It’s that time of the high school football season where league-title races are in full-swing and beginning to sort themselves out.
The Wesco 3A South, however, isn’t even remotely close to being decided.
With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Snohomish, Edmonds-Woodway, Shorecrest and Meadowdale are tangled in a four-way tie atop the conference standings with 3-1 league records.
Two of the four first-place teams square off Friday night, with Shorecrest traveling to face Meadowdale in a key Wesco 3A South matchup at Edmonds Stadium.
“(It’s the) first time in recent memory that I can remember being in this situation where there’s so many unanswered questions going into the last two weeks,” Shorecrest coach Brandon Christensen said. “… It should be fun, exciting high school football.”
The Scots (5-1, 3-1 Wesco 3A South) opened league play in rough fashion, surrendering 38 unanswered second-half points to Edmonds-Woodway in a 38-14 loss. Shorecrest has since bounced back to win four straight, including a dramatic 36-35 victory over defending conference champion Snohomish two weeks ago on a game-winning 2-point conversion with 24 seconds to play.
“It was a big, monumental win for us,” said Christensen, whose team closes the regular season next week against fifth-place Lynnwood.
The Mavericks’ lone conference loss also came to Edmonds-Woodway. Meadowdale (4-2, 3-1) owns victories over each of the bottom three teams in the Wesco 3A South standings and likely has the toughest remaining schedule of the four first-place teams, with Friday’s game against Shorecrest preceding next week’s regular-season finale at Snohomish.
“If we play to our potential and do the best we can, then things will sort themselves out,” Mavericks coach James Harmon said. “… I think we’re all fairly evenly matched.”
In last year’s meeting, the Scots piled up 426 yards rushing en route to a 52-24 victory over Meadowdale. And with rain in the forecast Friday night — coupled with the Mavericks’ run-heavy offense and Shorecrest’s slight leaning toward the run — this pivotal clash could again be determined on the ground.
“With it being cold and wet on Friday, I imagine there will be a little bit more ground game from both sides,” Harmon said. “… I think every football game starts and finishes with being able to run the football and being able to stop the run.”
SHORECREST at MEADOWDALE
When: 8 p.m., Friday
Where: Edmonds Stadium
The skinny: Both teams are part of a four-way tie atop the Wesco 3A South. The winner is guaranteed to at least be tied for first place entering the final week of league play.
Shorecrest: 5-1 overall, 3-1 Wesco 3A South; beat Stanwood 42-0 last week
About the Scots: After opening conference play with a 24-point loss to Edmonds-Woodway, the Scots bounced back with four straight wins — highlighted by a 36-35 victory over defending Wesco 3A champion Snohomish two weeks ago. Desmond Fox intercepted three passes in last week’s shutout of Stanwood, returning two for touchdowns. The Scots also returned a blocked punt for a score in the non-league victory.
Meadowdale: 4-2 overall, 3-1 Wesco 3A South; beat Everett 29-15 last week
About the Mavericks: Meadowdale trailed winless Everett by one point at halftime last week, but pulled away in the second half to snap a two-game losing skid. Big-play receiver Mason Vaughn has 12 catches for 428 yards and five TDs, averaging a whopping 35.7 yards per reception. Hunter Moen has 10 TD passes and only one interception. The lefty quarterback also has three rushing TDs, including scoring runs of 52 and 19 yards last week.
Herald pick: Shorecrest
FERNDALE at No. 9 MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Quil Ceda Stadium
Radio: KRKO 1380 AM
The skinny: If Marysville Pilchuck wins, next week’s regular-season finale between the Tomahawks and Arlington would be for the Wesco 3A North title. If Ferndale wins, the Golden Eagles would claim the league title with a victory over Stanwood next week.
Ferndale: 3-3 overall, 3-1 Wesco 3A North; lost to Squalicum 37-14 last week
About the Golden Eagles: After opening conference play with three straight double-digit wins, Ferndale fell to Squalicum last week for its first league loss. The Golden Eagles trailed by just two points in the fourth quarter, but surrendered three unanswered TDs in the final eight minutes. Ferndale is headlined by two-way standout lineman and University of Washington commit Geirean Hatchett, the 31st-ranked senior offensive lineman in the nation according to 247Sports.
Marysville Pilchuck: 6-0 overall, 4-0 Wesco 3A North; beat Marysville Getchell 47-7 last week
About the Tomahawks: Marysville Pilchuck has outscored opponents by 27.5 points per game during its unbeaten start to the season. Jordan Justice and Dylan Carson lead the Tomahawks’ rushing attack, which averages 330 yards per contest and 8.2 yards per carry. Justice has 787 yards rushing and 11 TD runs, with an average of 10.9 yards per attempt. Carson has rushed for 666 yards and seven TDs, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Marysville Pilchuck allows just 10.7 points per game and hasn’t yielded more than 22 points in a contest.
Herald pick: Marysville Pilchuck
MARINER at GLACIER PEAK
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium
The skinny: Glacier Peak is tied with Monroe for second place in Wesco 4A, with a pivotal matchup against the Bearcats looming next week. Mariner is in a three-way tie with Mount Vernon and Cascade in the battle for Wesco 4A’s fourth and final postseason berth, although Mount Vernon owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over both teams. Glacier Peak beat Mariner by identical scores each of the past two seasons, winning both games 28-13.
Mariner: 2-4 overall, 2-2 Wesco 4A; lost to Mount Vernon 33-7 last week
About the Marauders: Mariner’s two conference victories came in routs of Kamiak and Jackson, who both are winless. In their other two league games, the Marauders fell to Monroe and Mount Vernon by a combined 82-14 margin. Roman Savchuk leads Mariner with five TD receptions.
Glacier Peak: 5-1 overall, 3-1 Wesco 4A; lost to Lake Stevens 41-3 last week
About the Grizzlies: Glacier Peak suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling to top-ranked Lake Stevens. The Grizzlies held each of their first five opponents to 14 points or less, but surrendered 27 points to the juggernaut Vikings in the game’s first 13 minutes. Dylan Owen leads Glacier Peak’s rushing attack with 613 yards and seven TDs, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Herald pick: Glacier Peak
CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN at KING’S
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: King’s H.S.
The skinny: Cedar Park Christian beat King’s 28-14 last year in a matchup that ultimately determined the inaugural North Sound Conference title. With victories over King’s and Sultan in their final two league games, the Eagles would repeat as conference champions.
Cedar Park Christian: 5-1 overall, 2-0 North Sound Conference; beat South Whidbey 14-7 last week
About the Eagles: In its league opener two weeks ago, defending North Sound Conference champion Cedar Park Christian was tied at halftime with Granite Falls before pulling away for a 55-29 victory. The Eagles then trailed 7-6 late in the fourth quarter last week against South Whidbey, but Brandon Parrish ran for a game-winning 19-yard TD in the final minute to lift CPC to victory. Zach Wilkins, Parrish and John Petrus have combined to rush for 1,679 yards and 28 TDs, averaging 12.2 yards per carry.
King’s: 1-5 overall, 0-1 North Sound Conference; lost to Granite Falls 16-7 last week
About the Knights: King’s fell into a 14-0 first-quarter hole and dropped its conference opener to Granite Falls last week, managing just 128 yards of total offense in the loss. Davis Campbell leads King’s with 452 yards receiving and seven TD catches.
Herald pick: Cedar Park Christian