Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet bruises the defense on a run against Marysville Getchell during the Berry Bowl on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet bruises the defense on a run against Marysville Getchell during the Berry Bowl on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Marysville Pilchuck bests Getchell, plants 12th straight Berry Bowl victory

Luke Shoemaker throws for 267 yards and 3 TDs as the Tomahawks claim 28-6 win over Chargers.

MARYSVILLE — Marysville Pilchuck maintained its perfect record against crosstown rival Marysville Getchell in the 12th annual Berry Bowl on Friday night.

In addition, the Tomahawks upped their season record to 3-0 and 2-0 in Wesco 3A North, completing a wire-to-wire 28-6 victory over the Chargers (1-2, 0-1) which marked Pilchuck’s 12th straight victory over Getchell.

Senior quarterback Luke Shoemaker provided an all-around performance in the pocket for the Tomahawks, sprinkling targets around to multiple targets throughout the night. Shoemaker went 16-for-23 for 267 yards and three touchdowns.

The contest was a possession seesaw affair as each team coughed up two fumbles, while Getchell had a punt blocked and mishandled a kickoff return, resulting in another turnover.

“I thought we did pretty good,” Shoemaker said. “Besides some turnovers and the penalties, I thought we did excellent overall. Offense executed, and our defense executed as well. So, overall great win.”

Shoemaker found a different target in the end zone for each of his touchdown throws, initially finding sophomore Marcus Gaffney for a 49-yard score on his first pass attempt at the 10:49 mark in the first quarter. Gaffney would finish with a game-high six grabs for 130 yards.

“It was a crazy game, not a pretty game by any means,” Pilchuck coach Dalton Schwetz said. “Our quarterback kinda led us, we got really banged up on our front line so we relied on him to make big plays down the stretch, and he did just that. So, proud of the guys.”

Shoemaker also found senior tight end Shane Nelson for a 22-yard TD with 4:13 left in the first, then followed up with a 33-yard dime at the 7:26 mark to junior Dominik Kendrick, which made it 28-6 in the third period.

Nelson reeled in five catches for 68 yards, while Kendrick added another 58 yards on three catches.

“We got a lotta talented skills players and we had a few of ‘em out tonight,” Schwetz said. “Luke Shoemaker is our point guard, our conductor. We count on him to spread it around to everybody. I know you guys saw that tonight, multiple receivers with multiple big catches. Screen game, run game. … Luke does a little bit of everything for us. I’m just so dang happy for him that people are starting to see all the work he put in start to pay off.”

Pilchuck also leaned heavily on the run game when it needed to, as senior speedster Kenai Sinaphet received a full workload in the backfield with 23 carries for 108 yards, with a 2-yard score in the second.

For Getchell, untimely turnovers and penalties were costly during a handful of drives. Excluding an eight-play, 67-yard touchdown drive in the twilight of the second frame, Getchell couldn’t consistently play mistake-free football.

After pouncing on a Sinaphet fumble in the early moments of the second quarter, Getchell found themselves in favorable field position at Pilchuck’s 35-yard line as they trailed 14-0. As senior Shawn Etheridge flashed to the middle and took a reverse rush that went 20 yards into the end zone, an illegal blocking penalty canceled it out.

After two incompletions from junior signal caller Arion ‘Bubba’ Palacol, the Chargers ended up with a wash as the Tomahawks blocked a punt and took over at their own 32 yard-line.

”We made way too many mistakes,” Getchell head coach Davis Lura said. “We did it last week against Arlington (too). Our first game, we played a clean game and we won. So, the first thing I talked to the kids about is we gotta quit fumbling the ball and putting it on the carpet. When we get a drive, we gotta stay in the drive and we can’t have penalties that take away touchdowns.

“I think it might of been a little bit of a different game if we get that one back on the reverse that scored, we may have had a little more momentum there. .. We’re an option team, so its hard to play from behind for us. We can’t be in third-and-15 and try to convert all the time, we’re just not that kind of team.”

Palacol went just 6-for-18 on his pass attempts and lost two fumbles, while senior 6-foot-1 tailback Andrew Withers capped off Getchell’s most productive drive with a 2-yard goal line dive.

Withers finished with six carries for 24 yards and a TD before he was carted off in an ambulance with a head injury with 7:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“It was a tough one,” Lura said. “Because they all care about their teammate, it’s scary when they take ‘em out on a back brace, but it was a precaution. He was moving, he was talking. Even our trainer came and said after the game: ‘Hey guys, we think he’s gonna be okay’, and that it was a precaution. But, they’re all competitors and they wanna do well. I think both teams were a little spooked, the mood was brought down a little bit. It wasn’t as physical or intense as it had been up until that moment.”

As fellow early Wesco 3A North frontrunner Ferndale (3-0, 1-0) came up with a 22-16 win over visiting Glacier Peak on Friday, the Tomahawks (3-0, 2-0) will look to continue their assertion in league play as they gear up for a home slate against Oak Harbor next weekend.

“I just think we have a big chip on our shoulder,” Shoemaker said. “Everyone’s been underestimating us, so obviously we’re gonna try our hardest on Friday nights. .. We got a chip on our shoulder.”

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