Shorecrest’s Markus Selzler avoids a tackle by Meadowdale’s Mason Vaughn during a game Friday night at Shoreline Stadium. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shorecrest’s Markus Selzler avoids a tackle by Meadowdale’s Mason Vaughn during a game Friday night at Shoreline Stadium. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Prep football notebook: Week 7 analysis and top players

League title and playoff chases are starting to heat up as the regular season winds down.

With conference play for local prep football teams nearing an end and the postseason just around the corner, the races for league titles and playoff spots are in full swing.

Here’s a look back at the Week 7 action, and where the league-title races and postseason picture stand heading into next week.

PANTHERS CLINCH WESCO 3A SOUTH

For the first time in more than a decade, Snohomish is a league champion.

The Panthers secured the Wesco 3A South crown with a 62-7 rout of Lynnwood on Friday night, along with some help from a pair of conference rivals. Shorewood’s loss to Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale’s loss to Shorecrest gave Snohomish a two-game lead in the loss column with one league game remaining.

The Panthers (5-2 overall, 5-0 Wesco 3A South) have won five straight contests since opening the season with a pair of non-league losses.

Shorewood, meanwhile, is locked into the Wesco 3A South’s No. 2 seed. The Thunderbirds have wrapped up league play at 4-2 and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over both Shorecrest and Meadowdale, who are tied for third place at 3-2.

Shorecrest closes the regular season next week against winless Lynnwood, and Meadowdale faces league champion Snohomish.

The top three teams in the Wesco 3A South standings are guaranteed spots in the Week 10 playoffs. The fourth-seeded Wesco 3A South team will face the fourth-seeded Wesco 3A North team in Week 9 for Wesco 3A’s seventh and final Week 10 postseason berth.

OAK HARBOR, SQUALICUM TO PLAY FOR WESCO 3A NORTH CROWN

Oak Harbor will host Squalicum next Friday night in a de facto Wesco 3A North title game.

The eighth-ranked Wildcats’ 42-14 win over Marysville Getchell on Friday night and the Storm’s 42-10 rout of Stanwood set up the winner-take-all clash in next week’s regular-season finale. Both Oak Harbor and Squalicum are 4-1 in league play.

Meanwhile, next Friday night’s clash between Marysville Pilchuck and Arlington at Quil Ceda Stadium also carries massive Wesco 3A North postseason implications. The Tomahawks and Eagles currently are tied for third place with 3-2 records in league play.

The winner of the Marysville Pilchuck-Arlington game secures a Week 10 playoff berth, but whether that team finishes as the No. 2 or 3 seed in the Wesco 3A North depends on the Oak Harbor-Squalicum result.

If Marysville Pilchuck wins, the Tomahawks would be the No. 2 seed with an Oak Harbor victory and the No. 3 seed with a Squalicum win.

If Arlington wins, the Eagles would be the No. 2 seed with a Squalicum victory and the No. 3 seed with an Oak Harbor win.

Arlington already has secured a top-four finish in the Wesco 3A North. Marysville Pilchuck could drop to fifth place — and out of Week 10 playoff contention — with both a loss to the Eagles and a Ferndale win over Stanwood next week.

BATTLE HEATING UP FOR WESCO 4A NO. 2 SEED

Lake Stevens appears headed to a sixth consecutive Wesco 4A crown. The Vikings earned their 36th straight conference win Friday night with a 69-20 rout of Cascade, and should be heavily favored in their remaining two league contests against Jackson and Mariner.

While third-ranked Lake Stevens (7-0 overall, 5-0 Wesco 4A) is closing in on another conference title, it’s shaping up to be a three-team battle between Glacier Peak, Mount Vernon and Monroe for the league’s No. 2 seed, which receives home-field advantage in the Week 10 playoffs.

With two weeks remaining in conference play, Glacier Peak and Mount Vernon currently are tied for second place in Wesco 4A with 4-1 league records. Monroe is sitting one game behind in fourth place at 3-2 in conference play.

Glacier Peak hosts Monroe next Friday night and travels to face Mount Vernon the following week in a pair of pivotal contests. Mount Vernon already beat Monroe earlier this season to earn the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bearcats.

Mariner currently is sitting in fifth place in Wesco 4A with a 2-3 conference record. The league’s top four teams advance to the winner-to-state Week 10 playoffs.

LYNDEN CLINCHES 2A SKY DIVISION

Fourth-ranked Lynden remained unbeaten and clinched the inaugural Northwest 2A Sky Division title Friday night, capping league play with a 55-21 win over Sedro-Woolley.

Bellingham clinched at least a share of the Northwest 2A Lake Division title with a 17-7 win over Mountlake Terrace in a crucial league contest Friday night. The Red Raiders (5-2 overall, 4-0 Lake Division) can secure the outright division crown by beating Sehome in next week’s regular-season finale.

It was the first league loss of the season for Mountlake Terrace (4-3, 3-1). The Hawks can earn a share of the division title with both a victory over Cedarcrest next week and a Sehome win over Bellingham, though the Red Raiders would have the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The loss dropped Mountlake Terrace to second place in the district’s Class 2A Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings, which determine district playoff seeding for Lake Division teams and KingCo members Liberty (Issaquah) and Sammamish. Playoff seeding for Sky Division teams is determined by the league standings.

CEDAR PARK IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

Cedar Park Christian gained the inside track to the inaugural North Sound Conference title with a 28-14 victory over King’s on Friday night.

The Eagles (5-1 overall, 3-0 North Sound Conference) now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over both King’s and South Whidbey, who are tied for second place in the conference standings with 2-1 league records.

Cedar Park Christian’s two remaining conference games are against Coupeville and Sultan, who are a combined 1-5 in league play.

Meanwhile, Granite Falls picked up its first win of the season with a 34-6 victory over rival Sultan in Friday night’s annual Black and Blue Bowl.

SHORECREST’S 260-POUND CENTER-TURNED-FULLBACK

Shorecrest snapped a three-game losing skid by turning to a physical rushing attack that totaled 426 yards in Friday night’s 52-24 victory over Meadowdale.

Junior running back Markus Selzler led the Scots’ punishing ground game with 278 yards and three touchdowns, showcasing a combination of power and speed while averaging 9.6 yards per carry.

But in an interesting twist, 260-pound senior Gabe Reyes received his first-ever varsity carries and complemented Selzler as a change-of-pace back, rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown on 11 attempts. Reyes, a rugby player who typically is the team’s starting center, moved to fullback and rumbled through Meadowdale’s defense for several big tackle-breaking runs.

The senior’s biggest gains came in the fourth quarter, when he bulldozed for a pair of 15-yard runs before breaking a 21-yarder and scoring on a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

“He’s been begging (for carries),” Shorecrest coach Brandon Christensen said. “… When they started keying on Markus, we needed a little bit of a changeup. And he certainly did his part.”

WEEK 7 STARS

Markus Selzler, jr., Shorecrest

Selzler rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries in the Scots’ 52-24 win over Meadowdale.

Tyler Massena, sr. Snohomish

Massensa rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries and scored on an 87-yard kickoff return in the Panthers’ 62-7 win over Lynnwood.

Capassio Cherry, sr., Edmonds-Woodway

Cherry rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries in the Warriors’ 20-17 win over Shorewood.

Mason Vaughn, jr., Meadowdale

Vaughn had eight catches for 151 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown reception, in the Mavericks’ loss to Shorecrest.

Dorian Hardin, sr., Oak Harbor

Hardin rushed for two scores and caught a touchdown pass in the Wildcats’ 42-14 rout of Marysville Getchell.

Efton Chism III, jr., Monroe

Chism III caught seven passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns and added a 74-yard kickoff return for a score in the Bearcats’ 48-13 rout of Kamiak. Chism III now has 12 touchdown receptions and two kickoff returns for scores this season.

Blake Rybar, jr. Monroe

Rybar rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and also had two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on defense in the Bearcats’ victory.

Gio Fregoso, jr., Monroe

Fregoso completed 17 of 20 passes for 279 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Bearcats’ victory.

Seth Tercero, sr., Mount Vernon

Tercero rushed for 210 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries in the Bulldogs’ 49-24 win over Jackson.

Carlos Garcia, jr., Mount Vernon

Garcia caught three passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns and also had two interceptions on defense in the Bulldogs’ victory.

Isaac Grayson, sr., Jackson

Grayson had 10 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown in the Timberwolves’ loss to Mount Vernon.

Tre Long, sr., Lake Stevens

Long threw five touchdown passes in the Vikings’ 69-20 rout of Cascade.

Ryan Fry, sr., Mariner

Fry caught four passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the Marauders’ 28-13 loss to Glacier Peak.

Jared Taylor, jr., Lakewood

Taylor accounted for 472 total yards and six touchdowns in the Cougars’ 41-6 non-league rout of Orting. The dual-threat quarterback completed 26 of 37 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for 134 yards and two scores.

Michai Harris, sr., Lakewood

Harris followed last week’s record-setting performance with eight catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the Cougars’ victory.

Mason McBride, jr., Granite Falls

McBride caught five passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 34-6 win over rival Sultan. The junior wideout scored on touchdown receptions of 41, 62, 37 and 61 yards.

Mason Mathis, jr., Archbishop Murphy

Mathis ran for 160 yards and a score on 38 carries in the Wildcats’ 27-13 win over Burlington-Edison.

Zach Wilkins, jr., Cedar Park Christian

Wilkins rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in the Eagles’ 28-14 win over King’s.

NEXT WEEK’S BIG GAMES

Monroe at Glacier Peak, 7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium (Snohomish H.S.): The Bearcats and Grizzlies collide in a key Wesco 4A clash that factors significantly into the race for the league’s No. 2 seed behind first-place Lake Stevens.

Arlington at Marysville Pilchuck, 7 p.m. Friday at Quil Ceda Stadium: The Eagles and Tomahawks close Wesco 3A North play with a pivotal matchup that carries significant postseason qualification and seeding implications.

Squalicum at Oak Harbor, 7 p.m. Friday: The Storm and the Wildcats square off in a de facto Wesco 3A North title game.

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