Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet (21) and Braxton Leiu-Sopi (62) celebrate during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet (21) and Braxton Leiu-Sopi (62) celebrate during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

MP rolls past Stanwood in Wesco 3A North opener

Luke Shoemaker and Kenai Sinaphet account for five TDs, and the Tomahawk defense delivers a dominant effort in a 36-7 win.

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Pilchuck High School football team isn’t just playing with a chip on its shoulder this fall.

As senior Kenai Sinaphet put it, the Tomahawks have a “boulder” on their shoulder.

MP showed just how big that boulder is with a tenacious effort in their Wesco 3A North opener against Stanwood on Friday night.

Senior quarterback Luke Shoemaker and Sinaphet accounted for five touchdowns and the Tomahawk defense surrendered just 61 yards in a convincing 36-7 victory.

Shoemaker completed 13 of 19 passes for 202 yards and one TD, and added 36 yards and a score on the ground. Sinaphet averaged a whopping 14.4 yards on 12 carries. The running back busted long TD runs of 73 and 51 yards in the fourth quarter and finished with 172 yards and three TDs.

Sophomore receiver Maksim Tchelouchkin had a 39 yards and one TD on two receptions, and senior tight end Shane Nelson posted team highs with 86 yards on five receptions.

The MP defense forced two turnovers, two more turnovers on downs, a three-and-out, recorded a safety and had nine tackles for loss. The Tomahawks (2-0, 1-0 Wesco 3A North) also held Stanwood (1-1, 0-1) to just 1.6 yards per play and didn’t allow the Spartan offense to reach the end zone.

Stanwood’s lone score came on a 98-yard kickoff return from senior Max Mayo. Sophomore Ethan Burke had a team-high 39 rushing yards.

MP imposed its will from the start and opened the game with a 15-play, 72-yard scoring march that drained over 8 minutes off the clock. Shoemaker completed 4 of 5 passes on the opening drive and capped it with a 1-yard TD run with 3 minutes, 56 seconds left in the first quarter.

Luke Shoemaker (16) moves with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Luke Shoemaker (16) moves with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Junior Canyon Bumgarner’s 45-yard kickoff return set Stanwood up at midfield on its opening drive, and the Spartans made their way down the field for one of two drives that reached the red zone. But MP junior Dominik Kendrick ended the threat with an interception in the end zone on fourth down.

The Tomahawks responded with an 80-yard drive. Shoemaker capped it when he escaped pressure in the pocket and found Tchelouchkin wide open in the end zone for a 32-yard TD strike.

Mayo’s long kickoff return followed and made it 14-7 with 5:30 left in the second.

A high snap by Stanwood that sailed into the end zone resulted in a safety and a 16-7 Tomahawk lead at the break.

Sinaphet extended the lead to 22-7 with an 11-yard TD run early in the fourth.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet (21) moves with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet (21) moves with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The Spartans threatened to make it a one score game again on the next drive, but MP came up with a critical stop on fourth-and-2 and its own 3-yard line.

Sinaphet then put the game out of reach with his 73-yard burst with 3:41 left and added a 51-yard score with 1:10 remaining.

Click here for box score

Editor’s note: This story doesn’t feature postgame interviews due to technical difficulties.

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