SNOHOMISH — Knocking off the league champions isn’t a bad way to gain some playoff momentum.
Snohomish handed one-loss Meadowdale its first league defeat and proved how dangerous it could be in November, earning a 56-35 Wesco 3A South win Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish.
The Panthers’ offense has put up huge numbers all season long, and it was no different against the Mavericks thanks in large part to the ground work by speedy junior running back Keegan Stich, who compiled 239 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries.
Snohomish (5-2 league, 6-3 overall) is in the playoffs but will have to wait and see the result of Friday’s Lynnwood-Shorecrest game to find out when it’ll play next. A Lynnwood win would send the Panthers to a Tuesday play-in game at home, while a Royals loss would give Snohomish a week off before opening the district playoffs.
Meadowdale had already clinched the 3A Wesco South before Thursday’s game and will open district play either next Friday or Saturday.
Snohomish’s 56-point effort marked the sixth time the Panthers have scored 49 or more points this season. Meadowdale simply had no answer for the Panthers’ up-tempo attack.
Having the luxury of running behind an offensive line that dominated the line of scrimmage, Stich ripped off chunks of yards one carry after another. Snohomish quarterback Brandon Jodock was a nice complement, completing 14-of-22 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mavericks (6-1, 7-2) were led by junior back Jashon Butler, who flashed his speed a number of times with a handful of explosive plays. Butler finished with 173 yards on 13 carries and 89 receiving yards on three receptions. He ran for a 48-yard touchdown and did most of the work on a late 79-yard receiving score.
Meadowdale starting running back Kela Marshall ran for 102 yards on 10 carries but was in and out of the game while dealing with a pair of injuries.
Snohomish set the tone early, establishing a 14-0 first-quarter lead on back-to-back long, impressive touchdown drives that were capped by Stich’s first score and a fly sweep to Tyler Massena, who reached the end zone from 22 yards out.
An 8-yard touchdown pass from Jodock to Jess Harris and a 4-yard TD run from Stich sandwiched around a Meadowdale touchdown put the Panthers in front 28-10 with 23 seconds to go in the first half.
And Snohomish’s offensive momentum kept rolling after the break.
Snohomish essentially put the game away on a critical fourth-and-6 on Meadowdale’s 40-yard line. Snohomish led 28-13, but a turnover would have set the Mavericks up in prime position for a comeback. Jodock dropped back to pass, evaded three pass rushers with a wild scramble and connected with receiver Ty Roth, who dashed for a 40-yard touchdown.
Meadowdale cut the lead to 35-20 with 2:03 to play in the third quarter, but Snohomish outscored the Mavericks 21-15 the rest of the way.