It’s already the closing stretch of the Snohomish County high school football season.
The fourth week of Wesco’s abbreviated five-week football slate takes place Friday night, highlighted by several matchups between some of the area’s top programs.
Here’s a preview of the week’s top games and a complete schedule of every local contest, along with staff picks. Click on the matchup to access the game’s streaming link:
GAMES OF THE WEEK
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Lakewood H.S.
Archbishop Murphy (1-2): lost to Lake Stevens 26-7; beat Meadowdale 35-6; lost to Glacier Peak 40-6
Lakewood (3-0): beat Marysville Getchell 69-0; beat Everett 77-21; beat Stanwood 48-0
The skinny: This showdown of league rivals is a clash between Snohomish County’s premier Class 2A programs, both of which reached the state quarterfinals last season. The unusual nature of this season has given both teams a rare chance to face Wesco opponents, but they still left room in their schedule to play each other. They have split their last 10 matchups, dating back to their time as Cascade Conference foes. Lakewood won 35-27 last season in a key Northwest 2A Sky Division battle.
About the Wildcats: Archbishop Murphy’s two losses were to perennial powerhouse Lake Stevens and another strong 4A program in Glacier Peak. The Wildcats played well defensively in their first two games, limiting Lake Stevens to one of its lowest point totals in recent years and then holding Meadowdale scoreless for three quarters. But Archbishop Murphy struggled to slow down Glacier Peak last week, allowing 30 second-quarter points to the Grizzlies. And though the Wildcats scored 35 points in their win over Meadowdale, they managed just 265 yards combined against the elite defenses of Lake Stevens and Glacier Peak.
About the Cougars: Lakewood steamrolled Marysville Getchell, Everett and Stanwood in its first three games by a combined 194-21 margin, including a combined 159-0 in the first halves of those contests. The only points the Cougars allowed came after storming to a 77-0 halftime lead over Everett. Senior running back Malik Dotson has rushed for 484 yards and 11 touchdowns, while averaging 12.1 yards per carry. Justice Taylor has completed 61.4% of his passes for 440 yards, six TDs and one interception. The junior dual-threat quarterback also has 225 rushing yards and four TD runs.
Herald pick: Lakewood
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Lake Stevens H.S.
Marysville Pilchuck (2-1): lost to Glacier Peak 35-7; beat Marysville Getchell 49-21; beat Arlington 42-19
Lake Stevens (3-0): beat Archbishop Murphy 26-7; beat Monroe 40-0; beat Snohomish 41-24
The skinny: Seven-time defending Wesco 4A champion Lake Stevens faces defending Wesco 3A champion Marysville Pilchuck in a showdown between teams that reached their respective state quarterfinals last season. The Tomahawks are one of the rare local teams to topple mighty Lake Stevens in recent years, having beaten the Vikings in both 2013 and 2014. Lake Stevens won their most recent matchup in 2015.
About the Tomahawks: Marysville Pilchuck raced to a 42-0 lead and put the running clock into effect less than a minute into the third quarter during last week’s dismantling of Wesco 3A North rival Arlington. It was another massive performance by Dylan Carson and the Tomahawks’ Slot-T rushing attack, which has averaged 335 yards per game. Carson has rushed for 635 yards and nine TDs, including five scoring runs of more than 45 yards. The junior running back averages a whopping 12.2 yards per carry.
About the Vikings: Lake Stevens outscored Archbishop Murphy, Monroe and Snohomish by a combined 107-31 margin in its first three games. Through the first three quarters of those contests, the Vikings allowed a total of just three points. Lake Stevens’ rushing attack has piled up 247 yards per game, led by 338 yards and five TDs from senior Jay Roughton. Sophomore tailback Jayden Limar, who has offers from Utah and Oregon State, ran for a team-high 151 yards and a TD on 14 carries in last week’s win over Snohomish. Senior Gabe Ramsey and junior Drew Carter have combined for 500 yards receiving and a pair of TD catches.
Herald pick: Lake Stevens
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium
Monroe (2-1): beat Arlington 14-0; lost to Lake Stevens 40-0; beat Mariner 49-20
Glacier Peak (3-0): beat Marysville Pilchuck 35-7; beat Snohomish 35-10; beat Archbishop Murphy 40-6
The skinny: Monroe moved down to the 3A classification this school year, but these teams have plenty of familiarity with each other in recent years while jockeying for Wesco 4A playoff positioning behind Lake Stevens. The Bearcats earned a 32-10 win in last season’s matchup, which ultimately determined Wesco 4A’s No. 2 seed. Monroe won three of the teams’ four matchups as conference foes, with all three of those victories coming by at least 22 points.
About the Bearcats: After managing a total of just 14 points through its first two games, Monroe exploded for 35 first-half points in last week’s bounceback win over Mariner. Senior quarterback Brycen Blankenship threw three touchdown passes in the victory and senior Joshua Harris scored on a 94-yard punt return.
About the Grizzlies: Glacier Peak has outscored Marysville Pilchuck, Snohomish and Archbishop Murphy by a combined 110-23 margin in its first three games. The Grizzlies’ stingy defense has allowed just 7.7 points and 208 yards per game, including just 86 total yards in last week’s rout of perennial 2A power Archbishop Murphy. Senior quarterback Tyson Lang, a University of Washington preferred walk-on, has completed 67.6% of his passes for 695 yards, nine TDs and no interceptions. Two-way standout senior running back Ryan Black has 400 yards from scrimmage and five TDs.
Herald pick: Glacier Peak
OTHER LOCAL GAMES
5 p.m. Friday at Edmonds Stadium
Herald pick: Edmonds-Woodway
6 p.m. Friday at Everett Memorial Stadium
Herald pick: Everett
6 p.m. Friday at Shoreline Stadium
Herald pick: Shorewood
6 p.m. Friday at Goddard Stadium
Herald pick: Mariner
7 p.m. Friday at Stanwood H.S.
Herald pick: Kamiak
7 p.m. Friday at Arlington H.S.
Herald pick: Snohomish
7 p.m. Friday at Quil Ceda Stadium
Herald pick: Cascade
7 p.m. Friday at Sultan H.S.
Herald pick: Shorecrest
7 p.m. Friday at Granite Falls H.S.
Herald pick: Granite Falls