Snohomish champs

Super effort by Zimmerman, Rodland and company as Panthers win Wesco 4A title

By AARON COE

Herald Writer

SNOHOMISH — Snohomish is used to playing home games on Friday, so the Panthers should be forgiven if they appeared to show up a bit late Thursday night.

But when Eddie Zimmerman arrived, he popped out of a phone booth wearing a cape.

The senior scored four straight Snohomish touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 41-10 come-from-behind victory over Sehome in what amounted to the Western Conference 4A championship game.

Snohomish claimed its first league title since 1988 while completing a 9-0 regular season. The Panthers will play a state playoff game next weekend.

The Mariners, who lost their first Wesco 4A game in two seasons, dropped to 7-1 in the conference, and 7-2 overall. They will have to play Bothell, the No. 2 Kingco 4A team, Tuesday at Pop Keeney Stadium for a state playoff berth.

"I had the game of my life," said Zimmerman, who caught four passes for 87 yards and three touchdowns on offense and intercepted a pass for another touchdown and had two sacks on defense.

"I’m going to tell my kids about this someday."

It’ll be quite a story. Zimmerman led a dramatic turnaround for Snohomish.

The Panthers looked lost for a quarter-and-a-half as Sehome built a 10-0 lead.

The Panthers’ offense, which has dominated all year long, was meek on its first three drives. They lost two fumbles in their own territory and went three-and-out in that stretch, but Sehome only got a field goal as a result.

With the running game not working as planned, Snohomish took to the air.

A team that had looked so bad suddenly became spectacular.

Snohomish scored three touchdowns 6 minutes, 11 seconds — all on Josh Rodland passes to Zimmerman, who also scored later on a 51-yard interception return.

The first scoring drive, which took only 33 seconds, began with Zimmerman hauling in a 47-yard bomb. He then made a diving, juggling catch in the back of the end zone as Snohomish closed the gap to 10-6.

"I didn’t think I was going to catch it," Zimmerman said. "I just stuck my hand out there, and somehow, I caught it."

After Sehome went three-and-out, Rodland capped a 10-play drive with a perfect fade to Zimmerman for a 13-10 Panthers’ lead with 45 seconds remaining in the half.

Sehome fumbled on the first play of the ensuing possession, giving the Panthers the ball at the Mariners’ 29 with 29 seconds left.

Rodland found Andy Heater for a 17-yard completion. Three plays later, Zimmerman hauled in a pass at the 2, and used all of his 6-foot-4 inch frame to stretch across the goal line for a 20-10 lead with only four seconds remaining until intermission.

"The kid’s been that way all year," Snohomish coach Mark Perry said of Zimmerman. "He makes awesome catches. On that interception, it looked like he was down three times, but he just kept chuggin’."

Speaking of chuggin’, Snohomish running back Joe Plucker ran right into five Sehome defenders at the line of scrimmage, but somehow escaped for an 88-yard TD run to extend the Panthers’ lead to 34-10 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Plucker gained 103 yards on only four carries.

After a Sehome fumble, Rodland hit a wide open Heater for his fourth TD pass. Rodland completed seven of 14 passes for 127 yards.

Sehome used it size advantage to march down the field on its first possession of the game. Fullback Mike McEvoy, who at 225 pounds is as big as any Snohomish defensive lineman, carried the ball 11 times for 49 yards and scored from five yards out.

The 17-play drive spanned six minutes, 36 seconds as Sehome took a 7-0 lead. McEvoy gained 88 yards on 19 first half carries, but only had six carries for 25 yards in the second half.

"We had some guys out of position in the first half," Perry said. "But once we got rolling, we were hard to stop."


Sehome7300—10

Snohomish

0

20

7

14

41


Sehome — McEvoy 5 run (Andersen kick)

Sehome — Anderson 25 FG.

Snohomish — Zimmerman 19 pass from Rodland (kick failed)

Snohomish — Zimmerman 9 pass from Rodland (Bennion kick)

Snohomish — Zimmerman 12 pass from Rodland (Bennion kick)

Snohomish — Zimmerman 51 interception return (Bennion kick)

Snohomish — Plucker 88 run (Bennion kick)

Snohomish — Heater 9 pass from Rodland (Bennion kick)

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