A high school football season unlike any other concluded last week for Snohomish County teams. Here’s a look back at the top teams, games and individual performances from the abbreviated spring campaign:
TOP 5 TEAMS
The seven-time defending Wesco 4A champions reaffirmed their status as the kings of Snohomish County with another dominant season. Facing many of the other top programs in the area, Lake Stevens went 5-0 this spring while outscoring Archbishop Murphy, Monroe, Snohomish, Marysville Pilchuck and Glacier Peak by an average of 22.2 points per game. The Vikings’ closest game was a 43-36 win over defending Wesco 3A champion Marysville Pilchuck. Lake Stevens won each of its other four contests by at least 17 points, including a runaway 63-35 season-finale victory over previously unbeaten Glacier Peak in an unofficial Wesco 4A title game. The Vikings are now 40-1 against Snohomish County teams over the last six seasons and have won 46 consecutive games over Wesco 4A opponents.
The Grizzlies established themselves as one of the top teams in the area this spring while mounting an impressive 4-1 campaign against a challenging schedule. Glacier Peak won each of its first four games by at least 25 points, outscoring Marysville Pilchuck, Snohomish, Archbishop Murphy and Monroe by an average of 32.3 points per contest. To put that in perspective, perennial powerhouse Lake Stevens faced those same four teams and outscored them by 20.8 points per game. The Grizzlies’ lone loss came to Lake Stevens in an unofficial Wesco 4A title game. Glacier Peak trailed by just seven points entering the fourth quarter, but then surrendered 28 straight points as the Vikings ran away for a 63-35 win. But despite the bitter end to their season, the Grizzlies had a success-filled spring and closed the gap between them and their powerhouse Wesco 4A rival.
The Cougars’ first season facing a majority Wesco slate was a rousing success. Lakewood steamrolled to a 5-0 campaign, outscoring opponents by a whopping 46.8 points per game. And though the Cougars’ three Wesco opponents were programs that typically finish near the bottom of their leagues, Lakewood’s sheer dominance in those games was stunning. The Cougars rolled to a 69-0 win over Marysville Getchell, a 77-0 halftime lead over Everett and a 48-0 victory over Stanwood. Lakewood’s only close game was a 32-21 win over Archbishop Murphy in a showdown of Class 2A state quarterfinalists from last season. But even that score was a bit misleading. The Cougars fell into an early 15-0 hole after surrending two long touchdown passes on broken coverages, but then dominated from there while outscoring Archbishop Murphy 32-6 the rest of the way. Had there been a postseason this year, Lakewood could’ve been eyeing a deep 2A state playoff run.
The Warriors went 5-0 this spring in dominant fashion. Edmonds-Woodway outscored Mountlake Terrace, Shorecrest, Shorewood, Lynnwood and Meadowdale by a combined 197-20 margin and an average of 35.4 points per game. And though their schedule included a trio of one-win teams, the Warriors were stingy on defense all season and posted shutouts in three of their five contests. Edmonds-Woodway’s only close game was a 23-13 win over Shorecrest, which was the Scots’ only loss of the season. The Warriors won each of their other four games by at least 27 points. It marked another successful season for longtime head coach John Gradwohl, who surpassed 150 career wins this spring in his 25th year at the helm of Edmonds-Woodway’s program.
Don’t be fooled by the Tomahawks’ 2-3 record. Defending Wesco 3A champion Marysville Pilchuck played one of the toughest schedules in the area this season, with its three losses coming to 4A state power Union of Vancouver and top Wesco 4A foes Lake Stevens and Glacier Peak. In the Tomahawks’ other two games, they rolled to a 49-21 win over Marysville Getchell and raced to a 42-0 lead early in the third quarter of a running-clock rout of Arlington. However, their most impressive performance was arguably the loss to Lake Stevens. Marysville Pilchuck gave the perennial powerhouse Vikings a rare test from a local team, rallying to tie the game early in the fourth quarter before losing by just seven points to one of the state’s premier 4A programs. Their win-loss record doesn’t show it, but the Tomahawks were a formidable team again this spring after last season’s run to the 3A state quarterfinals.
MOST IMPROVED TEAM
After three consecutive one-win seasons, the Knights made a jump this spring in head coach Bryant Thomas’ third year at the helm. Facing a competitively balanced schedule, Kamiak went 4-0 against Everett, Mariner, Jackson and Cascade. The Knights outscored their opponents by 28.5 points per game and won every contest by at least 17 points. Kamiak capped its season with a dominant 44-14 win over previously unbeaten Cascade, another program that surpassed its win total from last season during this shortened spring campaign.
TOP 5 GAMES
The first Snohomish County prep football game in more than 15 months produced one of the most dramatic finishes of the season. Granite Falls forced two Sultan goal-line fumbles in the second half and blocked a field goal in the final minute of regulation to send the game to overtime. Sultan opened the extra period with a touchdown on its overtime possession, but missed the extra point. Granite Falls’ Luis Hernandez then ran for a game-tying score and caught a game-winning 2-point conversion pass in the end zone to give the Tigers a walk-off victory over their archrival in the annual Black and Blue Bowl.
Jackson 36, Everett 34 — April 1
James Yoon capped the Timberwolves’ season by drilling a game-winning 44-yard field goal as time expired to snap Jackson’s 15-game losing streak and lift the program to its first victory since October of 2018. After trailing by 13 points midway through the fourth quarter, Everett rallied for two touchdowns to take a 34-33 lead with 1 minute to play. But with back-to-back completions from Nathan Clark in the closing moments, the Timberwolves drove to the Everett 27-yard line to set up Yoon’s game-winner.
Lake Stevens 43, Marysville Pilchuck 36 — March 26
Defending Wesco 3A champion Marysville Pilchuck gave the seven-time defending Wesco 4A champion Vikings a rare test from a local team. The Tomahawks rallied for a pair of second-half touchdowns to tie the game at 29-29 early in the fourth quarter, but Trayce Hanks returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and Jayden Limar added a long touchdown run to give Lake Stevens a 14-point cushion. Marysville Pilchuck cut the deficit to seven points late, but its ensuing onside kick was unsuccessful and the Vikings ran out the clock.
Arlington 17, Stanwood 14 — March 12
For the fourth time in five seasons, the annual Stilly Cup rivalry game went down the wire. After cutting the deficit to three points with a touchdown earlier in the fourth quarter, Stanwood drove inside the Arlington 25-yard line with less than 1:30 to play. But the Eagles forced and recovered a fumble to seal the victory and beat their archrival for the 11th consecutive time.
Everett 14, Cedarcrest 6 (OT) — March 26
There wasn’t much action for the first three quarters, but the fourth quarter and overtime certainly made up for it. With 23 seconds to play in regulation, Everett’s Evan Burns made a spectacular 23-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone to even the score. However, Cedarcrest blocked the ensuing extra point to force overtime. Then after Jeremy Reed ran for a touchdown in the extra period to give the Seagulls the lead, Cedarcrest drove to the 7-yard line on its overtime possession. But Everett’s defense came up with a tipped interception in the end zone — strikingly similar to the famous Richard Sherman tip that sent the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl — to secure the Seagulls’ lone victory of the season.
TOP 15 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES
Ryan Black, Glacier Peak, Week 4
Black, a senior, totaled 246 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on just 12 offensive touches in the Grizzlies’ 63-21 rout of Monroe on March 26. He ran for 235 yards and four TDs on 11 carries and also caught an 11-yard TD pass. He had three scoring runs of more than 50 yards, including a 73-yarder on the opening snap of the game.
Ryan Black, Glacier Peak, Week 5
Black followed his spectacular performance the previous week by rushing for 348 yards and three TDs on 32 carries in the Grizzlies’ 63-35 loss to Lake Stevens on April 1. He scored on long runs of 87, 67 and 49 yards.
Brycen Blankenship, Monroe, Week 5
Blankenship, a senior, completed 26 of 38 passes for 337 yards, five TDs and no interceptions in the Bearcats’ 42-22 win over Snohomish on April 1.
Dylan Carson, Marysville Pilchuck, Week 2
Carson, a junior, ran for 243 yards and five TDs on just 14 carries in the Tomahawks’ 49-21 win over crosstown rival Marysville Getchell on March 12.
Dylan Carson, Marysville Pilchuck, Week 3
Carson followed his massive performance the previous week by rushing for 241 yards and four TDs on just 13 carries in the Tomahawks’ 42-19 win over Arlington on March 19.
Carson Chrisman, Lakewood, Week 2
Chrisman, a senior, scored on a 45-yard interception return, a 79-yard punt return and a 46-yard reception in the first half of the Cougars’ 77-21 rout of Everett on March 12. The Division II-bound Minot State (North Dakota) signee finished with 100 yards from scrimmage on just three offensive touches.
Malik Dotson, Lakewood, Week 1
Dotson, a senior, ran for 225 yards and five TDs on just 13 carries in the Cougars’ 69-0 rout of Marysville Getchell on March 6. He also had a 15-yard reception.
Malik Dotson, Lakewood, Week 3
Dotson accounted for 242 total yards and three TDs in the Cougars’ 48-0 rout of Stanwood on March 19. He ran for 140 yards and three TDs on 18 carries and added three catches for 60 yards. He also completed a 42-yard pass.
Desmond Fox, Shorecrest, Week 2
Fox, a senior, caught 10 passes for 168 yards and two TDs in the Scots’ 23-13 loss to Edmonds-Woodway on March 12.
Tyson Lang, Glacier Peak, Week 2
Lang, a senior, completed 10 of 14 passes for 261 yards, three TDs and no interceptions in the Grizzlies’ 35-10 win over crosstown rival Snohomish on March 12. The University of Washington preferred walk-on had six completions of 29-plus yards.
Jayden Limar, Lake Stevens, Week 4
Limar, a sophomore, totaled 186 yards from scrimmage and three TDs on just 12 offensive touches in the Vikings’ 43-36 win over Marysville Pilchuck on March 26. The Pac-12 recruit ran for 131 yards and two TDs on just eight carries. He also caught four passes for 55 yards and a TD.
Jayden Limar, Lake Stevens, Week 5
Limar followed his standout performance the previous week by scoring five total TDs in the Vikings’ 63-35 win over Glacier Peak on April 1. The Pac-12 recruit returned the opening kickoff for a score and added TD runs of 21, 21, 58 and 18 yards. He finished with 164 yards from scrimmage, including 141 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Michael Purl, Cascade, Week 3
Purl, a senior, ran for 275 yards and three TDs on 20 carries in the Bruins’ 46-20 win over Everett on March 19 in the annual Battle of Broadway rivalry game.
Riley Rudolfo, Monroe, Week 1
Rudolfo, a senior, intercepted three passes on defense and also caught a TD reception in the Bearcats’ 14-0 shutout win over Arlington on March 6.
Steele Swinton, Edmonds-Woodway, Week 3
Swinton, a senior, totaled 165 yards from scrimmage and five TDs on just 13 offensive touches in the Warriors’ 47-0 rout of Shorewood on March 19. He ran for 137 yards and four TDs on 11 carries and also caught two passes for 28 yards and a TD.