The high school football state playoffs kick off Friday and Saturday. Below are capsules for each of the six first-round matchups involving Snohomish County teams. The winners of these opening-round games advance to their respective classification’s state quarterfinals.
No. 3 LAKE STEVENS vs. No. 14 RICHLAND
When: 5 p.m., Saturday
Where: Lake Stevens H.S.
Implications: The winner will host either No. 6 Gonzaga Prep or No. 11 Moses Lake in the state quarterfinals.
Did you know?: This is Lake Stevens’ first state playoff game against a team from east of the Cascade Mountains since 1987. Each of the Vikings’ past 29 state playoff games were against western Washington teams.
Lake Stevens: 8-0 overall, 4-0 Wesco 4A; beat Emerald Ridge 63-21 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Vikings: Lake Stevens is without standout senior quarterback Grayson Murren, who has been sidelined the past two games with a fractured leg. The Vikings overcame his absence to beat 4A No. 8 seed Glacier Peak 34-28 in the de facto Wesco 4A title game and then routed Emerald Ridge in last week’s winner-to-state round. Freshman Kolton Matson was highly efficient in his first varsity start last week, completing 11 of 12 passes for 229 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Lake Stevens has leaned heavily on its ground game with Murren out, running for a combined 636 yards and 7.9 yards per carry over the past two weeks. Four-star junior running back Jayden Limar — who has offers from the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas A&M — averages 8.6 yards per carry and has 1,152 yards rushing, 272 yards receiving and 17 offensive TDs this season. Two-way senior standout Drew Carter, an Eastern Washington commit, has 829 yards receiving and 12 TD catches. Carter is coming off a big performance, with 190 yards from scrimmage and two TDs last week. And versatile senior Trayce Hanks has been a playmaker in all three phases, with 684 yards from scrimmage, 13 total TDs and three interceptions. The Vikings are seeking their fifth state quarterfinal trip in the past six full-length seasons.
Richland: 8-2 overall, 6-2 Mid-Columbia Conference; beat Central Valley 21-10 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Bombers: Richland is back in the state playoffs for the first time since winning the 4A state title in 2017, which capped a run of three consecutive state semifinal appearances and back-to-back state championship game appearances for the program. The Bombers held Central Valley to just 10 points and 235 total yards in last week’s winner-to-state contest, while forcing three turnovers. Richland allows 14.8 points per game and has held six of its 10 opponents to 12 points or fewer, including four shutouts. The Bombers’ defense is led by two-star Eastern Washington commit and senior defensive end Elijah Rodriguez, who also has approximately 800 yards rushing at running back. Senior quarterback Cameron Kitchens has thrown for approximately 2,000 yards and 20 TDs. Richland is just 1-2 against teams with winning records, with a 48-15 loss to 4A No. 4 Kamiakin and a 27-7 loss to 3A No. 6 Kennewick.
Herald pick: Lake Stevens
No. 8 GLACIER PEAK vs. No. 9 BOTHELL
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium
Implications: The winner will travel to face either No. 1 Graham-Kapowsin or No. 16 Kentwood in the state quarterfinals.
Did you know?: This is Glacier Peak’s fourth KingCo 4A opponent of the season. The Grizzlies are 3-0 against KingCo 4A teams this year, with a win over North Creek and blowouts of Woodinville and Skyline. Glacier Peak is 0-4 all-time against Bothell, including a season-ending loss to the Cougars in the 2017 winner-to-state round.
Glacier Peak: 7-2 overall, 2-1 Wesco 4A; beat Skyline 49-21 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Grizzlies: Glacier Peak routed Skyline last week to earn its first state berth since moving up to 4A in 2016. The Grizzlies rode a dominant defensive performance, holding Skyline to just 26 total yards in the first half and 235 for the game. Glacier Peak also had a pair of defensive scores, with a long fumble return by Jacob Erickson and a pick-six by Ashton Olson. Trey Leckner, a junior transfer from Snohomish who moved from receiver to running back, paced the Grizzlies’ offense with 145 yards and a TD on just 13 carries. For the season, Leckner averages 6.5 yards per carry and has 883 yards rushing, 380 yards receiving and 19 offensive TDs. Junior quarterback River Lien has completed 62.7% of his passes for 1,522 yards, 18 TDs and four interceptions. Glacier Peak’s two losses were a running-clock defeat to 3A No. 5 Marysville Pilchuck and a 34-28 defeat to 4A No. 3 Lake Stevens in the de facto Wesco 4A title game. The Grizzlies are seeking the third state quarterfinal trip in their program’s 14-year history — and their first at the 4A level.
Bothell: 9-1 overall, 3-0 KingCo 4A Crown Division; beat Bellarmine Prep 24-6 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Cougars: Perennial powerhouse Bothell opened the season 8-0 before falling 21-3 to 4A No. 2 Eastlake in the KingCo 4A title game. The Cougars bounced back in last week’s winner-to-state round, beating Bellarmine Prep to earn their 13th state berth in the past 15 full-length seasons. Bothell is 3-1 against 4A state playoff teams this season, with a rout of 4A No. 11 Moses Lake and wins over 4A No. 13 North Creek and 4A No. 16 Kentwood. Heading into last week’s playoff opener, senior quarterback Logan Lacio had completed 65.1% of his passes for 1,606 yards and 16 TDs. Senior receiver Sam Stewart had 503 yards receiving and seven TD catches, while junior running back Bryce Kooy had rushed for 932 yards and 12 TDs. The Cougars have a three-star offensive lineman in Oregon State commit Luka Vincic, who is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 39 senior offensive tackle in the nation. Bothell reached the 4A state title game in 2019.
Herald pick: Glacier Peak
No. 5 MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK vs. No. 12 GARFIELD
When: 7 p.m., Saturday
Where: Quil Ceda Stadium
Implications: The winner will travel to face either No. 4 Yelm or No. 13 Seattle Prep in the state quarterfinals.
Marysville Pilchuck: 9-1 overall, 5-1 Wesco 3A North; beat Bishop Blanchet 62-28 last week
About the Tomahawks: Marysville Pilchuck cruised to yet another blowout in last week’s winner-to-state round, racing to a 62-0 lead midway through the second quarter in a dismantling of Bishop Blanchet. It was the Tomahawks’ ninth running-clock rout in 10 games this season. Their lone blemish was a 28-14 loss to 3A No. 7 Arlington in Week 7, which led to a three-way tie for the Wesco 3A North title between Marysville Pilchuck, Arlington and Ferndale. The Tomahawks have scored at least 49 points in each of their other nine contests. Marysville Pilchuck averages 352 rushing yards per game in its deceptive and high-powered Slot-T ground attack, led by a big offensive line and talented senior backs Dylan Carson and Jordan Velasquez. Carson has rushed for 1,857 yards and 38 TDs, while averaging a whopping 13.0 yards per carry. Velasquez has run for 885 yards and 15 TDs, with an absurd 16.1 yards per carry. The Tomahawks allow just 14.8 points per game, including just 4.2 first-half points per contest. Marysville Pilchuck is seeking its second consecutive trip to the state quarterfinals and its fourth in program history.
Garfield: 6-3 overall, 2-3 Metro League Mountain Division; beat Ferndale 20-7 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Bulldogs: Garfield finished fourth in the ultra-tough Metro League Mountain Division, which sent five teams to the 3A state playoffs. The Bulldogs shut down Wesco 3A North co-champion Ferndale in last week’s winner-to-state game, limiting the Golden Eagles to just seven points and 265 yards. Senior wideout Jacolby Cochran has 935 yards receiving and 10 TD catches, including five receptions for 206 yards and a TD last week. Sophomore quarterback EJ Caminong has thrown for 1,825 yards, 16 TDs and five interceptions. Senior running back Reon Hampton has rushed for 750 yards and 13 TDs, while sophomore Jimmy Miller has run for 515 yards and eight TDs. Garfield went 1-3 against its fellow 3A state playoff teams from the Metro League, with the one win coming against 3A No. 13 Seattle Prep. The Bulldogs were routed by 3A No. 9 Rainier Beach, but lost to 3A No. 2 Eastside Catholic and 3A No. 3 O’Dea by a combined nine points. After ending a 38-year state playoff drought in 2017, Garfield is making its third state appearance in the past four full-length seasons.
Herald pick: Marysville Pilchuck
No. 7 ARLINGTON vs. No. 10 MT. SPOKANE
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Arlington H.S.
Implications: The winner will travel to face either No. 2 Eastside Catholic or No. 15 Stanwood in the state quarterfinals.
Arlington: 8-1 overall, 5-1 Wesco 3A North; beat Auburn Mountainview 35-0 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Eagles: Arlington shut out Auburn Mountainview in last week’s winner-to-state round to earn its first state berth since 2012. The Eagles allowed just 117 total yards, posted five sacks and forced three turnovers, including a 75-yard fumble return TD by Ethan Martin. It was yet another dominant defensive performance for Arlington, which yields just 8.4 points per game and hasn’t surrendered more than 18 points all season. The Eagles’ stingy defense is complemented by standout senior quarterback Trent Nobach and a fast-paced spread offense. Nobach has completed 69.3% of his passes for 2,109 yards, 30 TDs and nine interceptions, while spreading the ball to a talented receiving corps led by the senior trio of Levi Younger, Gage Price and Elijah Jackson. Younger has 549 yards receiving and 14 TD catches, as well as two TD returns on special teams. Price has 617 yards receiving and eight TDs, while Jackson has added 463 yards receiving and five TDs. Arlington earned a signature 28-14 win over 3A No. 5 Marysville Pilchuck in Week 7, which ultimately gave the Eagles a three-way share of the Wesco 3A North title with Marysville Pilchuck and Ferndale. Arlington’s lone blemish was an 18-17 last-minute defeat to Ferndale in a rainy and windy Week 3 contest. The Eagles are seeking their first trip to the state quarterfinals since 2005.
Mt. Spokane: 7-2 overall, 6-2 Greater Spokane League 4A/3A; beat Gig Harbor 20-0 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Wildcats: Mt. Spokane earned its second consecutive state berth with a shutout of Gig Harbor in last week’s winner-to-state round. The Wildcats had six sacks, three interceptions and a pick-six in a dominant defensive performance, while limiting Gig Harbor’s quarterback to just 12-of-30 passing for 93 yards. Mt. Spokane’s defense has been strong all season, allowing just 9.6 points per game. The Wildcats have shut out five of their nine opponents and haven’t allowed more than 28 points in a game. Mt. Spokane’s two losses came by a combined 10 points to a pair of 4A league rivals in Central Valley and unbeaten 4A No. 6 Gonzaga Prep. Senior quarterback Kellen Flanigan has completed 60.3% of his passes for 1,931 yards, 16 TDs and seven interceptions. His top targets are the trio of senior Jordan Sands, junior Blake Speer and senior Aiden Prado, who have combined for 1,472 yards receiving and 14 TD catches. The Wildcats also have a kicking threat in Texas A&M commit Ethan Moczulski, who hit a 49-yard field goal this season and is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 5 senior kicker in the nation.
Herald pick: Arlington
No. 2 EASTSIDE CATHOLIC vs. No. 15 STANWOOD
When: 7:45 p.m., Friday
Where: Memorial Stadium (Seattle)
Implications: The winner will host either No. 7 Arlington or No. 10 Mt. Spokane in the state quarterfinals.
Eastside Catholic: 7-1 overall, 5-0 Metro League Mountain Division; beat Juanita 42-0 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Crusaders: Two-time defending 3A state champion Eastside Catholic has been one of the most dominant prep football programs in recent state history. The Crusaders have won four of the past six 3A state titles and have played in six of the past eight 3A state championship games. And this year’s team certainly looks highly capable of making another title run. Eastside Catholic is undefeated against in-state opponents, with its lone loss coming to the top-seeded team in Colorado’s highest classification. The Crusaders won the ultra-tough Metro League Mountain Division, highlighted by league wins over four 3A state playoff teams — No. 3 O’Dea, No. 9 Rainier Beach, No. 12 Garfield and No. 13 Seattle Prep. Despite its brutal schedule, Eastside Catholic has allowed just 10.9 points per game against in-state opponents. And in just eight games, the Crusaders’ dominant defense has totaled a whopping 30 takeaways, six defensive TDs and 29 sacks. Four-star senior recruit Dishawn Misa, three-star senior Dallas Daley and sophomore David Lene are part of a talented linebacking corps that’s racked up big numbers. And at cornerback, sophomore Tyson Weaver has five interceptions and four tackles for loss.
Stanwood: 6-4 overall, 3-3 Wesco 3A North; beat Lincoln-Tacoma 40-35 in Week 10 playoffs
About the Spartans: After finishing fourth in the Wesco 3A North, Stanwood earned its first state berth since 1996 with a stunning upset of Pierce County League champion Lincoln-Tacoma in last week’s winner-to-state round. The Spartans moved the ball at will in their Wing-T offense, scoring TDs on each of their first six possessions before running out the clock on their seventh to seal the game. Stanwood racked up 496 total yards in the victory, including 428 yards on the ground. Junior running back Ryder Bumgarner had another big game, rushing for 279 yards and three TDs on 26 carries. For the season, Bumgarner averages 8.7 yards per carry and has 1,512 yards rushing and 21 offensive TDs. Bumgarner also has six interceptions on defense and senior teammate Isaiah Hughes has four. Bumgarner and Hughes each had an interception of four-star Lincoln quarterback Gabarri Johnson, who entered last week’s game with 27 TD passes and no interceptions. The Spartans are making just their third state appearance in program history and are seeking their third trip to the state quarterfinals.
Herald pick: Eastside Catholic
No. 3 LYNDEN CHRISTIAN vs. No. 14 GRANITE FALLS
When: 4 p.m., Friday
Where: Civic Stadium (Bellingham)
Implications: The winner will host either No. 6 Tenino or No. 11 Freeman in the state quarterfinals.
Lynden Christian: 5-2 overall, 2-0 Northwest Conference 1A
About the Lyncs: Lynden Christian closed the regular season with three consecutive shutouts — a 41-0 rout of Nooksack Valley, a 12-0 win over 1A No. 8 Mount Baker and a 41-0 rout of 2A No. 16 East Valley-Spokane. The Lyncs have won five straight games since opening the season with a pair of non-league losses to 2A No. 4 Squalicum and 2A Lakewood. Senior quarterback William Colwell has thrown for 1,289 yards, 15 TDs and five interceptions, while also rushing for a team-high 382 yards and four TDs. Two-way senior Jamison Hintz has 409 yards receiving and six TDs catches in six games, along with three interceptions on defense. Lynden Christian is coming off back-to-back state semifinal appearances, including a trip to the 1A state title game in 2019.
Granite Falls: 7-2 overall, 3-1 Emerald Sound Conference
About the Tigers: Granite Falls is making its first state appearance since 1990 and just its second in program history. The Tigers beat South Whidbey 13-12 in their regular-season finale two weeks ago to clinch the Emerald Sound Conference’s second and final state berth. Granite Falls is enjoying its first winning season since 2008 and has matched its program’s most wins in a season since 2006. The Tigers average 287 rushing yards per game, led by the senior trio of quarterback Riley Hoople and running backs Keldyn Smith and Gio Gonzalez. Hoople has rushed for 524 yards, thrown for 477 yards and accounted for 17 total TDs — including both of his team’s TDs in the state-clinching win over South Whidbey. Smith has run for 772 yards and eight TDs, while averaging 8.1 yards per carry. And Gonzalez has added 593 yards rushing and seven TDs, along with three interceptions on defense. The Tigers’ two losses were a pair of blowout defeats to 1A No. 5 King’s and Cashmere. Granite Falls opened the season with a 20-19 win over 1A No. 15 East Jefferson.
Herald pick: Lynden Christian