MARYSVILLE — The Tomahawks didn’t have to search far for an indicator of how much they’ve improved this season. Friday night’s Wesco 3A championship revealed that and sent a strong message heading into postseason play of just how talented Marysville Pilchuck is.
Eight weeks ago, in the Tomahawks’ season opener, Marysville Pilchuck pulled out a three-point win against Snohomish. Fast forward to MP’s Wesco 3A title game against the Panthers on Friday, and the Tomahawks recorded a dominant 52-3 victory and earned the top Wesco 3A seed in next week’s district playoff, winner-to-state game.
“It says a lot about how much we have grown,” Marysville Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson said. “We didn’t play very well in Week 1, but we’ve just gradually gotten better and better each week. I’m really proud of this season’s class. They deserve this, and it’s going to be a really fun night.”
Tomahawks senior Jordan Justice accounted for four touchdowns, and MP’s defense held Snohomish to 119 total yards after its offense scored a season-high 58-points last week.
The win was the ninth straight for Marysville Pilchuck (9-0), which will host the Metro League’s No. 7 seed next week in a winner-to-state game.
Justice ran for a team-high 142 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries and also returned a second-half interception 60 yards for a score. Tomahawks quarterback Jake Elwood completed just two passes, but both went for long touchdowns, and the senior also ran for a score.
“I always want to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Justice said. “If that means me getting five carries for 20 yards, as long as we win at the end of the day, it’s a team effort. I wouldn’t be scoring these touchdowns without the guys next to me.”
Marysville Pilchuck wasted no time showcasing its potent rushing attack. Justice scored his first touchdown on the third play of the game — a 36-yard run down the right sideline on a fly sweep.
Justice added his second score on the second play of the Tomahawks’ third drive on the same exact play. This time Justice broke several tackles as he ripped off a 53-yard rushing score to give MP a 14-0 lead with 5:12 to play in the first.
Snohomish’s offense went three-and-out on its first three possessions and didn’t move the ball effectively until the final drive of the first half. The Tomahawks took advantage, and extended their lead to 21-0 when Elwood took a QB sneak 1 yard for a score with 8:47 to go in the second quarter.
The Tomahawks added 14 more points in the next 5:17 with a 47-yard TD pass from Elwood to Dillon Kuk and a 32-yard Justice TD run — his third of the first half.
The Panthers made a QB change midway through the second quarter, replacing junior starter Silas Strehle with fellow junior Grady Kentch, who led Snohomish on its only scoring drive of the game. Senior kicker Kyler Hammer showed off his leg, connecting on a 43-yard field goal to trim Snohomish’s deficit to 35-3 with 21 seconds remaining until halftime.
MP added to its lead in the second half.
Elwood connected with senior tight end Terren Pablo, who was wide open, for a 34-yard touchdown pass to give the Tomahawks a 42-3 lead advantage with 8:54 to play in the third. Later in the quarter, kicker Edgar Martinez made a 29-yard field goal to extend the lead to 45-3 and prompted the running clock.
Jordan Justice, Marysville Pilchuck — Justice showcased his elite speed, rushing for touchdowns of 32, 36 and 53 yards, not to mention his 60-yard interception return for a score. He finished with a game-high 142 rushing yards on just seven carries.
Mauro Bejar, Marysville Pilchuck — Marysville Pilchuck’s defense was dominant, and Bejar played a big role, finishing with at least four tackles for loss.
119 — Total number of yards Marysville’s defense limited Snohomish to.
Marysville Pilchuck (9-0) earned Wesco 3A’s top seed and will host the Metro League’s No. 7 seed next week in a winner-to-state district playoff game. Snohomish (5-4) will host Lakes, Piece County League’s No. 3 seed, in another winner-to-state game next week.