SNOHOMISH — Week after week, different Wesco 3A South teams took turns booking themselves as the favorite to win this year’s league title. But for all the jockeying atop the league standings, the 2019 conference season ended the same way 2018 did — with Snohomish laying claim to a championship.
The Panthers did so emphatically.
Seven different Snohomish players scored touchdowns, and the Panthers hung a season-high 58 points on Meadowdale to earn a 58-14 league win Friday on Senior Night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“Fantastic,” said Snohomish coach Joey Hammer when alerted to how many different Panthers scored. “It means that guys are locked in and owning their role. It’s absolutely beautiful when all take it and run with it.”
Kyden Gaffney, Silas Strehle, Tyler Larson and Joshua Vandergriend ran for Panther touchdowns, and Jacob Brandvold and Jervin Villena caught touchdown passes. Caden Keithly sealed the game with an interception return for a score.
While the Snohomish offense piled up points, the defense was equally impressive. The Panthers held Meadowdale to 59 rushing yards on 25 attempts, and 48 of those yards came on a fourth-quarter carry against Snohomish’s second team.
Larson paced the Panthers (5-3, 5-1 Wesco 3A South) with 119 rush yards and two rushing TDs on 18 carries. Vandergriend and Strehle combined for 103 ground yards.
Snohomish put the game away early, racing to a 30-0 lead with 3:27 to play in the second quarter.
Gaffney opened the scoring with a 3-yard TD run on the Panthers’ opening drive. Snohomish added a safety on the ensuing possession when Meadowdale quarterback Hunter Moen slipped while dropping back and touched his knee down in his own end zone, and Strehle pushed the Panthers’ lead to 16-0 with 7-yard touchdown run at 4:05 in the first.
A 1-yard Larson TD run midway through the second quarter followed by a 5-yard Vandergriend rushing score extended Snohomish’s lead to 30-0.
Meadowdale (5-3, 4-2) cut the Panthers’ lead to 37-14 with 5:30 to play in the third when Moen scrambled for a 20-yard TD, but Snohomish scored three touchdowns in the final 2:54 of the third quarter to give the Panthers a 58-14 lead and started the running clock.
Tyler Larson, Snohomish — The physical senior running back put together a strong Senior Night performance, compiling 119 yards and two touchdowns. He kept the chains moving all night and powered the Panthers’ offensive attack.
Silas Strehle, Snohomish — Strehle led the Panthers to a season-high 58 points. He threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and also finished with 59 yards rushing on six carries.
Snohomish defense — It’s hard to single out one specific Panther defender. The entire performance was impressive. The defense limited Meadowdale to 184 total yards and 2.36 yards per carry on 25 attempts.
Hunter Moen, Meadowdale — The senior quarterback was on the run much of the night, but he accounted for both of the Mavericks’ touchdowns, running for one and throwing a beautiful 53-yard TD pass to teammate Samuel Lybeer.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The game was already decided at this point, but Panthers defensive back Keithly’s 26-yard interception return for touchdown stood out. The interception wasn’t particularly a high-degree of difficultly, but his run back was. Keithly made several Mavericks miss as he weaved down the right sideline for the score.
7 — The number of different Panthers who scored touchdowns.
Snohomish will travel to face Wesco 3A North-champion Marysville Pilchuck in a crossover game at 8 p.m. next Friday.
Meadowdale will travel to face Arlington in a crossover game at 7 p.m. next Friday.