville Pilchuck
No. 3 ARCHBISHOP MURPHY at No. 10 LAKEWOOD
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Lakewood H.S.
The skinny: This matchup between the Northwest 2A Sky Division’s two Snohomish County teams figures to be key in determining the league’s postseason seeding order. In last year’s meeting, Archbishop Murphy rallied in the fourth quarter for a 36-35 win.
Archbishop Murphy: 4-1 overall, 1-1 Northwest 2A Sky Division; beat Blaine 43-0 last week
About the Wildcats: After a 10-7 loss to No. 2-ranked Lynden two weeks ago, Archbishop Murphy bounced back last week by routing Blaine for its second shutout of the season. The Wildcats allow just 8.8 points per game and haven’t yielded more than 21 points in a contest all year. Earlier this season, Archbishop Murphy traveled south and snapped Hockinson’s 28-game win streak with a 27-21 victory over the two-time defending 2A state champions.
Lakewood: 4-1 overall, 1-1 Northwest 2A Sky Division; lost to Lynden 37-6 last week
About the Cougars: Lakewood outscored its first four opponents by an average margin of 32 points, including a 27-0 shutout of Sedro-Woolley two weeks ago. But it was a different story against No. 2-ranked Lynden last week, as the Cougars managed just 235 yards of total offense in a 31-point loss to the perennial powerhouse Lions. Dual-threat quarterback Jared Taylor leads Lakewood with 1,307 total yards and 15 TDs, including 633 yards rushing and nine scoring runs. The Cougars allow just 13.6 points per game.
Herald pick: Archbishop Murphy