For some local high school football leagues, Friday night’s contests provided a bit of clarity in the conference-title races and battles for postseason positioning.
In other leagues, this week’s results only made the picture even more muddled.
Here’s a look back at Friday’s prep football action and how it impacts the landscape of each local league as the regular season nears its conclusion.
IT’S MP-ARLINGTON FOR THE WESCO 3A NORTH CROWN
Marysville Pilchuck raced past visiting Ferndale and remained unbeaten with a key 42-14 victory Friday night, setting up a de facto Wesco 3A North title game against Arlington in next week’s regular-season finale.
The ninth-ranked Tomahawks (7-0, 5-0 Wesco 3A North) hold a one-game lead over second-place Arlington heading into next Friday’s winner-take-all showdown.
“It’s a big one,” Marysville Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson said. “It’s for a league title. That’s why these kids lift the weights and go to the camps and do all that stuff — to be able to play in games like this.”
Dylan Carson rushed for 269 yards and three touchdowns in the Tomahawks’ victory over Ferndale, including long scoring runs of 80 and 66 yards on Marysville Pilchuck’s first two offensive plays of the second half to stretch the lead to 35-14.
The sophomore fullback’s massive performance came one week after backfield mate Jordan Justice ran for 217 yards and four TDs against Marysville Getchell. The Tomahawks’ deceptive Slot-T ground attack has averaged 8.5 yards per carry and 334 yards rushing per game this season.
“They took Justice away a little bit, and that opened up some lanes for Dylan to run through,” Brandon Carson said. “And that’s just kind of how our offense rolls. Sometimes they take the fullback away and we got our wing backs going. Tonight they took the wing back away and we got our fullback going.”
Elsewhere in the Wesco 3A North, Squalicum scored 24 straight second-half points to pull away for a 31-12 win over Stanwood.
The Storm’s victory means that Marysville Pilchuck, Arlington, Squalicum and Ferndale have clinched the Wesco 3A North’s four postseason berths.
THE WILD WESCO 3A SOUTH
Entering Friday night, there was a four-way tie atop the Wesco 3A South between Snohomish, Edmonds-Woodway, Meadowdale and Shorecrest.
After the dust settled Friday, the scenarios in this tight league-title race are a little bit clearer.
Meadowdale beat Shorecrest 20-14 in a pivotal matchup, and both Snohomish and Edmonds-Woodway earned decisive victories. That leaves Snohomish, Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale in a three-way tie for first place with 4-1 league records heading into next week’s regular-season finales.
If Snohomish beats Meadowdale next week, the Panthers would secure their second consecutive Wesco 3A South title and clinch the league’s top seed.
If Meadowdale wins and Edmonds-Woodway beats winless Everett, then the Warriors would earn the Wesco 3A South title by virtue of their head-to-head victory over the Mavericks. Meadowdale needs a win over Snohomish and an Edmonds-Woodway loss to claim the league crown.
Snohomish, Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale have each clinched postseason berths, but the Wesco 3A South’s fourth and final playoff spot will come down to next week’s matchup between Shorecrest and Lynnwood. Shorecrest is fourth in the league standings with a 3-2 conference record, one game ahead of fifth-place Lynnwood.
MARINER NEARLY WREAKS HAVOC IN WESCO 4A PLAYOFF PICTURE
Mariner nearly created a logjam in the middle of the Wesco 4A standings, but Glacier Peak took advantage of two fourth-quarter turnovers by the Marauders and escaped with a 21-20 home victory.
Trailing 20-14 with less than 10 minutes to play, the Grizzlies intercepted a pass deep in their own territory to thwart a Mariner scoring chance. Glacier Peak forced another key turnover later in the fourth, recovering a fumble at the Marauders’ 19-yard line.
The Grizzlies capitalized on the second takeaway with a 20-yard TD pass from Tyson Lang to Reggie Valmonte with 4:15 to play, and Brayden Corwin kicked the ensuing go-ahead extra point to put Glacier Peak in front for good.
With the victory, the Grizzlies remained tied with Monroe for second place in Wesco 4A with two weeks remaining in conference play. Both teams take 4-1 league records into next week’s pivotal showdown against each other at Monroe, which could very well determine Wesco 4A’s No. 2 seed and the home-field advantage in the Week 10 playoffs that comes with it.
Top-ranked Lake Stevens cruised to another blowout victory, routing Cascade 48-0 to remain unbeaten. The Vikings are all but assured of their seventh consecutive Wesco 4A title.
Mount Vernon rolled past winless Jackson 56-9 to maintain its advantage in the race for Wesco 4A’s fourth and final postseason berth. The Bulldogs are fourth in the conference standings with a 3-2 league record and sit one game ahead of Cascade and Mariner, holding head-to-head tiebreakers over both teams.
LYNDEN LOSS SHAKES UP SKY DIVISION
Just when it seemed Lynden was on track for its second consecutive Northwest 2A Sky Division crown, an upset by Sedro-Woolley opened up the league-title race.
Sedro-Woolley handed the No. 2-ranked Lions their first conference loss, pulling off a 14-7 road victory over last year’s Class 2A state runner-up.
The Cubs’ upset win created a three-way tie between Lynden, Lakewood and Sedro-Woolley atop the Sky Division standings. All three teams own 3-1 league records and are 1-1 against one another heading into next week’s regular-season finales.
Seventh-ranked Lakewood can claim the Sky Division title with a win over Burlington-Edison next week and a Lynden loss to last-place Blaine.
Archbishop Murphy, meanwhile, sits at fourth place in the Sky Division with a 2-2 league record. The sixth-ranked Wildcats need a victory over Sedro-Woolley next week to likely earn one of the division’s top three seeds, which would give them a first-round bye for the 2A Northwest/Sea-King Bi-District playoffs and send them directly into the Week 10 winner-to-state round.
TIGHT BATTLE FOR PLAYOFF SPOTS IN LAKE DIVISION
With one week remaining in conference play, Sehome sits atop the Northwest 2A Lake Division with a 2-0 league record. Mountlake Terrace and Cedarcrest are tied for second place with 1-1 league records heading into their regular-season finale against each other next week. Bellingham is last in the four-team division at 0-2 in conference play.
Postseason berths for Lake Division teams are determined by a Ratings Percentage Index that also include KingCo 2A teams Liberty-Issaquah and Sammamish. The top three finishers in the six-team RPI rankings advance to the first round of the 2A Northwest/Sea-King Bi-District playoffs, where they will face the Sky Division’s No. 4, 5 and 6 seeds in loser-out Week 9 contests.
Sehome leads the RPI rankings at 1.20 and Liberty is in second place at 0.58. Cedarcrest, Mountlake Terrace and Sammamish are tied for third place at 0.50.
KING’S THROTTLES CPC, CREATES CHAOS IN NORTH SOUND
One week after falling to Granite Falls in its league opener, King’s rolled to a 52-6 win over defending North Sound Conference champion Cedar Park Christian.
The Knights built a 24-6 halftime lead, then rattled off 28 unanswered third-quarter points to deliver a shocking result in a suddenly wide-open league-title race. It was CPC’s first conference loss since the league was formed prior to last season.
CPC and Granite Falls are tied atop the North Sound Conference at 2-1 in league play, with both teams having only one conference game remaining. King’s and South Whidbey sit one-half game behind them at 1-1 in league play, with both having two conference games left.
WEEK 7 STARS
Joseph Gonzales, sr., Lake Stevens
Gonzales hauled in four passes for 168 yards — including TD receptions of 76 and 70 yards — in the Vikings’ 48-0 win over Cascade. The Yale University commit also intercepted a pass on defense.
Tanner Jellison, jr., Lake Stevens
Jellison completed 12 of 16 passes for 295 yards and five TDs in the Vikings’ rout of Cascade.
Dallas Landeros, sr., Lake Stevens
Landeros rushed for 144 yards and a TD on just 12 carries in the Vikings’ win over Cascade.
Tyson Lang, jr., Glacier Peak
Lang tossed three TD passes in the Grizzlies’ 21-20 victory over Mariner.
Blake Rybar, sr., Monroe
Rybar ran for 154 yards and a TD on just nine carries and added a 95-yard kickoff return for a score in the Bearcats’ 54-0 win over Kamiak.
Efton Chism III, sr., Monroe
The Eastern Washington University commit caught five passes for 85 yards and two TDs and also had a 47-yard punt return for a score in the Bearcats’ rout of Kamiak.
The Bearcats allowed just 21 yards of total offense in their shutout of Kamiak.
Dylan Carson, soph., Marysville Pilchuck
Carson rushed for 269 yards and three TDs on 21 carries in the Tomahawks’ 42-14 win over Ferndale. The sophomore fullback helped Marysville Pilchuck pull away with TD runs of 80 and 66 yards on the Tomahawks’ first two offensive plays of the second half.
Joshua Vandergriend, soph., Snohomish
Vandergriend totaled 240 yards from scrimmage and two TDs in the Panthers’ 35-0 victory over Lynnwood. The sophomore ran for 146 yards and two scores on just 12 carries and caught six passes for 94 yards.
The Panthers allowed just 79 yards of total offense in a shutout of Lynnwood.
Steele Swinton, jr., Edmonds-Woodway
Swinton rushed for 137 yards and two TDs on 17 carries in the Warriors’ 21-3 win over Shorewood.
Mason Vaughn, sr., Meadowdale
Vaughn made the most of his two catches, scoring on TD receptions of 29 and 47 yards in the Mavericks’ 20-14 victory over Shorecrest.
Josh McCarron, jr., Archbishop Murphy
McCarron caught four passes for 115 yards and a TD in the Wildcats’ 28-13 win over Burlington-Edison.
Jared Taylor, sr., Lakewood
Taylor threw two TD passes and ran for a score in the Cougars’ 34-16 victory over Blaine.
Hayden Teeter, soph., King’s
Teeter accounted for 297 total yards and two TDs in the Knights’ 52-6 win over Cedar Park Christian. The dual-threat quarterback completed 8 of 9 passes for 180 yards and two scores and rushed for 117 yards on 12 carries.
Davis Campbell, sr., King’s
Campbell had five catches for 152 yards and two TDs in the Knights’ rout of Cedar Park Christian. He also ran for 31 yards.
Cameron Tappe, sr., Granite Falls
Tappe intercepted three passes and returned one for a TD in the Tigers’ 45-0 victory over rival Sultan.
Granite Falls defense
The Tigers intercepted four passes, returned two for scores and allowed just 24 yards of total offense in a shutout of Sultan.
NEXT WEEK’S BIG GAMES
Marysville Pilchuck at Arlington, 7 p.m. Friday. The Tomahawks and Eagles square off for the Wesco 3A North title. Arlington prevailed in a defensive battle last year, beating Marysville Pilchuck 17-10 to keep the Tomahawks out of the postseason.
Meadowdale at Snohomish, 7 p.m. Friday. This matchup carries massive Wesco 3A South title implications. Snohomish claims the league crown with a win. Meadowdale can capture the league title with a win and an Edmonds-Woodway loss to Everett.
Lynnwood at Shorecrest, 7 p.m. Friday at Shoreline Stadium. The winner of this do-or-die matchup earns one of the Wesco 3A South’s four postseason berths, while the loser is eliminated from playoff contention.
Glacier Peak at Monroe, 7 p.m. Friday. With both teams tied for second place in Wesco 4A, this matchup could very well determine the battle for the conference’s No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in the Week 10 playoffs. This game will be regionally televised on ROOT Sports.
Archbishop Murphy at Sedro-Woolley, 7 p.m. Friday. The winner likely secures one of the Sky Division’s top three seeds and receives a bye into the winner-to-state Week 10 playoffs. Sedro-Woolley also is still alive in the Sky Division title race.