Murphy faces first foe without Ennis at helm

It’s difficult to imagine a Friday night without Terry Ennis coaching on a sideline somewhere.

The Archbishop Murphy High School coach who died Wednesday was an amazing molder of players and teams and a genius at implementing the Wing-T offense.

It’s impossible to predict how his staff and players will react tonight when they compete for the first time without him, but I suspect it will be as if he were there.

The Wildcats open Cascade Conference play with a 7 p.m. game at Coupeville.

Here’s a look at that game and the rest of the weekend schedule:

Archbishop Murphy at Coupeville

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Coupeville H.S.

Records: Both teams are 2-0.

Last year: Murphy running back Tony Houts carried 15 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-9 Wildcats victory.

Last week: Murphy RB Henry Woods carried 16 times for 165 yards and two TDs and the Wildcats amassed 430 yards of total offense in a 49-7 win over Black Hills.

Coupeville RB Clay Hughes carried 18 times for 100 yards and two TDs and the Wolves piled up 306 total yards in a 34-0 win over Concrete.

Players to watch: In two games, Woods has 31 carries for 240 yards and five TDs. Fellow back Russel Stiegler has 28 carries for 151 yards and a TD.

Hughes has 29 carries for 169 yards and three TDs. Fellow back Justin Adams has 20 carries for 123 yards and a TD.

Breaking down the game: Both teams like to run the football. Coupeville will employ the pass more often than Murphy. Coupeville QB James Smith is 13-for-22 for 198 yards and three TDs. When Murphy throws, it usually comes as a surprise and, as a result, often results in a big play. The real surprise here would be if Coupeville, a Class 1A school, gives Murphy any trouble.

John McDonald’s pick: Murphy 49-12.

Mike Cane’s pick: Murphy 35-13.

Tom Lafferty’s pick: Murphy 42-7.

Oak Harbor vs. Meadowdale

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Edmonds Stadium

Records: Oak Harbor is 2-0. Meadowdale is 1-1.

Last year: Oak Harbor QB Marshall Lobbestael threw for 225 yards and six TDs in a 49-7 Wildcats win.

Last week: Oak Harbor QB Johnny Encinas was 17-for-26 for 195 yards and five TDs in a 35-0 victory over Arlington.

Meadowdale RB Nick Montanari carried 26 times for 211 yards and a TD, and RB Tonna Njoku had 16 carries for 146 yards and two TDs in a 42-19 win over Jackson.

Players to watch: Encinas is 28-for-42 for 319 yards and eight TDs this season. Montanari has 38 carries for 330 yards and two TDs. Njoku has 26 carries for 197 yards and two TDs.

Breaking down the game: It would appear there’ll be a contrast in styles here. But just because Oak Harbor chose to throw the ball last week doesn’t mean the Wildcats don’t have a running game. They just take what the defense gives them. Arlington chose to stop the run and got burned by the pass. Meadowdale has a difficult choice to make. I’m not sure the Mavericks can stop both weapons in a potent Oak Harbor arsenal.

John McDonald’s pick: Oak Harbor 35-14.

Mike Cane’s pick: Oak Harbor 34-24.

Tom Lafferty’s pick: Oak Harbor 35-6.

Mariner vs. Jackson

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Everett Memorial Stadium

Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)

Records: Mariner is 1-1 in the Wesco South and overall. Jackson is 0-1, 0-2.

Last year: Mariner RB Mike Schmaus (19 carries, 147 yards) and Matt Jones (12 carries, 120 yards) combined for 267 yards rushing in the Marauders’ 42-18 win.

Last week: Mariner QB Tyler Tuiasosopo threw for 141 yards and two TDs, but it wasn’t nearly enough in a 54-30 loss to Edmonds-Woodway.

Riley Carr scored on an 80-yard pass play and Taylor Cox had an 80-yard TD run for Jackson in its 42-19 loss to Meadowdale.

Players to watch: Shaundell Burns (156 yards) and Jones (141 yards) are Mariner’s top rushers. Tuiasosopo is 13-for-26 for 177 yards and two TDs.

Breaking down the game: Mariner shouldn’t have any trouble handling Jackson, but you never know how the Marauders will rebound after last week’s tremendous disappointment. They’ve been down this road before, however, and probably realize their season is far from over.

John McDonald’s pick: Mariner 35-20.

Mike Cane’s pick: Mariner 33-13.

Tom Lafferty’s pick: Mariner 34-17.

Stanwood vs. Cascade

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Everett Memorial Stadium

Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)

Records: Both teams are 1-1 in the Wesco North and overall.

Last year: Nick Morrison and Lorne Bridgford combined for 231 of Cascade’s 283 rushing yards in the Bruins’ 23-7 win.

Last week: Stanwood RB Ryan Norman ran for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Spartans’ 28-0 victory over Monroe.

Bridgford (135 yards rushing) and Julian Willis (92 yards rushing) each had a pass interception in the Bruins’ 14-0 win over Everett.

Players to watch: For Stanwood, Norman has 44 carries for 258 yards and three TDs and Waylan Kelly has 23 carries for 123 yards and a TD.

For Cascade, Bridgford has 47 carries for 237 yards and Willis has 19 carries for 115 yards and two TDs.

Breaking down the game: Last year Cascade won and went on to claim a district playoff berth. Stanwood finished tied with the Bruins in the standings but missed the postseason because of its loss to Cascade. This year’s game will be just as pivotal. Both teams are coming off morale-boosting wins after losing their openers. Both posted shutouts last week. Cascade has to be concerned about its turnovers (five last week), though.

John McDonald’s pick: Cascade 14-10.

Mike Cane’s pick: Cascade 28-17.

Tom Lafferty’s pick: Cascade 21-14.

Granite Falls at Cedarcrest

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Cedarcrest H.S.

Records: Both teams are 2-0.

Last year: Granite Falls won 14-13. Granite Falls RB Jullian Gamache returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 87 yards for the game-winning TD after Cedarcrest had gone ahead 13-7 on a Brady Paxman 11-yard TD run.

Last week: Gamache ran for 188 yards and two TDs in a 62-12 win over Cleveland. Paxman had 155 yards rushing and two TDs and Darren Collinwood ran for 166 yards and two TDs in a 43-0 victory over Lakeside.

Players to watch: Gamache (326 yards) and Paxman (377 yards) are the top two rushers in the Cascade Conference.

Breaking down the game: This is a pretty good opener for Cascade Conference play. These two tied for second place last season and advanced to the district playoffs. Cedarcrest’s missed point-after kick proved decisive last year. It’ll be that close again.

John McDonald’s pick: Cedarcrest 22-21.

Mike Cane’s pick: Cedarcrest 20-14.

Tom Lafferty’s pick: Granite Falls 21-7.

Other games tonight

Wesco North: Snohomish (2-0, 2-0) at Arlington (0-1, 0-2), Everett (1-1, 1-1) at Marysville-Pilchuck (0-2, 0-2), Lake Stevens (1-0, 2-0) at Monroe (0-2, 0-2), all 7 p.m.

Wesco South: Shorecrest (1-1, 1-1) vs. Edmonds-Woodway (2-0, 2-0) at Edmonds Stadium, 5 p.m.; Mountlake Terrace (0-1, 0-2) vs. Kamiak (2-0, 2-0) at Goddard Stadium, Lynnwood (1-1, 1-1) vs. Shorewood (0-2, 0-2), both 7 p.m.

Cascade Conference: Sultan (0-2) at King’s (0-2), Lakewood (0-2) at South Whidbey (2-0), both 7 p.m.

Non-conference: Friday Harbor (2-0) at La Conner (0-2), 6:30 p.m.; Darrington (2-0) at Nooksack Valley (2-0), 7 p.m.

Games Saturday

Non-conference: Lakeside (0-2) at Orcas Island (0-2), 1 p.m.; Concrete (1-1) at Willapa Valley (1-1), 2 p.m.

All three prognosticators were 3-1 last week. Herald prep writer Mike Cane and KRKO broadcaster Tom Lafferty are 6-1 on the season. Prep editor John McDonald is 5-2.

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