As steady rain poured down Friday night throughout Snohomish County, several local high school football teams basked in the accomplishment of securing league titles.
Lake Stevens clinched its seventh consecutive Wesco 4A crown, Marysville Pilchuck beat Arlington to claim the Wesco 3A North title and Snohomish defeated Meadowdale to repeat as Wesco 3A South champion.
Postseason berths and seeding also were determined in several leagues, with the playoffs looming just around the corner.
Here’s a look back at Friday’s prep football action and how it impacted the landscape of each local league.
LAKE STEVENS CLINCHES WESCO 4A, MONROE BEATS GP
In what was all but a formality, top-ranked Lake Stevens locked up its seventh consecutive Wesco 4A title with a 70-0 rout of winless Jackson.
It was the fourth shutout of the season for the unbeaten Vikings and their third time scoring at least 70 points. Lake Stevens has outscored opponents by 49.7 points per contest during its dominant 8-0 start and has won 44 straight conference games, dating back to 2013.
With the powerhouse Vikings a virtual lock to claim the league title, the attention in Wesco 4A Friday night was centered on Monroe and Glacier Peak in a pivotal matchup between a pair of teams that were tied for second place in the conference standings.
The Bearcats dialed up a trick-play touchdown on the game’s opening snap and raced to 18 points in the first seven minutes, paving the way for a 32-10 win over the visiting Grizzlies in front of a regionally televised audience on ROOT Sports.
Efton Chism III led the way with a massive all-around performance, accounting for 234 yards of total offense and three TDs while showcasing his versatile skill-set. The do-everything Eastern Washington University-bound receiver ran for 27 yards and one TD, caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown, and completed three first-half passes for 118 yards and a TD.
Chism III’s biggest play came on the opening snap of the game, when Monroe lined up in a two-back set with tailbacks Blake Rybar and Gavin Newton. Quarterback Gio Fregoso took the snap and handed off to Rybar, who ran left while Newton served as a decoy lead blocker. Rybar then pitched the ball back to Chism III, who was running left to right on a reverse.
With Glacier Peak biting on the run, Monroe receiver J.R. Little emerged wide-open down the right side of the field. Chism III heaved a pass to his fellow senior wideout, who coasted in for a 69-yard trick-play TD.
“Everyone knows we like to run the ball out of that (formation), so we took a chance, put it in our best player’s hand and threw it to a senior,” Bearcats coach Michael Bumpus said. “It was just a great way to open the game.”
The opening-play trickery began an early scoring flurry for Monroe, which raced to three TDs in the first seven minutes while building an 18-0 first-quarter lead.
With the victory, the Bearcats (6-2, 5-1 Wesco 4A) clinched the conference’s No. 2 seed, which gives them home-field advantage for the winner-to-state Week 10 playoff round.
Meanwhile, Glacier Peak (6-2, 4-2) dropped into a third-place tie with Mount Vernon in the Wesco 4A standings. The Grizzlies and Bulldogs square off in a regular-season finale next week, with the winner claiming the conference’s No. 3 seed and the loser receiving the No. 4 seed. Both teams will hit the road for the Week 10 playoffs.
Mariner earned a 45-28 victory over Cascade, but Mount Vernon’s win over Kamiak eliminated the Marauders (3-5, 3-3) from contention for one of Wesco 4A’s four postseason berths.
MP ROUTS ARLINGTON FOR WESCO 3A NORTH CROWN
Marysville Pilchuck piled up 356 yards rushing in its Slot-T ground attack and rolled to a 42-14 road victory over Arlington in the de facto Wesco 3A North title game.
It was the first league crown since 2014 for the seventh-ranked Tomahawks, who ended a streak of three consecutive Wesco 3A North titles for Whatcom County teams Squalicum and Ferndale.
With its high-powered rushing attack and stingy defense, Marysville Pilchuck (8-0, 6-0 Wesco 3A North) won all six of its league games by at least 27 points.
“When you set out your goals to win a league championship at the beginning of the season and you actually do it, it’s pretty freaking cool,” Tomahawks coach Brandon Carson said. “These kids are so fun to coach and I’m happy for them. They deserve this.
“All of them love to play football. They’re not just playing it to play. They’re really into it. They dive into game plans. These seniors have been playing for me for three years, and now here we are.”
Arlington’s loss — combined with victories by Ferndale and Squalicum — dropped the Eagles into a three-way tie with the Golden Eagles and Storm for second place in the Wesco 3A North. The teams drew numbers to break the tie, which gave Squalicum the league’s No. 2 seed, Arlington the No. 3 seed and Ferndale the No. 4 seed.
SNOHOMISH CLAIMS 2ND STRAIGHT WESCO 3A SOUTH TITLE
Snohomish repeated as Wesco 3A South champion with a resounding 58-14 win over visiting Meadowdale. Seven different Panthers scored TDs and Snohomish’s defense allowed just 184 total yards in a dominant all-around performance.
“Fantastic,” Panthers coach Joey Hammer said of his team’s showing. “It means that guys are locked in and owning their role. It’s absolutely beautiful when (they) all take it and run with it.”
Edmonds-Woodway routed winless Everett 49-7 to claim the No. 2 seed in the Wesco 3A South. The Warriors finished tied with Snohomish at 5-1 in league play, but the Panthers beat Edmonds-Woodway two weeks ago to earn the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Meadowdale finished 4-2 in conference play and will be the league’s No. 3 seed.
Shorecrest routed Lynnwood 35-7 in a de facto postseason play-in game to capture the Wesco 3A South’s fourth and final postseason berth. The Scots face Wesco 3A North No. 4 seed Ferndale next week for a spot in the Week 10 playoffs.
LAKEWOOD, ARCHBISHOP MURPHY EARN BI-DISTRICT PLAYOFF BYES
Lakewood and Archbishop Murphy secured top-three seeds in the Northwest 2A Sky Division, which gives them byes for next week’s opening round of the Class 2A Northwest/Sea-King Bi-District playoffs.
Both the Cougars and Wildcats will host winner-to-state Week 10 playoff games against winners from next week’s first-round bi-district matchups.
Lakewood routed Burlington-Edison 44-6 to earn the Sky Division’s No. 2 seed. The sixth-ranked Cougars (7-1, 4-1 Sky Division) finished tied with fourth-ranked Lynden in the league standings, but the Lions earned the Sky Division’s top seed by virtue of their victory over Lakewood earlier this month.
Archbishop Murphy captured the Sky Division’s No. 3 seed with a 27-14 road win over Sedro-Woolley in a pivotal 2A top-10 showdown. The fifth-ranked Wildcats (6-2, 3-2) finished tied for third place in the Sky Division with ninth-ranked Sedro-Woolley, but their victory over the Cubs gave Archbishop Murphy the head-to-head tiebreaker and the league’s final Week 9 playoff bye.
CEDARCREST BEATS TERRACE, CLAIMS LAKE DIVISION’S FINAL PLAYOFF BERTH
Cedarcrest tight end Matthew Weinert caught a game-tying 2-yard TD pass from Cameron Kohlruss late in the fourth quarter and Nathan Gerde kicked the go-ahead extra point, giving the Red Wolves a 14-13 road win over Mountlake Terrace in a pivotal Northwest 2A Lake Division regular-season finale that decided the final berth into the 2A Northwest/Sea-King Bi-District playoffs.
Postseason berths for Lake Division teams are determined by a Ratings Percentage Index that also includes KingCo 2A teams Liberty-Issaquah and Sammamish. Sehome finished atop the RPI rankings, Cedarcrest took second place and Liberty finished third to claim the final postseason berth into next week’s bi-district playoffs. Liberty received the top seed, though, due to an agreement between Districts 1 and 2 that awarded the Patriots the top seed if they finished above .500 in KingCo 3A/2A.
Mountlake Terrace, which was tied with Cedarcrest in the RPI entering their Friday night matchup, finished in fourth place.
The top three RPI finishers face the Sky Division’s No. 4, 5 and 6 seeds in next week’s first-round bi-district playoffs. The matchups for those loser-out contests are set: Sedro-Woolley hosts Cedarcrest, Burlington-Edison hosts Sehome and Blaine hosts Liberty.
The winners of those games will be seeded by a coaches poll of remaining teams, then matched against the top three Sky Division seeds for the winner-to-state Week 10 playoff round.
NORTH SOUND CONFERENCE STILL UP FOR GRABS
King’s beat Sultan 34-13 and South Whidbey routed Granite Falls 42-14 to set up a three-way tie atop the North Sound Conference standings. King’s, Cedar Park Christian and South Whidbey are each tied for first place with 2-1 conference records heading into next week’s regular-season finales.
King’s, which walloped CPC last week, can clinch the North Sound title by beating South Whidbey next week. CPC needs a win over last-place Sultan and a South Whidbey victory over King’s to repeat as the league champion. South Whidbey needs a win over King’s and a CPC loss to Sultan in order to capture the conference title.
Sultan was eliminated from postseason contention with its loss to King’s, which means fourth-place Granite Falls is guaranteed one of the North Sound’s four playoff berths.
WEEK 8 STARS
Efton Chism III, sr., Monroe
The do-everything Eastern Washington University commit accounted for 234 yards of total offense and three TDs in the Bearcats’ 32-10 win over Glacier Peak. Chism III ran for 27 yards and one TD, caught six passes for 88 yards and a TD, and completed three passes for 118 yards and one TD.
Roman Savchuk, sr., Mariner
Savchuk caught four passes for 79 yards and a TD, returned an interception for a score and recovered a fumble in the Marauders’ 45-28 win over Cascade.
Prince Riley, sr., Mariner
Riley rushed for 149 yards and two TDs on 18 carries in the Marauders’ victory.
Michael Purl, jr., Cascade
Purl ran for 210 yards and two TDs on 20 carries in the Bruins’ loss to Mariner.
Dallas Landeros, sr., Lake Stevens
Landeros rushed for 137 yards and three TDs on just nine carries in the Vikings’ 70-0 win over Jackson.
Ryan Black, jr., Glacier Peak
Black ran for 127 yards and one TD on 22 carries in the Grizzlies’ loss to Monroe.
Dylan Carson, soph., Marysville Pilchuck
Carson rushed for 128 yards and three TDs on 21 carries in the Tomahawks’ 42-14 win over Arlington.
Jordan Justice, sr., Marysville Pilchuck
Justice ran for 103 yards and a TD on 20 carries and added a TD reception in the Tomahawks’ victory over Arlington.
Desmond Fox, jr., Shorecrest
Fox returned a punt for a 48-yard TD and added a 62-yard TD reception in the Scots’ 35-7 win over Lynnwood.
Six different Panthers scored offensive TDs as Snohomish rolled to a 58-14 win over Meadowdale. Tyler Larson ran for a team-high 119 yards and two TDs on 18 carries.
Garrett Craig, sr., Stanwood
Craig made field goals of 44 and 43 yards in windy conditions during the Spartans’ 54-19 loss to Ferndale.
Josiah Santiago, sr., Archbishop Murphy
Santiago caught five passes for 139 yards and two TDs in the Wildcats’ 27-14 victory over Sedro-Woolley.
Jared Taylor, sr., Lakewood
Taylor accounted for four total TDs in the Cougars’ 44-6 win over Burlington-Edison. The dual-threat quarterback ran for 127 yards and three TDs on 16 carries and also threw a TD pass.
Jordan Sims, jr., Mountlake Terrace
Sims rushed for 134 yards and one TD on 24 carries in the Hawks’ 14-13 loss to Cedarcrest.
Hayden Teeter, soph., King’s
Teeter accounted for 235 total yards and five TDs in the Knights’ 34-13 victory over Sultan. He ran for 86 yards and four TDs on 15 carries and also threw for 149 yards and one TD.
NEXT WEEK’S BIG GAMES
Snohomish at Marysville Pilchuck, 8 p.m. Friday. Wesco 3A North champion Marysville Pilchuck hosts Wesco 3A South champion Snohomish in the Wesco 3A title game. This is a rematch of the Tomahawks’ 17-14 non-league win over Snohomish in Week 1.
Shorecrest at Ferndale, TBD. The Wesco 3A North’s and South’s No. 4 seeds square off in a loser-out game. The winner advances to the winner-to-state Week 10 playoffs, where it will face top-ranked O’Dea.
South Whidbey at King’s, 7 p.m. Friday. King’s can claim the North Sound Conference title with a victory. South Whidbey is still alive for the league title, but needs a win over the Knights and a Cedar Park Christian loss to last-place Sultan.