EDMONDS — One week after suffering a gut-wrenching, one-point home loss, Snohomish refused to let the disappointment carry over into another week.
Fresh off yielding a season-high point total, the Panthers’ defense rebounded and led the way in a physical matchup with Wesco 3A South-leading Edmonds-Woodway.
Snohomish nearly shut out the Warriors for three quarters before claiming a critical 24-14 league win Friday at Edmonds Stadium that catapulted the Panthers back into league-title contention.
“It shows the true character and the grit of the team,” said Snohomish coach Joey Hammer on the Panthers’ ability to bounce back from last week’s loss. “There’s no quit. There’s no give-up. It’s, ‘Hey, we got to grow. We got to get better.’ So I love seeing our boys respond the way they did, and here we go.”
Snohomish running back Tyler Larson, with the help of his front five, set a physical tone all night. Larson, the Panthers’ power back, ran for a game-high 129 yards and added a fourth-quarter touchdown that essentially put the game out of reach.
Joshua Vandergriend added 59 rushing yards and a score for the Panthers (3-3, 3-1 Wesco 3A South), and quarterback Silas Strehle ran for 57 yards and a TD.
With the exception of a late fourth-quarter 43-yard run, Edmonds-Woodway (3-3, 3-1) didn’t have much success running the football. Steele Swinton recorded a team-high 79 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, but take away his 43-yarder, and he averaged just north of 2-yards per carry as E-W’s primary back.
Snohomish kicker Kyler Hammer opened the scoring with a 40-yard field goal with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter before the Panthers added on early in the second.
Taking advantage of good starting field position, Snohomish put together a seven-play, 46-yard scoring drive to push its lead to 10-0 at 10:30 in the second quarter. Strehle capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown run off a play-action bootleg keeper around the left side.
Edmonds-Woodway struggled moving the ball during the first half. The Warriors ran only four plays in Panthers’ territory and outside of two 18-yard runs, Snohomish’s defense shut down Edmonds-Woodway’s offense.
A 4-yard Vandergriend touchdown run with 5:00 to play in the third extended Snohomish’s lead to 17-0 before the Warriors got their first points off a 6-yard Ethan Davis rushing score with 1:47 to go in the third quarter.
Snohomish answered with a methodical 16-play, 80-yard put-away drive that ended with a 1-yard Larson touchdown, pushing the lead back out to 24-6 with 7:42 to play.
Tyler Larson, Snohomish — The senior power back made some punishing runs and seemingly gave the Panthers’ offensive a momentum boost whenever they needed it. He finished with a game-high 129 yards and a TD on 17 carries.
Silas Strehle, Snohomish — The junior quarterback managed the offense well, looked solid in the pass game and used his legs to get yards when the Panthers needed it. He threw for 86 yards and ran for 57 and a touchdown.
Ben Grimes, Edmonds-Woodway — The senior fullback and linebacker brought a physicality to the game and made some nice plays on both sides of the ball.
Snohomish makes a return trip to Edmonds Stadium to play Lynnwood (4-2, 2-2) in a 5 p.m. game Friday. Edmonds-Woodway faces Shorewood (2-4, 1-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Shoreline Stadium.