MARYSVILLE — For much of the night, it looked like Marysville Getchell might finally give Marysville Pilchuck a wire-to-wire challenge.
Joseph Davis and the Tomahawks had other ideas.
With a second-half onslaught of big plays, the Marysville Pilchuck High School football team pulled away for yet another decisive victory in the crosstown rivalry.
Davis ran for 214 yards and three touchdowns as the Tomahawks rattled off 30 unanswered second-half points and remained perfect in the Berry Bowl with a 37-14 win over the Chargers on Friday night at Quil Ceda Stadium.
“I’m proud of our guys,” said first-year Marysville Pilchuck coach Dalton Schwetz, who replaced longtime coach Brandon Carson this past offseason. “We fought to the end. We found a way to win.
“We’ve got a long ways to go to play the type of football we want to,” he added. “… But I’m proud of our guys for getting the win.”
With the victory, the Tomahawks improved to 11-0 over Marysville Getchell since the rivalry series began in 2012. They’ve won all 11 matchups by at least 21 points.
Marysville Pilchuck, which graduated nearly its entire starting lineup from last year’s Class 3A state semifinal team, trailed 14-7 early in the third quarter.
But with a barrage of four second-half TDs in less than 12 minutes, the Tomahawks (2-1, 1-1 Wesco 3A North) quickly extinguished the Chargers’ hopes of a first-ever Berry Bowl victory.
“It means a lot, because it would’ve been bad if it was our first year losing to them,” Marysville Pilchuck senior Gaylan Gray said. “And it’s my senior year, so we can’t go out like that.”
Davis was the catalyst for the Tomahawks, who have transitioned from Carson’s Slot-T rushing attack to Schwetz’s run-based power spread offense.
The sophomore running back exploded in the second half for 168 yards and three TDs on 13 carries, including two electrifying long scoring runs of 50 and 71 yards.
“Joe is a tremendous leader on our football team,” Schwetz said. “He’s obviously great with the ball in his hands, and you saw that tonight. He popped a couple big ones. He’s a tempo setter for us, (with) his toughness and leadership.”
On a night filled with penalties and mistakes from both sides, the biggest gaffe came from Marysville Pilchuck’s special teams in the opening minute of the second half.
After a three-and-out to begin the third quarter, the Tomahawks snapped the ball over their punter’s head and into the end zone. Marysville Getchell (0-3, 0-2) fell on the loose ball for a TD to take a 14-7 lead.
But Marysville Pilchuck responded with four TDs on its next five possessions, including a stretch of three long scores on seven offensive plays.
“Far too many mistakes this evening,” Schwetz said. “We have to clean that stuff up. … (But) they fought to the end. I never doubted their heart.”
Benito Mejia, a senior, ignited the Tomahawks’ big second half with a kickoff return to the Chargers 38-yard line. Marysville Pilchuck took advantage of the short field, scoring on an 8-yard TD run by Davis to trim the margin to 14-13.
Then after forcing a three-and-out, the Tomahawks struck again just two plays later. Davis took a handoff to the left, made a sharp cutback to the right and broke free for a 50-yard TD to give Marysville Pilchuck a 19-14 third-quarter lead.
In the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Marysville Getchell fumbled on a handoff exchange and the Tomahawks recovered on the Chargers 39.
On the ensuing play, Gray beat the opposing cornerback with a double move down the right sideline. And senior quarterback Lucian Curtis hit Gray in stride, tossing a perfectly placed 39-yard TD pass to extend the Tomahawks’ lead to 25-14.
“Gaylan was getting a one-on-one matchup all night,” said Schwetz, whose team attempted just five passes all game. “We finally felt like we were at a point in the game where we could take a shot. … He’s a guy that can go win those one-on-one matchups. Our O-line protected, Lucian threw a great ball and we got the big play.”
After getting the ball back a few minutes later, Marysville Pilchuck immediately broke another long score. Davis took a handoff, burst through a seam on the left side and outran the defense for a 71-yard TD to make it 31-14 with 7:45 remaining.
“I just give props to my linemen and my team,” Davis said. “I couldn’t do it without them.”
Curtis, who plays safety on defense, added an interception return for a TD in the game’s closing seconds to put an exclamation point on the Tomahawks’ massive second half.
Marysville Pilchuck’s defense came up with four turnovers — two fumble recoveries and two interceptions — and held the Chargers’ offense to just seven points.
The Tomahawks bottled up Marysville Getchell’s option-based flexbone attack, allowing just 181 total yards and 2.5 yards per play. They limited senior quarterback Carter Schmidt — who ran for 173 yards against Arlington last week — to just 58 yards and one TD on 21 carries.
“We fought our faces off up front,” Schwetz said. “One of our senior D-linemen got banged up early, so we were kind of shuffling all these guys through there up front. But defensively, we set the tone and kept them out of the end zone for the most part. And it gave us a chance to find our way, which was really exciting.”
After Marysville Pilchuck drove inside the Chargers 5 on its first possession of the game, Marysville Getchell’s defense came up with a goal-line stand.
But the Tomahawks got the ball right back, recovering a fumbled handoff exchange on the Chargers 16. Five plays later, junior backup quarterback Luke Shoemaker plowed into the end zone on a 1-yard sneak to give Marysville Pilchuck a 7-0 lead.
Marysville Getchell answered with a lengthy 20-play, 80-yard TD drive that was extended by a Tomahawks roughing-the-kicker penalty on a missed field goal. Schmidt capped the long scoring march with a 6-yard quarterback keeper to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.
The Chargers then took a brief lead early in the third quarter before Marysville Pilchuck ran away for another Berry Bowl triumph.