Archbishop Murphy’s Victor Gabalis is chased out of the pocket by Lynden’s Elijah Lyons in the first quarter Friday night at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett on September 27, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy’s Victor Gabalis is chased out of the pocket by Lynden’s Elijah Lyons in the first quarter Friday night at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett on September 27, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lynden topples Archbishop Murphy in defensive slugfest

The Lions win 10-7 to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season in a battle of top-five teams.

EVERETT — Archbishop Murphy and Lynden have offered plenty of big play, impressive offensive showcases during the last decade of what’s become a premier Class 2A rivalry.

The Wildcats and Lions put together another nail-biter Friday night, but this one was different.

In a rain-soaked, physical football game between two top-five ranked programs, defense dominated on both sides.

Lynden and Archbishop Murphy grinded away at each other with one run after another, but a few missed assignments by Murphy proved to be the difference as the Wildcats suffered a 10-7 Northwest Conference Sky Division loss to visting Lynden at Archbishop Murphy High School.

“It was what we thought it would be, a four-quarter battle against an excellent, great football team and program in Lynden,” Archbishop Murphy coach Mark Leone said. “They are well coached, and they don’t beat themselves, and we made too many mistakes tonight.”

Both Murphy and Lynden featured run-heavy attacks. The two teams combined for 32 passing yards, and at times even found ground yards hard to come by.

Joe Ennis led the Wildcats (3-1, 0-1 Northwest Sky) with 72 rush yards on 11 carries, and Lynden’s Steven DiLorenzo compiled 119 yards on 21 carries.

Sixty-one of DiLorenzo’s yards came on three carries during a second quarter scoring drive that led to a 1-yard TD run by Lynden quarterback Baylor Ayres. The score gave the Lions (3-1, 1-0) a 7-0 lead with 3:23 to play until the half.

Murphy took advantage of good field postion to score its only touchdown — a 14-yard Victor Gabalis QB keeper that tied the game at 7-7 with 8:01 to play in the third. The Wildcats started on Lynden’s 42-yard line and needed only five plays to score.

Lynden manufactured a 13-play, nearly seven-minute drive that resulted in a 27-yard field goal from kicker Marko Samoukovic with 7:52 to play in fourth. The field goal put Lynden in front 10-7.

TOP PERFORMERS

Jack Barnes, Archbishop Murphy — The senior linebacker was key in slowing down Lynden’s offensive attack. DiLorenzo surpassed 100 yards, but that’s a whole lot less than the 320 yards he recorded last week.

Joe Ennis, Archbishop Murphy — Murphy’s offense didn’t provide much to get too excited about, but Ennis made do with the running room he got. The junior back created some big plays for himself with nice cutbacks and finished with 72 yards on 11 carries.

Steven DiLorenzo, Lynden — The Wildcats limited DiLorenzo in the second half, but the Lynden back ripped off big first-half runs and set up the Lions’ only touchdown. He finished with 119 rush yards against a talented Murphy front-seven.

PLAY OF THE GAME

The way Lynden’s defense played, the Wildcats very well could have been shutout. Gabalis made sure that didn’t happen with an impressively athletic 14-yard third-quarter touchdown run. Gabalis took the shotgun snap right up the middle and made several defenders missed as he weaved his way through the Lions’ defense for a score.

UP NEXT

Archbishop Murphy stays home next week and faces league opponent Blaine at 7 p.m. next Friday, while Lynden hosts Lakewood at the same time and date.

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