Suffocating defense leads Archbishop Murphy over Eatonville (video)

The Wildcats hold the Vikings to just 4 total yards in a season-opening 23-3 victory.

EVERETT — Archbishop Murphy orchestrated a dominant defensive performance and scored a 23-3 nonconference, season-opening win over visiting Eatonville on Thursday night at Terry Ennis Stadium.

The Wildcats allowed just 4 total yards of offense and were a special teams miscue and a pair of penalties away from a shutout.

Junior running back Mason Mathis ran for 120 yards and a score on 17 carries, and Dillon Halpin caught six pass for 77 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Victor Gabalis. Max Henderson converted all three of his field-goal attempts, hitting from 18, 22 and 37 yards out.

IMPACT

After reaching the Class 2A state tournament semifinals last year, the Wildcats opened the season with a convincing win, relying largely on a stingy defense that completely grounded Eatonville’s offensive attack.

TOP PERFORMERS

Mason Mathis — Mathis led the Wildcats with 120 rushing yards on 17 carries and ran for a 36-yard touchdown on an inside handoff. Mathis also snagged a late interception.

Josh McCarron — The sophomore defensive lineman was active all night, accounting for at least three sacks and a fumble recovery. He was part of a defense that held Eatonville to negative 20 rushing yards.

Dillon Halpin — Halpin, a senior wideout, proved to be Gabalis’ favorite target. Halpin caught six passes for 77 yards and hauled in a 17-yard touchdown.

Max Henderson — The Wildcats senior kicker was a perfect 5-for-5 on the night. He made field goals from 18, 22 and 37 yards and drilled both his PATs.

Hunter Brooks — The Eatonville senior linebacker offered a bright spot for the Cruisers. Brooks recorded a pair of sacks and helped make critical red zone and short-yardage stops that prevented the score from swelling in Murphy’s favor.

TURNING POINT

Archbishop Murphy’s Jack Barnes pounced on a loose football early in the second quarter when Eatonville’s long snapper sent a ball flying over his punter’s head. The Wildcats, leading 3-0, recovered on Eatonville’s 17-yard line, and the next play Gabalis found Halpin for a 17-yard score. Two field goals later, and the Wildcats took a 16-0 lead into halftime.

QUOTES

“We are a young team, and that showed at times tonight, but I am really proud of how the boys came out and competed. … Our defensive coaches do a great job with our defense to get them prepared, and they really love to play defense. They did a great job, and we’ll keep riding them as long as we can.” — Archbishop Murphy coach Jerry Jensen

“Our defense was lights out. Like it’s been the last few years, our defense is giving us energy everyday. At practice, it gives us energy, and we came out here and did the same thing. We always trust that the brother next to us is going to make the play, and that brings us the chemistry that we need to perform.” — Archbishop Murphy WR/DB Dillon Halpin

“They are just very, very impressive up front. They are going to give a lot of teams difficultly up front. Hats off to how well they played defensively.” — Eatonville coach Gavin Kralik

OVERCOMING INJURIES

Jensen praised Murphy’s ability to overcome some bad injury luck. The Wildcats ran out a young offensive line, and multiple players complimented the work of sophomore lineman Marc Galvagno.

“Marc Galvagno really stepped up,” Gabalis said. “He worked his butt off all summer long. He just came out and balled out. I was really happy for him. He did really well.”

LOOKAHEAD

The Wildcats face a huge test next week against Hockinson, the defending 2A state champion. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at Terry Ennis Stadium. Eatonville next faces Evergreen.

Click here for box score

Talk to us

More in Sports

Randy Johnson threw the first no-hitter in Seattle Mariners franchise history. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
POLL: What is the greatest no-hitter in Mariners history?

Tuesday is the 30th anniversary of Seattle’s first no-hitter, the first of six in franchise history.

Kispert’s NBA draft decision on hold for now

The Edmonds native and Gonzaga junior is playing the waiting game with the pre-draft process unsettled.

Community sports roundup: MP alum earns big academic honor

Olivia Lee’s work at EvCC is recognized; the Snohomish Soccer Dome closes its doors for good.

POLL RESULTS: “The Last Dance” was a big hit

Readers watched the 10-part documentary on the Chicago Bulls of the 90s, and they liked what they saw.

Silvertips notebook: Fonstad likely to return to Everett

The winger is not signing a pro contract with Montreal, meaning a return to the WHL is likely.

MG’s Knight named Gatorade state baseball player of year

Despite not having a season, the star junior was recognized as the top overall player in Washington.

Stay or go? Local senior college athletes face tough decision

Whether to accept the NCAA’s offer of an extra year due to the missed spring season isn’t black and white.

Oregon State’s Mikayla Pivec speaks to reporters during the Pac-12 Conference women’s NCAA college basketball media day last Oct. 7 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Pivec won’t play in the WNBA during the 2020 season

The Atlanta Dream announce the Lynnwood High School product will sit out for personal reasons.

Major issues confront Minor League Baseball and the AquaSox

“When the time is right for baseball to return, we will be here,” pledges general manager Danny Tetzlaff.

“The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary produced by NBA legend Michael Jordan, is a 10-part series chronicling the Chicago Bulls’ run to the 1997-98 NBA championship, the franchise’s sixth title in eight seasons. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
POLL: Have you seen “The Last Dance,” and what’s your take?

The 10-part ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls has been a phenomenon of the pandemic.

Healthy George Karl starts podcast, may someday coach again

The ex-Sonics coach, who has survived cancer three times, talks about the time he offended Michael Jordan’s sensibilities.

Felix Hernandez aims for 200 career wins and 3,000 strikeouts

But the COVID-19 pandemic is getting in the way of the former Mariner’s pitcher’s goals.